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Yapahuwa was one of the ephemeral capitals of medieval Sri Lanka.
The rock fortress complex of Yapahuwa is situated in the Wayamba province of Sri Lanka. About 4 km southeast of the town and railway station of Maho, midway between Kurunegala and Anuradhapura. The original name of this Buddhist Heritage site isYapawwa though now often called as Yapahuwa which is a kind of distortion of its genuine etymological sense.
In 1272, King Bhuvenakabahu transferred the capital from Polonnaruwa to Yapahuwa in the face of Dravidian invasions from South India, bringing the Sacred Tooth Relic with him. Following the death of King Bhuvenakabahu in 1284, the Pandyans of South India invaded Sri Lanka once again, and succeeded in capturing Sacred Tooth Relic. Following its capture, Yapahuwa was largely abandoned and inhabited by Buddhist monks and religious ascetics.