There was once a ruthless king named Kalantissa in Sri Lanka. Legend has it that he unfairly executed a high priest on the grounds of treason by letting him succumb to death in an enormous pot of boiling oil. The priest’s body was then thrown into the sea. This made the sea gods furious leading to a massive flood.
As the flood hit the land, people rushed to their king to plead for help. Kalantissa called renowned astrologers, but all of them said that to pacify the angry gods, the prettiest virgin of the land needs to be sacrificed. When it was revealed to the king that the girl that was to be sacrificed was, in fact, his daughter, he was unwilling to perform the sacrifice. However, his daughter, Devi voluntarily agreed to give herself up for the sake of her people and her country.
A golden boat was prepared, and Devi was sacrificed in a ceremony to calm the sea gods. Soon after, the gods were pacified, and the water receded to the shore. But fate had something else in store for her. The winds drifted the boat to Hambantota. When the king of Hambantota, Kawantissa got to know of the arrival of Devi, he went to greet her but ended up falling in love with her. They got married, and she was given the status of the chief queen.
Devi proved to be not just a devoted but also a brave queen. She did many charitable and spiritual works as well as assisted the people of her kingdom in war with her unmatchable fighting skills. She also became a proud mother of two sons: King Dutugemunu and King Saddhatissa. Her sons served the nation with the same devotion as their mother. Even today, Viharamaha Devi is considered to be of the greatest heroines in the history of Sri Lanka.