Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, Sri Lanka

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Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte, or Kotte, is the legislative, administrative and judicial capital of Sri Lanka, lying some 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s commercial capital.


Kotte was originally a kingdom under the suzerainty of the Sinhalese and the capital of Ceylon between 1415–1565. It flourished during the fifteenth century and with the rule of Parakramabahu VI (1412–67), the last native king to unite the whole of the country, it became Ceylon’s capital. After the death of Parakramabahu VI the kingdoms of Jaffna and Kandy broke away from Kotte.

In 1505 a Portuguese fleet, commanded by Lourenço de Almeida, landed at Colombo. A warm reception from the king of Kotte, Vira Parakrama Bahu, encouraged them to establish formal ties with Ceylon and in 1518 they were given trading concessions. In 1521 the kingdom was split between the three sons of Vijayabahu, the then king of Kotte. Fraternal rivalry led to territorial disputes and to the oldest of the...

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