Kavan Tissa, also known as Kavantissa, Kaha Wan Thissa,(that means who has the color of golden body). was the king of the Kingdom of Ruhuna in the southern part of Sri Lanka. He ruled Ruhuna, in the same time as Keleni Tissa of Maya Rata and the usurping Tamil king of Anuradhapura, Elara of South India, expanding and beautifying the city, and projecting the power of his native Rajarata region across the island of Sri Lanka. Kavan Tissa was a great-grandson of King Devanampiyatissa's youngest brother Mahanaga, and also the father of the great Sinhalese King Dutugemunu.
As with his son Dutugemunu, Kavan Tissa's figure is mostly swathed in myth and legend. The main source of information on his life is Mahavamsa, the historical poem about the kings of Sri Lanka, which portrays Kavan Tissa as "devoutly believing in the three gems, [and] he provided the brotherhood continually with... needful things".