Friday, May 19, 2006

The Ten Giant Warriors of King DutuGamunu the Great

The Best of the Best in the country. Thanks also to the local officials and the regional governors
who noticed them and directed them for further training.

Ten Giants : Giant No:1- NandiMitra : "The Strongest Sri Lankan in History" NandiMitra was a Buddhist nephew of Mitta, a Sinhala General who had defected to the Elara's army during the
invasion. As a teenager he used to light lamps and offer flowers to the sacred Bo-tree and the
Thuparamaya everyday. He noticed that the South Indian mercenaries, officials and traders, behaving without any respect at these holy places. Once he witnessed a South Indian throwing the flowers and stepping on it, to scare a Buddhist pilgrim. During the argument there, NandiMitra said that he would kill as many disrespectful South Indians as he can, and would throw their bodies over the city wall. Once the Elara's intelligence services came to know about his words, he had to flee to the south. There he joined the Lankan Army.

Ten Giants : Giant No:2- Suranimala In a village near the border of the Ruhuna sub kingdom, a
village chief had 7 sons. The youngest son named Nimala, was very well built and looked very strong. But he was a notoriously lazy person who slept most of the time. His friends called him Suranimala because he could gulp down very large amounts of alcohol. After finding out about his quick running, He was directed to the Sinhala king by the local chief. He would be the fastest runner who could run one whole day without a stop, maintaining a speed of 12-15 kilometers per hour.

Ten Giants : Giant No:3- Mahasona In a southern village, Sona, the youngest son of a family of 8
sons, had extraordinary strength. At the age of ten he could uproot a tree with his bare hands. Therefore, His friends called him Maha Sona. He was sent to the king of Lanka for Royal service to the motherland.

Ten Giants : Giant No:4- Gotha Imbara Gotha was the youngest son of a family of 7 sons. He was small made. His brothers cleared the jungle for a cultivation, and left a smaller area for him to clear. Gotha cleared the whole jungle, by uprooting the giant Imbara trees using his hands. His family named him Gotha of Imbara and sent him to the King of Lanka for Royal service.

Ten Giants : Giant No:5- Theraputh Abaya In a village near Kotagala mountains, a villager became a Buddhist monk, leaving his family. Villagers called his son, named Abaya, as Theraputh Abaya, which meant son of a Thero. As he grew up he displayed his outstanding strength. When he was 16 years old, he used an iron rod, 16 meters long and one meter wide, as a tool to cut down big trees. The villagers directed him to the king, for Royal service to the country. He would be one of the two giants who would survive the liberation war.

Ten Giants : Giant No: 6- Bharana He was a village boy from a hunting family, who at the age of ten, could chase rabbits and crush them with a single strike from his foot. When he was 16, he did the same to the wildboar and the deer. Villagers thought that his services could be better utilised for the Royal service and sent him to the king.

Ten Giants : Giant No: 7- Khanja Deva The youngest son of a village family, named Deva, though he had a limp in his foot, could chase buffaloes, grab them by the legs and dash them on the ground. Villagers named him Khanja Deva ( Deva who limps), and sent him for Royal service.

Ten Giants : Giant No: 8- Unmada Pussadeva "The Best marksman of all time"
He grew up in a village near Situl Pavwa. When his father taught him the archery, he realised that his son was no extraordinary human. He sent his son to the Royal service. There he proved shooting at a hair, shooting at the sounds while blindfolded, shooting through 100 skins, shooting through a cart fully loaded with sand, shooting through four inch thick armour plating of iron or copper. He became the best Marksman of Sri Lankan history. He would be one of the two giants who would survive the liberation war.

Pussadeva's Exceptional Heroism in the Battle of Maha Viharaya ( The Last Battle ) Eager to finish the last battle by killing Dutugemunu, Balluka, the leader of the South Indian invasion force, was looking for an opportunity to shoot Dutugemunu dead. Pussadeva's efforts in guarding his king, didn't allow him to do that. Somehow Balluka managed to position himself, so that Dutugemunu was between Pussadeva and himself. Taking advantage of Pussadeva's inability to shoot at him, Balluka shot an arrow aimed at Dutugemunu's mouth. He was so sure of success that he shouted to his men that he had shot Dutugemunu in the mouth. As alert Pussadeva shouted at his king, Dutugemunu just managed to cover his face with the shield. Pussadeva, the Best marksman in the country who could shoot through four inch thick armour, took his chances by shooting an arrow at Balluka, though Dutugemunu was in the path of the arrow. Balluka was certain that Pussadeva wasn't able to shoot because Dutugemunu was between them. As Balluka turned around after finishing his war cry, this arrow pierced through his mouth, lifting his body from the ground. As he fell dead backwards, Pussadeva shouted at his king to jump up, and shot a second arrow at Balluka's knees, to stop Balluka falling with his feet turned towards the Lankan king. As the powerful arrow smashed his knees, Balluka's body fell forward, with his head towards the king of Lanka. As Pussadeva turned towards Dutugemunu he saw blood on king's face. The first arrow had grazed the Royal ear. Pussadeva was so upset that he immediately punished himself by cutting his own ear. A surprised Dutugemunu told him that he shouldn't punish himself for an accident that wasn't intentional.

Ten Giants : Giant No: 9- Labhiya Vasabha He was one of the most handsome young men in the country. While repairing a reservoir the villagers noticed that he had the strength of 12 men, and directed him to Royal service.

Ten Giants : Giant No: 10- Velu Sumana " Best Horse rider in History " He was the oldest and the only giant to serve in the Lankan army at the time of the birth of the prince Gemunu. Once a local chief couldn't control the strongest horse he had. A village boy, who was well known in his village for horsemanship, came and calmed down the horse. The chief noticed that the horse riding skills of this young man could be better utilised in the service of the motherland, and directed him to the king of Lanka. there he became the best horse rider in the recorded history of Sri Lanka. it was recorded that he rode his horse so fast in a circle, that the onlookers could see several men riding a horse.

End of the Giant Warriors

After the battle of Kahagalagama ( please read 161 BC in the chronological history for details) was over, history mentions only two names of the original ten giants. It is quite possible that eight giant warriors died, bringing victory, peace and harmony for ALL Sri Lankans. But they will continue to live ONLY in the hearts and minds of the Sinhalese. Generations of Sinhalese children will cherish the memories of their true heroes, while many non-Sinhalese would fall victim to the sinister anti-Dutugemunu campaigns and forget them. These giant warriors were what, Nights of the round table were to the true British, and what Samurais were to the Japanese, and what the Shaolin monks were to the Chinese. They set an example for the future generations to protect the motherland. May be that was why sinister propagandists wanted to bury these legends.

Wishes of the Last Two surviving Giant Warriors History mentions only two names of the original ten giants after the country was liberated. The other eight must have probably sacrificed their lives in the terrible battles fought against much more powerful ruthless South Indian professional, experienced mercenaries. They died for ALL Sri Lankans. It was similar to the legend of the King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table ( 500AD) where only 3 out of 140 knights survived at the end. Theraputh Abaya requested King's permission to become a Buddhist monk again. He wanted to continue his battle for eternal truth and eternal peace. Pussa Deva was rewarded with a state pension for him to live a quite comfortable life in retirement. They were the last of the legendary ten giants. Of them, only Theraputh Abaya would be alive when King Dutugemunu dies in 24 years.


Jayanidu Amarasinghe said...

Respect for you for posting this useful information in the history of Sri Lanka.It was really useful and accurate.

John said...

Who was Pussadeva maharahathan wahanse?

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this kniwledge, but there are some more details to include.