According to Mahavamsa and Dipavamsa, written by Buddhist monks of the Anuradhapura Maha Viharaya in Sri Lanka, around the 3-5th century, an ancient treatise written in Pali, the Sinhalese are descendants of the settlers who came to the island in 543 BCE from Sinhapura in India, led by Prince Vijaya.
The Mahavamsa records the origin of the Sinhalese people and related historical events.
Parakramabahu VI in the 15th century was the only Sinhalese king during this time who could bring back the unity of the whole island.
Early recorded history of the Sinhalese is chronicled in two documents, the Mahavamsa, written in Pāli around the 4th century CE, and the much later Culavamsa (probably penned in the 13th century CE by the Buddhist monk Dhammakitti).Upatissa, the Chief government minister or prime minister and leading chief among the Sinhalese became regent and acted as regent for a year.After his coronation, which was held in the Kingdom of Tambapanni, he left it, building another one, bearing his own name.Rulers such as Dutthagamani, Valagamba, and Dhatusena are noted for defeating the South Indians and regaining control of the kingdom.
Other rulers who are notable for military achievements include Gajabahu I, who launched an invasion against the invaders, and Sena II, who sent his armies to assist a Pandyan prince.
Ancient Sinhalese stone sculpture and inscriptions are known worldwide and is a main foreign attraction in modern tourism. Folk poems were sung by workers to accompany their work and narrate the story of their lives.