Dharmapala of Kotte

Dharmapala or Dom João Dharmapala Peria Bandara (1541 – May 27, 1597) was last king of the Kingdom of Kotte, in present-day Sri Lanka, from 1551 until May 27, 1597. He is also known as Dom João Dharmapala, the first Christian king in Sri Lankan history.[1][2] He is widely known as the last true King and ruler of the capital city Kotte; under Portuguese military occupation, he attempt to reorganise his military and pursue a treaty with the Portuguese to save the Sinhalese Kingdom.

Dharmapala of Sri Lanka
King of Kotte
Reign1551 – May 27, 1597
PredecessorBhuvanekabahu VII
Royal Palace, Kotte
DiedMay 27, 1597 (aged 55/56)
Portuguese Fort, Colombo
ConsortDona Catarina
Dona Margarida
Dona Isabel
Dom João Dharmapala Peria Bandara
HouseHouse of Siri Sanga Bo
DynastyKingdom of Kotte
FatherLord Veediya Bandara
MotherCrown Princess Samudra Devi
ReligionRoman Catholicism prev. Theravada Buddhism
SignatureDharmapala of Sri Lanka's signature


Dom João Dharmapala was born as the eldest child of Weediye Bandara, a Prince from Madampe and his wife Samudra Devi, daughter of King Bhuvanekabãhu VII the King of Kotte. His exact date of birth is unknown, but the year is commonly regarded as 1541. A golden statue was sent to Portugal to be crowned by the Portuguese. It was sent by his predecessor King Buwanekabahu VII.

King Dharmapala's decedents include the Goonewardene & Rodrigo family's of Kalutara who are of Karava cast.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Fernando, Mario (2007). Spiritual Leadership in the Entrepreneurial Business: A Multifaith Study. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 9781847208613. Retrieved 26 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Portuguese encounter with King of Kotte in 1517". Denis N. Fernando. Retrieved 15 October 2015.

External linksEdit

Dharmapala of Kotte
Born: ? ? Died: May 27 1597
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Bhuvanekabahu VII
King of Kotte
Succeeded by