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Home > Heritage > Kandy > Place where King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe was Captured

Place where King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe was Captured

To reach the monument you need to go to the small town of Medamahanuwara, then walk for 10 minutes to reach the location. The path is poorly marked, because this isn't a place dear to Kandyan hearts: it's where their last king, fleeing Kandy and seeking refuge, instead surrendered to trackers who turned him over to British captivity. Indeed, were it up to the Kandyans, there would be no monument at all. The stone was instead placed by the government agent in Kandy in 1908, almost a century after Sri Wikrama Rajasinha was captured in 1815. He was taken to exile in India, where he died in 1830.


Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe - Last king of the Nation

After the fall of city of Kandy in February 1815 to the British rule, Eheylapola Maha Adhikaram ( who was one of the main conspirators who helped the British to take over Kandy ) sent a group of his people to help the British to capture the king who had escaped from the palace. After several days this team found that the king was in hiding in the area of "Bomure"

What happened after the Eheylapola's gang headed by Ekneligoda Nilame surrounded the house in which the king was hiding on the 18th of February 1815, was published by C.T.A Dias (who was a translator who participated in the group who captured Kandy) in the 1861 April issue of Sinpala publication.

After a brief resistance, The king appeared delivered himself. The gang of Ekneligoda Nilame pulled the king out of the house and stole every valuable worn by the king and the queen. One of the goons called "Kiriporuwe Mohottala" tore the queen Venkathi Rangammal's earlobes to steal the earrings worn by her. The queen with the bleeding earlobes, fearing for her life ran in to the house.

The Tholkamudali called Dias who was with this crowd, called the queen with due respect and the queen now in her white undergarments (all the cloths being stolen) came out and asked for protection from him. The Tholkamudali got some hebal plants treated her bleeding earlobes.

Meanwhile the Ekneligoda Nilame asked his goons for bring some creeper to tie the king. The Tholkamudali distressed at the way the king is being treated told the Ekneligoda Nilame, "Sir, we have been under british rule for a long time and we do not consider him as our king but he has been your king untill now and you (the Kandyans) have been calling him with great respect up to now." and offered his Satakaya (an Indian Toga) to tie him. But the Ekneligoda Nilame refused it and tied the king with creepers and delivered to the British.

Thus ended the probably the longest Royal Dynasty in the world which survived in Sri Lanka since 6th century BC (over 2350 years) .

The king is remembered by Kandyans as a tyrant, which helps to explain why he was captured by his own people. Their leader, Eheylapola, had his own motive: revenge. The king had earlier tried to punish him for insurrection. Failing to capture him, the king had instead ordered the execution of Eheylapola's wife and young children. Their courage facing death is legendary in Sri Lanka today, although the king himself, when assailed by the British for such barbarity, insisted that he had acted according to Kandyan law and custom.

J. Penry Lewis, who erected the monument, quotes a source as follows:

"On the following morning the gratifying intelligence was received at Headquarters that the King had been surrounded on the morning of the preceding day (i.e., on February 18, 1815) by some Kandyans of the Province of Dumbara... at a place... very near to Meydemahanoowera." Lewis also quotes from Henry Marshall's Ceylon, which offers these additional details: "It appears that the few Malabar attendants remaining with the King made some resistance, and wounded one of the assailants under the command of Eheylopola, on which the party fired upon the house. The King then appeared and delivered himself up. His pursuers forthwith bound and plundered him of whatever articles of value he had on his person."

The stolen garments of the king Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe and the blood soaked garments of the queen Venkathi Rangammal was taken home by the Kiriporuwe Mohottala and hidden inside a wooden chest. This chest (with its contents) after being owned by several generations were recovered by teacher in 1930's (after about 115 years) who followed a story he heard in the village. In 1941 these cloths (including the blood soaked blouse) were handed over to the National Museum of Sri Lanka and even today these clothes show the cruel ending of the last king of a proud nation.

Source : www.greatmirror.com / Lankadeepa 22 July 2007

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Home > Heritage > Kandy > Place where King Sri Wikrama Rajasinghe was Captured

Created July 22, 2007
Updated August 26, 2007
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