Polonnaruwa was first established as a military post by the Sinhalese kingdom. And, it was renamed Jananathamangalam by the Chola dynasty after their successful invasion of the country in the 10th century.Under this period systematic destruction of the Buddhist civilisation took place in the northern plains of Sri Lanka. Raja Raja Chola I built Vanavan Mahadevisvaram, a Shiva temple at Polonnaruwa named after his queen, which presently is known as Siva Devale. The temple among other contained Ganesha and Parvati statues of bronze. north and central parts of Sri Lanka was under this period ruled under Rajendra Chola I directly as a Chola province. However, following the year 1070 AD ended the Chola rule in the island, and Polonnaruwa was captured by Vijayabahu I of Polonnaruwa also known as Vijayabahu the great.
Starting from Mahanagakula on the south of the Walawe river, Vijayabahu dispatched three armies to attack Polonnaruwa from three fronts. One army was sent along the western shore of the country to the port of Mahathittha to deal with any reinforcements arriving from South India. Afterwards, part of this army moved towards Polonnaruwa and attacked from the north-west. A second army was sent from the east across Magama to attack Polonnaruwa from the east. The third and main force advanced across the country, led by the king. Surrounded by these three armies, Polonnaruwa was besieged for seven months before king Vijayabahu’s forces entered the city. In 1070, Vijayabahu became the ruler of Polonnaruwa. At that time Sri Lanka was known as Thambapanni.
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