King of Ceylon (377-307 B.C.).
He was the son of Dighagāmanī and Ummāda Cittā and was protected from death in infancy by Citta and Kālavela, who afterwards became Yakkhas.
He was brought up by a man in Dvāramandalaka, but several times his uncles, discovering his whereabouts, tried to kill him, for it had been foretold that he would slay his uncles in order to obtain possession of the kingdom.
At the age of sixteen he was apprenticed to the brahmin Pandula, who taught him various arts and provided him later with the necessary money for an army. Pandula's son, Canda, was given as friend and counsellor to Pandukābhaya. Pandukābhaya married, by force, a maiden named Suvannapālī, and declared war upon his uncles, all of whom, except the eldest, Abhaya, had determined to slay him. With the help of the Yakkhinī Cetiyā, who dwelt in Dhūmarakkhapabbata, Pandukābhaya made all preparations for a final campaign against his uncles.
For four years he lived in Dhūmarakkha, and then for seven in Aritthapabbata. Following the counsel of Cetiyā, he enticed his uncles into a trap, and slew them and their followers at Lābugāmaka. He then proceeded to Anurādhagāma, where he set up his capital, which, thenceforward, came to be called Anurādhapura. His uncle, Abhaya, was made Nagaraguttika, and to him was given over the government of the city by night.
After establishing peace in the land, Pandukābhaya proceeded to lay out his capital as a city, and among the buildings which he erected were hermitages for the Niganthas Jotiya, Giri and Kumbhanda, and dwellings for the ājīvakas, the brahmins, etc. He also marked out the boundaries of the villages throughout the island. He ruled for seventy years, and died at the age of 107. He was succeeded by his son Mutasīva. Mhv.ix.28; x.1ff.; xi.1; Dpv.v.69, 81; x.9; xi.1 12.