A Reign Of Poison And Sociopathy

Lately, Paula has been on a kick reading about early obscure killers. After she wrote her piece about The Story Of The 19th Century Forgotten Cannibal, she decided to go back even earlier. She wants to spotlight those most people would have never heard about.  

An Early Queen With A Taste For Men

This article takes us back to an ancient kingdom that is seen nowadays as part of Sri Lanka. This commentary introduces readers to Queen Anula of Anuradhapura. 

She lived in the kingdom of Anuradhapura. This was a kingdom that ruled over Sri Lanka. Queen Anula has been recorded as the first female of the state in Asia.

Flag of Sri Lanka

Anula’s story starts as a random female who becomes a queen’s consort several times in a row before finally becoming the Queen of Anuradhapura herself. Queen Anula is one of the world’s earliest black widows.

The First Husband’s Fate

During the 1st century BC, the kingdom of Anuradhapura was ruled by Choro Naga, better known as Mahanaga. Choro Naga ruled as king for twelve years and was seen as an evil king who ruled over his subjects with an iron fist. 

Choro Naga was reportedly killed by his wife, Anula, when she poisoned his food. Choro held his wife in low regard, and her affections turned towards a palace guard. She knew with her husband around, she could never be happy. It was said after he died, he was reborn in hell as Lokantariki.

The Second Husband’s Fate

After the death of Choro Naga, his son Kuda Tissa took the throne, and he lasted as king for three years. Again, during the three years, Anula’s love deepened for the palace guard named Siva. 

Anula, using poison, once again killed Tissa. After his death, the palace guard Anula had fallen in love with took to the throne, and Siva was named king. Sadly, his turn as king would be even shorter than Kuda Tissa’s.

The Third Husband’s Fate 

Once a former palace guard and Anula’s lover, Siva moved up in the world. He became King of Anuradhapura. Siva, however, was only able to enjoy his rule as king for one year and two months before falling to his demise at Anula’s poisoning tendencies. 

Buda de Avukana

This was Siva’s fault for falling in love with a black widow. In one way, it was karma for his part in killing the previous two kings. During his reign, Anula fell in love again with a carpenter named Vatuku.

The Fourth Husband’s Fate

Once Siva passed, Anula’s lover Vatuku became king and ruler of Anuradhapura. Like Siva, Vatuku was only given a chance to rule the kingdom for a year and two months before his life was also ended by poisoning. 

Why? Because our Queen Consort Anula had her sights on a new man—a wood carrier who came by the kingdom. His name was Darubathika Tissa. Therefore, she poisoned Vatuku and gave Tissa the throne. 

The Fifth And Sixth Husbands’ Fate

Daruabathika Tissa ruled the kingdom for a year and a half before he succumbed to death by poisoning. 

It does make me wonder how she managed to get away with all these ‘poisoning incidents.’ But it worked for Anula as she fell in love with a new guy called Nillya, who was the braham to the palace priest. 

At the end of the year and a half, Daruabathika would die, and Nillya would be given the throne. Nillya had the shortest reign at six months as, by this time, her desire to become queen was getting stronger. 

The Queen’s Reign’s Fate

Finally, our sociopathic killer was named Queen Anula of Anuradhapura and ruled her kingdom. However, her turn would be over in only four months when Kutakanna Tissa, the second-born son of Choro Naga, returned with an army and seized the throne from Anula. 

After the death of his brother, Kutakanna ran away and became a Buddhist monk as he feared for his life. He knew he could not return to his homeland until he was strong enough to overthrow Anula. 


In the act of revenge for her murders, Kutakanna burned Anula alive in the palace, and Kutakanna became King of Anuradhapura, where he reigned for 32 years. 

Unfortunately, there is not a lot about this time recorded, and Queen Anula of Anuradhapura and what history does know is written in the Mahāvamsa, a chronicle of the history of Sri Lanka in the style of an epic poem written in the Pali Language.

Paula Phillips

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