History states that the King of Ruhunu Kingdom is King Mahanaga, great grandfather of King Kavantissa. The history outlines that King Mahanaga left the Anuradhapura capital after hearing an attempted assassination by the queen. The queen knowing that the throne was in line to Prince Mahanaga planned to poison Prince Mahanaga, so that his own son Devanampiyatissa can held the throne. Her coup to kill Prince Mahanaga turned to his own son who got poisoned and was killed. Prince Mahanaga fled away and made his way to Ruhunu. Prince Mahanaga's wife gave birth to a son at a place near the capital Magama. They named the prince Tissa, later he was known as Yatala Tissa.
It is believed that King Yatala Tissa built the Yatala Vehera (temple) marking his birth place. Some stories mentions that King Mahanaga built the Yatala Vehera (temple) after becoming the ruler of Ruhuna to mark the birth of his son, Yatala Tissa.