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"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

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Tamilnation > Tamilnation Library> Eelam Section > Yalpana Vaipava Malai or the History of Kingdom of Jaffna - Matakal Mayilvakanap Pulavar


Yalpana Vaipava Malai or the History of Kingdom of JaffnaDedication

To the Memory of Percival Ackland Dyke, Esq.

Who, During His Long, Wise And Upright Administration,
As Government Agent Of The Northern Province,
While Maintaining The Munificence And Splendour
of an Eastern Prince,


On What Had Once Been The Ancient Kingdom Of Jaffna

Those Blessings Of Peace And Happiness,
Which It Had Never Before, Nor Has Ever Since Enjoyed,

This Book Is Humbly


The Translator.


The Vaipavamalai pages 1-58



The Nagas

Kasi Kandam

Thiruvathavurar puranam Skanda-purana

Thirikonasala-puranam Yalpanach-chariththiram 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...

The Pagnchangkam

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 Tamil original.

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 Kathirai-malai.

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 contempt.

 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....  



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