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  • Uppalavanna

The god to whom Sakka entrusted the guardianship of Lankā and its people. He met Vijaya and his followers when they landed in Ceylon and sprinkled water on them and wound a sacred thread about their hands for protection (Mhv.vii.5). The god is generally identified with Visnu, though there is evidence to show that, at least in later mythology, the two gods were distinct. Somewhere about A.D. 790, a shrine was erected to Uppalavanna in Devanagara (modern Dondra) in South Ceylon. This shrine was later plundered by the Portuguese. King Vīrabāhu offered there a sacrifice of victory (Cv.lxxxiii.49; see also Cv.Trs.ii.152, n.3) and Parakkamabāhu II. rebuilt the shrine.


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