The Vaipavamalai pages 1-58
Thiruvathavurar puranam Skanda-purana
Puthaththampi-nadakam The Vinea Taprobanea The Kalveddu
The Kayilaya malai
The origin of the Singhalese, Tamil, Moorish and Malay
inhabitants of Ceylon The Moors
The Colombo Chetties
The Tamils of Jaffna...
Glossary and index ...
The Author's Preface.
At the request of the illustrious Dutch Governor Maccara,
this work, in Tamil prose, was undertaken by Mayilvakanan, a
descendant of the celebrated Vaiya, the author of the poem "
Para-rasa-sekeran-ula" and the chronicle " Rasa-murai", made in
the reign of king Seka-rasa-sekaran, out of materials collected
from " the Kayilasa-malai" and other ancient works.
The Translator's Preface.
This is a free translation, but it preserves, to a great
extent, the modes of thought and expression peculiar to the
In the transliteration. of foreign names into English, the
translator has not been able to follow any method. The same name
is differently spelt and pronounced by different writers,
according as they adopt the Tamil, Singhalese, or Sanscrit form.
All that is known of the author is what he says of himself in
his preface. The Governor Maccara, of whom he speaks, was Jan
Maccara who was Governor of the Dutch possessions of Ceylon in
1736. And there is sufficient internal evidence to show that the
author lived about that time, but the bold language in which the
policy of the Dutch is described and the prophecies which the
work contains, relating to the English, must be regarded as
interpolations of a later date.
The work is looked upon as one of great authority among the
Tamils of Jaffna, and there are several manuscript copies of it
extant in the peninsula.
The Appendix and the Glossary which are added to this
translation will, it is hoped, be found useful not merely
towards a right understanding of the author, but as explaining
points of general interest connected with the history and
literature of the Island.
July 10th, 1879.
From pages 1-3 It is related in the ithihasas and
puranas that the Rakshasas held Langka during the first three
yugas of the world. Tradition adds that Vibhishana, who received
the kingdom from Dasarata Rama, the conqueror of Ravana,
continued to reign up to and during the early part of the
present yoga, and that when Vibhishana was taken up to heaven,
the Rakshasas quitted Langka from fear of foreign subjugation.
About two thousand four hundred years ago, Singha-bahu
a Kshattriya of Range was king of Lade. His eldest son,
Vijaya-kumara, a lawless youth, rendered himself extremely
hateful to his countrymen, and was in consequence expelled the
kingdom. The exile wandered from place to place in search of an
asylum, but he found none.
When at last he reached Kashi he was informed in a dream that
Langka was assigned to him for a heritages and that he should go
thither and establish himself at Kathirai-malai in the centre of
the country. He went accordingly, and took with him, besides his
usual retinue, a priest of the name of Nilakanda-acharya a
Brahman of Kashi. The Brahman was accompanied by his whole
family, which consisted of his wife, Akilanda-valli-ammal, and
his eons and daughters with their wives and husbands. The
expedition safely reached its destination, and advancing into
the heart of the country took up its residence at
In those days Langka was a great wilderness, inhabited only
by the Vedar and wild animals. There were no human beings in it.
And Vijaya-raja (for raja i.e. king he now undoubtedly was) made
constant efforts to obtain colonists from the adjacent
countries, From Kanya-kumari to the Himalaya mountains, all
despised "the country of the Rahshasas", as they termed Lanka in
The baffled king turned his thoughts to the Buddhists of
Diagadha, who had been driven from their country by reason of
their having embraced Buddhism. Some of them had already found
permanent seats in the countries lying to the North of the
Himalaya mountains ; but others, who had travelled eastward and
crossed the Brahmaputtra, were as yet leading a wandering life
in Siam and other parts of Burma.
Vijaya-raja went to Siam, and successfully induced a number
of those wanderers to follow him into the new kingdom. He placed
them in various parts of the country, and gave them liberty to
follow their own faith. In process of time these Buddhists came
to be called Singhalese from the fact of their inhabiting
Singhalam.—" Singhalam'' being another name for "Langka."
Vijaya-raja did not himself profess Buddhism, but he only
tolerated it as a means of peopling the country, He was a
staunch worshipper of Siva: and began his reign by dedicating
his city to that god and building four Sivalayams as a
protection for the four quarters.of his infant kingdom :
—In the East he erected Konesar-koyil at Thampala-kamam: In
the West he re-built Thiruk-kethich-churan-koyil, which had long
been then in ruins : In the South he raised
Santhira-sekaran-koyil at Maththurai : and on the North he
constructed Thiruththampa-lesuran-koyil and
Thiruth-thampa-tesuvari-ammankoyil at Thiruth-thampalai,at the
foot of Kirimalai.
Near the last mentioned two koyils be caused a third to be
built which he dedicated to Kathirai-andavar. Over these three
temples he appointed Vamatheva-acharya, the third son of the
Kashi-brahman, Nila-kanda-acharya, to be priest, and assigned to
him and his wife, Visalakshi-ammal, a habitation in the
neighbourhood, which he had carefully supplied with everything
necessary for their comfort.
From the circumstance of there being three koyils at
Thiruth-thampalai its name was changed into iroyil-kadavai.
Koyil-kadavai was the scene of the meditations austerities
of Nakula-muni, a holy sage, who lived in a cave at the foot of
Nakula-malai, a hill so called after him. Nakulam means a
mongoose, and the muni was so named from the resemblance which
his face bore to that of a mongoose....