Tissa was the grandson of Pandukhabaya. He was also known as Devanampiya-Tissa, and he was the first Buddhist King of Sri Lanka.

Tissa was a great friend of King Asoka in India. King Asoka, who was a recent convert to Buddhism, sent his son, Mahinda, to Sri Lanka to preach the teachings of Lord Buddha to his friend. Mahinda preached to Tissa and his subjects, and soon they all converted to Buddhism.

Mahinda's sister, Sangamitta, arrived in Sri Lanka a short time afterward. With her, she brought a branch from the Bo-tree under which Lord Buddha gained enlightenment. This was planted in the Maha Meha Vanam (Maha Meha Garden) in Anuradhapura.

King Tissa built Thuparama, which was the first dagoba in Sri Lanka, and Isurumuniya, a rock temple.

He also built the Tissa Wewa tank, which was used to provide Anuradhapura with water.


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