Deshamanya Dr. Ajantha Mahanthaarchchi
The Mahanthaarachchi family, who were reputed combatants in the traditional martial art (Angampora ) of Sri Lanka, served in the courts of King Rajasinghe the 1st of Seethawaka as frontline defence forces and was the head of the Korothota Arachchi’s, who were responsible for training the elite special forces of the kings army. Numerous historical sources in Sri Lanka record the deeds of the Korathota Arachchi’s.
This fighting unit displayed tremendous valour during the Battle of Mulleriyawa in 1562. For their acts of bravery, the King ensured that special mention was made in the historical records of his kingdom. In addition they were granted arable and domestic lands as special gifts.
Listed below is a detail of this act from the Royal record books:
“King Rajasinghe summoned the Headmen of Korathota provided them legions of other combatants who entered the battlefield head-on with the enemies enabling the King and his army to travel by the main road and enter the Battelfields of Mulleriyawa and engage directlythe undefeatable Portuguese Army. Due to the grand victory by King Rajasinghe the 1st, who defeated these forces, he summoned these headmen and in recognition of their heroic acts as militants, bestowed on them royal accolades for assisting in the great victory. The battlefield was later named after the Headmen as ‘Hewakam Koralaya’ (Parish of Gladiators).”
Being the one and only living combatant in Sri Lanka who has the aptitude of using “Kastana” swords, the Author represents the seventh generation of Korothota Mahanthaarachchi family of Seethawaka and hails from a lineage over five centuries.
Being a forerunner in the art of Angampora and being decorated with many awards of the State, he is a reputed teacher cum trainer. Due to the great advancements he has brought into the art of Angamora in Sri Lanka, he has been called upon to train the following: Presidential Security Division, Ministry of Defense Security Division, Army Special Forces, Air Force special forces, Police Special Task Force as well as conduct lectures at the Kotelawala Defense Academy for and the commando regiment of the Sri Lanka Army.
Angampora: A Nation’s Legacy in Pictures is the fifth in line of his publications.