Information About the Royal Family of Jaffna
A Brief History of the Great and Glorious Kingdom of Jaffna
The Great Ruler Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran (I)
of Cevvirukkai Nadu
By the thirteenth century, an Independent Tamil Kingdom was established in (Ilankai) Sri Lanka. It was the most significant period in the History of Jaffna. During the reign of Maravarman Kulasekhara of the Pandya Kingdom. The Arya Cakravarti a Chieftain from the Pandya Kingdom acquired authority in Northern Sri Lanka. Cinkai Ariyan of Cevvirukkai Nadu was the founder of the Arya Cakravarti Dynasty. Cinkai Ariyan was a descendant of a Brahmin General who had mastered the four Vedas and belonged to the Kasyapa Gotra. Cevvirukkai Nadu was the ancestral home of the Arya Cakravarti, Kings of Jaffna and it is located in the coastal region of the present Ramnad district.
The Cekaracacekaramalai, an astrological work in Tamil composed at the beginning of the fourteenth century, records the following tradition concerning the origins of the Cinkai Ariyan. Lord Rama during his exile, killed Viratan, Marican and Vali and uprooted seven great trees with the single aim of his arrow. Thereafter, having bridged the sea, he entered Lanka, defeated Kumpakannan and Iravanan and freed his consort, Sita, from captivity. When Lord Rama with his large army reached Kantamatanam he felt relieved of the sin of having slain the Raksasa. He told of his sense of relief to the sage Agastya of the Potiya Hill. The latter revealed to Lord Rama the sanctity of the site. Lord Rama being impressed by the story established a shrine of Shiva at that site, named it after himself and invited the 512 Ariyar of the five villages and gracefully directed them to officiate at the temple.
Lord Rama invested two of them with the paraphernalia of royalty, granting them the garland of the fragrant Tulasi, the title of the "Arya King" of the faultless scriptures, the beautiful Parasol, the single Conch and the victorious Nandi (bull) standard at Kantamatanam, a locality on the southern extremity of India. The figure of the Nandi with the Crescent and the Sun, the Conch and the Parasol was designed on the royal flags, banners, royal crest and royal seal. Among the ruling families of South India and Sri Lanka only the Sethupathy’s of Ramnad and the Arya Cakravartis had connections with Cetu. The legend “Cetu” is written in Tamil characters and the figure of the Nandi with the Crescent and the Sun were embossed on the coins and they had used the expression Cetu in their documents.
The Arya Cakravarti Dynasty had commenced and they were wealthy and enlightened rulers. The historical evidence of the existence of the Kingdom of Jaffna over four centuries, from the 13 to the 16 century, is ample based on local and foreign sources. The Kingdom of Jaffna was known thus because the centre of its power was the Jaffna Peninsula. Though its political boundaries shifted with its changing fortunes, it generally embraced the limits occupied by the Tamil speaking people. Within a few years of its establishment, cultural dividing lines and political frontiers almost coincided. Hence, interchangeably the Kingdom of Jaffna is also referred to as the Tamil Kingdom. More importantly, it began a separate existence as one of the political entitles in the island and entered the struggles with the other Kingdoms for political power.
During the height of its power and prosperity during this period, under the Arya Cakravartis, it was the dominant and most powerful Kingdom in the Island and it was under a separate administration. The Arya Cakravartis were powerful both in the sea and on land. The Tamils have lived in Sri Lanka since pre historic times. The Tamils had occupied the island much earlier and there is literary, archaeological and epigraphic evidence for these settlements.
Cinkai Ariyan commenced the task of building a capital town. He made Nallur the Capital of the Kingdom of Jaffna and fortified the town. This was also known as Cinkai Nagar. It was comprehensive with all its ramparts, gates, towers, beautiful palaces for royalty, temples, mansions for ministers, dwellings for Brahmins and warriors, akkiraram (residence for priests), flower gardens, stables for elephants and horses and chariots were built by skilled artisans. Cinkai Ariyan decided to establish a Royal Residence at Nallur Rajadhani after his arrival from Madurai. Cinkai Ariyan ordered the construction of the Royal Palace and the foundation stone of the palace was laid on an auspicious day and time suggested by the astrologers. The beautiful Palace was surrounded by strong fortified walls on all the four sides. The Imperial Throne adorned with ivory, gold and precious stones, with a white pearl parasol behind it was placed in the Coronation Hall. Cinkai Ariyan made a triumphant ceremonial entry into his city, with his Arasi Thilakavathiyar at an auspicious hour. He was adorned with a profusion of jewels and the anklets of heroism. The victorious Nandi flag waved majestically in the air and the coronation ceremony was accompanied with great pomp and splendour as was characteristic of that period. At the Durbar, Cinkai Ariyan was seated on his Imperial Throne. On one arm, he held the ritual sword, the sign of regal authority and on the other the mace which was the symbol of power. He was surrounded by his ministers, nobility and his subjects when he received anointment at the hands of the Chief Priest (purohitar) who showered blessings on him.
Cinkai Ariyan upon coronation, he adopted the throne name of "Cekaracacekaran". Later he mounted an elephant that was specially decorated for the occasion and accompanied by courtiers, officers, units of the army and musicians, he was taken in procession along the main streets of the city. The subjects who had gathered along the main thoroughfares were exceedingly delighted on seeing him and felt relieved of the miseries to which they have been subjected until that time. They paid homage with due respect and prayed for the King’s prosperity and long life.
The Arasan after ascending the throne, appointed as his Chief Minister Puvaneka Vaku, a learned and eminent Brahmin from Madurai and made him reside at Nallur. Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran built a temple dedicated to the Lord Kailayanathar, after completing the construction of the Sri Kailasanathar Temple of the Royal Court under his personal direction. The first Kumbhabhishekam of the Kailasanathar Temple was performed by Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran and he used it as his private shrine, were he worshipped day and night and thus it became the third Kayilayam. The Arya Cakravarti, Kings of Jaffna, were Saivites and the thirteenth century built the Royal Temple still stands in Nallur Rajadhani in Jaffna. Cinkai Ariyan also built many other Hindu Temples during his reign. He then made a request for pioneer settlers from the Tamil Nadu. At his request some Vellala Chieftains with their families and dependants were sent to Jaffna by the Tamil Kings of South India. Cinkai Ariyan settled them in different parts of the Peninsula. These Chiefs were not only settled in different villages but were also made Chiefs in their respective villages. The Pandya inscriptions too, show that the Arya Cakravarti, Kings of Jaffna, were the descendants of Brahmin Generals who had earned great honour and distinction in military service under the Pandyas. Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran reigned over the Kingdom of Jaffna from the capital town of Nallur, and restored order and stability in the Kingdom of Jaffna.
The Arya Cakravarti, Kings of Jaffna, adopted the alternate throne names of "Cekaracacekaran" and "Pararacacekaran" following similar customs among the Chola and Pandya Dynasties. Their regime lasted 403 years from 1215. The first twelve monarchs, who succeeded their fathers, were independent monarchs of the Kingdom of Jaffna. The rest of the Kings of Jaffna ruled under the suzerainty of the Portuguese and the Throne of Jaffna was usurped twice by relatives.
Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran reigned (1215-1240) after his death he was succeeded by his son Kulasekara.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Kulasekara reigned (1240-1256) who took the throne name of Pararacacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Kulottunga reigned (1256-1279) Kulasekara was succeeded by his son Kulottunga under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Vikkrama reigned (1279-1302) on the death of Kulottunga, his son Vikkrama succeeded under the throne name of Pararacacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Varotaya reigned (1302-1325) after the death of Vikkrama, his son Varotaya ascended the throne under the name of Cekaracacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Marttanta reigned (1325-1348) with the death of Varotaya his son Marttanta ascended the throne under the name of Pararacacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Kunapusana reigned (1348-1371) when Marttanta died, his son Kunapusana succeeded him under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Virotaya reigned (1371-1380) succeeded his father Kunapusana under the throne name of Pararacacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Jeyavira reigned (1380-1410) on the death of Virotaya, his infant son Jeyavira succeeded him under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Kunavira reigned (1410-1440) when Jeyavira died his son Kunavira succeeded him under the throne name of Pararacacekaran.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Kanagasuriya reigned (1440-1450) after the death of Kunavira, his son Kanagasuriya succeeded him under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran. His chief queen bore him two sons, Ilavarasan Pararacacekaran and Ilavarasan Cekaracacekaran. Later, both brothers decided to abbreviate their hereditary title of Cinkai Ariyan to Cinkai, accordingly becoming known as Cinkai Pararacacekaran and Cinkai Cekaracacekaran.
Kanagasuriya Cekaracacekaran was a brave monarch and during the early part of his rule, relationship between him and Maharaja Parakrama Bahu (VI) of Kotte became stained. The King of Kotte sent an expedition against him which was strongly resisted. This battle took place in many stages. Firstly, the tributaries to the Kingdom of Jaffna in the Vanni area, namely the Vanniar Chieftains of the Vannimai were neutralised. Kanagasuriya Cekaracacekaran in order to save his subjects from the ravages of a protracted war, wisely withdrew with his family to South India.
Chempaha Perumal alias Sapumal Kumaraya, ruled the Kingdom of Jaffna on behalf of the Kingdom of Kotte, (1450-1467) for 17 years.
After 17 years in exile in South India, Kanagasuriya Cekaracacekaran came back with an army and Ilavarasan Pararacacekaran showed much valour in the defeat of Vijaya Bahu and his forces and displayed great skill in regaining the Kingdom of Jaffna for his father. Kanagasuriya Cekaracacekaran, after he regained his Kingdom in 1467, resolved at first to relieve the sufferings of his subjects from ravages of the war. He laid out plans for the proper construction of the new city of Nallur, and divided it into well-marked divisions to house the different classes of citizens consisting of priests, merchants, artisans, soldiers, seamen etc. After ruling for some years, Kanagasuriya Cekaracacekaran handed over the administration of the Kingdom of Jaffna to his eldest son Ilavarasan Pararacacekaran and lived in retirement till his demise.
CINKAI ARYA CAKRAVARTI PARARACACEKARAN (1478-1519)
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Pararacacekaran before ascending the throne in 1478 had married Raja Lakshmi Ammal of the Chola Dynasty (while in India) who later became his chief queen. She bore him two sons, Paddaththukkuriya Ilavarasan Singha Bahu and Ilavarasan Pandaram. He had also wed Valliammai, daughter of Arasakesari, who belonged to the Pandi Malavan clan, known as the "Mudithotta Vellalar", (it was customary for royal Princes to take their brides from high caste Vellala families), as his second wife. Valliammai had four children, the eldest son, Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan, the second son was placed on the throne of Jaffna in 1565, in the same year he was assassinated, the name of the Ilavarasan is not known, Ilavarasan Kasi Nayinar and a daughter, Ilavarasi Maragathavalli. His third wife Mangathammal of the Manava Family, she bore him a son, Ilavarasan Cankili and a daughter, Ilavarasi Paravai. Arasakesari was an eminent Royal Scholar who lived in Nallur, and was a nephew of Cinkai Pararacacekaran. He became the Monarch’s son-in-law by marring Ilavarasi Maragathavalli and the place where they lived is even now called "Arasakesari Vallavu".
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Pararacacekaran ascended the throne in 1478 and reigned until 1519. He was the most successful of the Kings of Jaffna and when he ascended the throne in 1478, his regime became the "Golden Era" of the Kingdom of Jaffna. He was spiritual and is remembered for his services to Saivaism and he paid homage at every temple in his Kingdom.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Pararacacekaran had rebuilt the old Hindu Temples that had been destroyed during Sapumal Kumararya’s invasion. Among them were the Veyilukantha Pillaiyar Temple, Veeramakaliamman Temple, Sattanathar Temple and Kailayanathar Temple. He also reconstructed the Yamuna Eri and built new temples for the well being of his subjects. One of them is the well known Sri Pararacacekara Pillaiyar Temple at Inuvil in Jaffna.
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Pararacacekaran’s sons, Paddaththukkuriya Ilavarasan Singha Bahu, Ilavarasan Pandaram, Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan and Ilavarasan Cankili were well educated and grew up to become able Princes. But the golden era sadly moved on to lamentable later years. Paddaththukkuriya Ilavarasan Singha Bahu was found poisoned and he died in his young age. Ilavarasan Cankili was greatly suspected of having administered poison to his elder stepbrother. Following the tragic death of Paddaththukkuriya Ilavarasan Singha Bahu, Cinkai Pararacacekaran made his second son, Ilavarasan Pandaram who was next in line of succession, Paddaththukkuriya Ilavarasan.
Cinkai Pararacacekaran to over come his grief at the loss of his eldest son, the King entrusted the Kingdom to his second son Paddaththukkuriya Ilavarasan Pandaram and went on a pilgrimage with Ilavarasan Cankili to Kumbakonam in South India. Ilavarasan Cankili was a very mischievous lad. For some trouble created by Ilavarasan Cankili at Kumbakonam, the Chola Arasan imprisoned Ilavarasan Cankili, his father Cinkai Pararacacekaran and his entourage. Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan heard of their distress and he departed with an army and liberated his father, brother and the guards. Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan had fought valiantly and won the battle. Cinkai Pararacacekaran became very found of Ilavarasan Paranirupansinghan. The King on his return to Jaffna rewarded him for his good services, conferred upon Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan seven large villages and had this bestowal engraved on a copper plate. Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan became the Chieftain of the seven villages of Kallyankadu, Sandiliypay, Araly, Achchuveli, Udupiddy, Kachchai and Mallagam.
When the Queen of Kandy was suffering from a chronic stomach ailment. The King of Kandy requested from Cinkai Pararacacekaran to send a reputed physician to treat his queen. Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan was very competent in medicine like his uncle Ilavarasan Cinkai Cekaracacekaran. Cinkai Pararacacekaran sent Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan to treat the long standing aliment of the Queen of Kandy. Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan cured the queen’s aliment with just one medication. The King of Kandy was pleased and he gave Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan many valuable gifts.
Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan, the third and favourite son, whom Cinkai Pararacacekaran wished to appoint as his successor. Ilavarasan Cankili (I) was very jealous of the precedence given to Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan. When Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan was away in Kandy to treat a long standing stomach ailment of the Queen of Kandy, Ilavarasan Cankili (I) was planning to become the King of Jaffna before Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan returned from Kandy. Ilavarasan Cankili (I) ambushed and stabbed to death the Paddaththukkuriya Ilavarasan Pandaram when he was taking a walk alone in the royal gardens. Ilavarasan Cankili seized the throne and proclaimed himself King of Jaffna. In 1519, he ascended the throne of Jaffna, by winning the support of the army, adopting the royal name of Cankili Cekaracacekaran. Though the aged Cinkai Pararacacekaran was then living, he was old and helpless for he himself feared his son Ilavarasan Cankili. Cinkai Pararacacekaran spent his later years as a humble individual. However to this date there are no records of the first and second Crown Princes descendants.
CINKAI ARYA CAKRAVARTI CANKILI RAJA (I) CEKARACACEKARAN (1519-1565)
Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran reigned from 1519-1565, he had queens and concubines. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran had six sons, Ilavarasan Martyr died in Jaffna, Ilavarasan Dom Joao, (sent to Goa), Ilavarasan Dom Luis (sent to Goa), the fourth Ilavarasan (son) name not known, was given as a hostage to the Portuguese, he died in Goa in 1571, Ilavarasan Periya Pillai Pandaram and Cankili Raja (I) also had an illegitimate son named Puvi Raja Pandaram by one of his Kalla Iraasaisthirii (concubines).
Returning from Kandy, the enraged Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan fruitlessly attempted to regain the throne as the lawful heir. The Realm belonged by right to Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan, it had been tyrannically usurped from him. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran persuaded Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan to be his Chief Minister. Cankili Cekaracacekaran offered to be the King only in name and let Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan run the Kingdom as the Chief Minister. He had no choice but to function as a Chief Minister. When Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran had strengthened his position on the throne, gradually he began to break his assurances given to his brother and thereby antagonized him. He also put to death the supporters of the lawful heirs. Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan had a son named Ilavarasan Pararajasinghan he was appointed by Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan as the Chief of the Seven Villages. Cankili Cekaracacekaran also interfered with Ilavarasan Pararajasinghan’s administration of the Seven Villages. But Cankili Cekaracacekaran’s verbal promises were short lived. He brought the officials and the military under his control and stopped granting Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan a portion of the royal income, choosing to pay him instead a salary as Chief Minister. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran stripped them of their royal titles, and he gave them instead the title of "Mudali" borne by the Velars of the North and accordingly recorded their names as Paranirupasinghan Mudali and Pararajasinghan Mudali. The title of Mudali thereafter continued to be bestowed on the descendants of Paranirupasinghan and Pararajasinghan. During the Portuguese rule, Mudali was further devalued as it came denote the title of an administrative officer. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran thus successfully managed to separate and isolate them from being royal heirs.
In 1505 the first Portuguese arrived in Ceylon. It should be remembered that the Portuguese came to the East for "Spices and Christians". During the early years of the 16 century the Portuguese did not show any keen interest in the affairs of Jaffna and the Portuguese intervention in the affairs of Jaffna occurred for the first time in 1543. The Kingdom of Jaffna had not been disturbed by the Portuguese until Christian converts in the Island of Mannar. The Island of Mannar was in early times the hereditary property of the Kadeyas, and exclusively occupied by them, subject to the King of Jaffna. In 1544, when the Roman Catholic Religion was first introduced into the Island by missionaries send by St. Francis Xavier, the Kadeyas were the first to embrace it, which raised a great persecution against them.
At this time a priest, who went under the name of Francis Xavier, was sent by St. Francis Xavier from India to Mannar to preach to the people. This move was made without the King’s permission, but the priest was successful in winning converts to his faith. The fact, that Christian priests were making conversions in Mannar, was reported by Hindu Priests to Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran. They said to him that unless he took prompt action he would soon find himself without a Kingdom for the new converts were worshipping an unknown God in place of their native Gods and Goddesses.
Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran being a strong Hindu, upon hearing of this conversion reacted angrily and violently, marched with a military force to Mannar and had the six hundred of the new converts beheaded, for having embraced Christianity. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran issued a proclamation that no priest of any other religion than the Hindu should approach the shores of the Island.
Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran’s persecution of the Christians in Mannar should be judged in the light of the period in which he lived. It was the period when Tudor Monarchs persecuted those that differed from them in their faith. It was also the age, when the ruler of France ordered the massacre of French Hugenots. Such was the age in which Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran lived.
After the gruesome killings at Mannar by Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran, an internal revolt broke out in the city of Nallur to remove Cankili Cekaracacekaran from power and enthrone Paranirupasinghan Mudali the rightful heir to the throne. Meantime Cankili Cekaracacekaran captured and beheaded some of the Christians whom he suspected were members of the conspiracy. He also took steps to have Paranirupasinghan Mudali arrested and subjected to similar brutality. Paranirupasinghan Mudali in fear of his stepbrother Cankili Cekaracacekaran escaped to Mylapore and from there he took the coastal route to Goa and sought help from the Portuguese. The Portuguese Viceroy received him warmly and promised to grant him all the help he could to capture the Kingdom of Jaffna. Paranirupasinghan Mudali was later accommodated in St. Paul’s Church in Goa, and he lived in the church till his death.
Paranirupasinghan Mudali embraced Christianity in the hope of regaining the throne of Jaffna, but finally he never got an opportunity to ascend the throne of the Kingdom of Jaffna. Paranirupasinghan Mudali’s death took place before Cankili Cekaracacekaran. After Paranirupasinghan Mudali’s death, his son Pararajasinghan Mudali was appointed the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Jaffna, by the Portuguese. He was well respected by the people and was held in high esteem. Pararajasinghan Mudali had eight children, seven sons and one daughter. When he became the Prime Minister, he distributed the Seven Villages to his sons and daughter.
1) Alakanmaivalla Mudali, Nallur and Kallyankadu; 2) Thanabalasingha Mudali, Mallagam; 3) Vetrivelayutha Mudali, Sandilipay; 4) Vijayathevendra Mudali, Araly; 5) Thidaveerasingha Mudali, Achchuveli; 6) Chandrasekara Mudali, Udupiddy; 7) Rajaratna Mudali, Kachchai. The seven sons settled down in their respective villages and became the administrative officers (Mudali’s) of the villages. He granted the village of Mathagal to his daughter Ilavarasi Vethavalli, and married her off to Thanabala Mudali, the Vellala Chief of Mathagal, son of Rajendra Mudali.
According to Rev. S. Gnanaprakasar, the youthful son of Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran was brought to the knowledge of Jesus Christ through a Portuguese merchant named Andre de Souza, who in connection with his traffic, paid frequent visits to the Palace. He wrote from Goa to the authorities in Portugal, under date 15 November 1545 thus: Finding myself in Ceilao (Ceylon) by order of D. Martim Alo de Souse, I sought for a long time to make the son of the King of Ceilao a Christian. Andre de Souza was trying to take with him to Goa for his baptism. When King Cankili had intelligence of it and had him treacherously murdered. He then ordered his body to be burnt with much ceremony, according to usage. God caused many miracles to be wrought on this occasion: the earth quaked and there was seen in the heavens a Cross as large as a mast and on the spot where he was burnt, the earth opened in the form of a Cross also. The King, hearing of this had these openings closed; but they reappeared in the form of a Cross every time they were covered. This became the occasion for the conversion of many people.
Cankili Cekaracacekaran sought to kill another son of his and a son of his sister, the heir to his Crown of Principality, because they were fully persuaded to become Christians in the country itself under the eyes of the King, but Cankili Cekaracacekaran’s sister Ilavarasi Paravai was a superior intelligence and of indomitable courage. She saved them both wisely; for having summoned them soon after that miracle took place on the death of the young Ilavarasan, she asked them if they wished to be baptised and they boldly saying yes, she arranged with the Portuguese who had interred her Martyr nephew, that he should very secretly take these two young Ilavarasans to Goa. As the royal princes were rather backward in their studies, St. Francis Xavier sent them to Goa to St. Paul’s College. The King of Portugal took personal interest in their welfare. Later they embrace Christianity and the princes were baptized at Goa. Both Ilavarasans were named Dom Joao and the younger one receiving the name Dom Luis and they both died very young.
In the meantime, Dom Constantino de Braganca was preparing his expedition to Jaffna. According to the orders of Queen Regent of Portugal. Cankili Raja (I) had to be dethroned and the crown given to some Prince of the royal house. By now, the lawful heir Paranirupasinghan Mudali who had become a Christian, as well as the two young Ilavarasans Dom Joao and Dom Luis educated at Goa, were apparently dead by this time 1560 in Goa. The Choice of the Viceroy fell therefore on the young Ilavarasan of Trincomalee, a section of the same royal house. During the year 1551, the Chieftain of Trincomalee died, leaving behind a son of eight years as his heir. The boy’s uncle became the regent. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran put forward his claim and affirmed that the said Chieftain was a direct descendant of his grandfather Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Kanagasuriya. When the Arasan took possession of the district, the family of the deceased and his heir escaped to the Coromandel Coast (is the eastern coast of India, from Point Calimere to Orissa) and through the Christians there sought the aid of the Portuguese. The Ilavarasan of Trincomalee later became a Christian and was given the baptism name of Don Alfonso and he remained in Goa. He was now nineteen years of age, educated since his childhood in the Catholic faith and had just completed his studies at St. Paul’s College at Goa.
Ilavarasan Don Alfonso of Trincomalee, who had been brought to take the place of Cankili Raja (I), was also taken back to Goa. It was the intention of the Viceroy Don Constantino de Braganca to make Ilavarasan Don Alfonso King of Jaffna and Trincomalee, where he remained till he accompanied Viceroy Don Anthony de Noronha (1564-1568) in an expedition against Mangalore. One night, when least expected the Portuguese were surprised by a large body of Moor men. In the battle that followed young Ilavarasan Don Alfonso of Trincomalee met his death after performing prodigies of Valour. He was scarcely twenty years of age. Thus died a Catholic Prince of great promise.
Thus Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran, the greatest enemy of Christianity saw nearly all members of his family, converted to the Catholic faith, three of his sons of who the eldest suffered the martyrdom, his brother, his sister, two nephews, a daughter-in-law and his cousin the young Raja of Trincomalee.
According to the agreement that Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran made with the Portuguese that as hostage for the fulfilment of these articles he shall order to be delivered the Ilavarasan, his heir and two Mudaliyars named Oriculnar and Eleagora who served as his Secretary.
The treaty was drawn up in both languages and signed, and the Ilavarasan was handed over and sent in a ship with the Mudaliyar in good custody, in which more than 15 days were spent. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran sent to them to say: "That he had just cause to renew the war for no other reason than to recover his Kingdom. That he was not an enemy of the Portuguese but rather was willing to give them entry into his ports; and that unless he was recognized as Lord of the Country, they must not try to succour the fortalice. That if in exchange for the prisoners they were willing to release the Ilavarasan and the two Mudaliyars, he would make the exchange".
The King continuing in his desire to liberate his son, sent one to visit Noronha and to offer him whatever he wanted. But the Viceroy put the Prince in fetters covered with velvet and entrusted him to Pero Lopes Rebelo and told the Prince to think only of his salvation, for in that alone consisted the true Kingdom. The Bishop Dom Jorge Themudo, took on himself the task of converting him and thought at the commencement he showed great obstinacy, when he lost the hope he still had of being reinstated, he became a convert to the Holy Faith in which he died in Goa in the year 1571, six years after the death of his Father, Cankili Cekaracacekaran, and the Ilavarasan was more warlike than his Father.
By now Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran was growing unpopular. The wars of the Portuguese had upset his country’s economy. There was great discontent in the land. He therefore, handed the administration to his son Puvi Raja Pandaram (1561-1565), who ruled on his behalf.
Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran is the most remembered of all the monarchs of the Kingdom of Jaffna. He had aspired to be one of the Kings of Jaffna by assassinating his elder stepbrothers and he later killed his own son. Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran is regarded as a hero who had fought with the Portuguese till the very end, never allowing them to rule Northern Sri Lanka and there by protecting the Independence of the Kingdom of Jaffna. Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran was never captured nor condemned to death by the Portuguese, but remained undefeated as a valiant hero and his death occurred in 1565.
USURPER THE THRONE OF JAFFNA BY KASI NAYINAR (1565-1570)
After the death of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran there was a great political turmoil and uncertainty in the Kingdom. One Kasi Nayinar took hold of the sceptre, which was contested by a relative of his with a better claim. He drove away Ilavarasan Puvi Raja Pandaram and he assumed the Kingship in the name of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Kasi Nayinar, he reigned from 1565-1570, under the throne name of Pararacacekaran. Kasi Nayinar was unpopular and unable to maintain the Portuguese support due to his usurpation. Already in the time of the Portuguese Captain Jorge de Mello de Castro of Mannar, those of Jafanapatao had a great quarrel with their King called Kasi Nayinar because the Kingdom did not belong to him, but to one of his other Kinsmen. In this dispute they made Captain Jorge de Mello de Castro arbitrator, and he having listened to their law and reasons, declared him an intruder and at the request of the people he put him in prison, and another was raised King, but Kasi Nayinar, after Captain Jorge de Mello de Castro returned to Mannar, managed with those of his faction to kill the elected one and taking him from prison they crowned him again. Captain Jorge de Mello de Castro was so incensed, that by gifts and promises he persuaded a bold Lascarin, a native of Jaffnapatao, to kill him. He did so with great courage and resolution and escaped to Mannar by swimming. Captain Jorge de Mello de Castro being informed of the matter, hastened the Jaffnapatao, and with the approval of the people the Portuguese installed Ilavarasan Periya Pillai the King of Jaffna.
CINKAI ARYA CAKRAVARTI PERIYA PILLAI CEKARACACEKARAN (1570-1582)
Ilavarasan Periya Pillai Pandaram who assumed the throne in the name of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Periya Pillai, he reigned from 1570-1582, under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran. He was the son of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran (1519-1565). Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran, his chief queen bore him four sons, Ilavarasan Gago, Ilavarasan Arasakesari Pandaram, Ilavarasan Ethirmanna Cinkam Pandaram, Ilavarasan Peleleya Pandaram and a daughter, Ilavarasi Dona Maria and she married Don Diogo and they had four sons, Dom Philip, Dom Francisco, Dom Bernardino and a daughter, Dona Ines.
Ilavarasan Gago married the daughter of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1582-1591). The Ilavarasi bore him twin sons, Ilavarasan Cankili (II) and other twin son name not known and two daughters names not known. One of the sisters of Ilavarasan Cankili (II) was married to one of the sons of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran, named Luku Kumaran and they had four sons and two daughters.
Cinkai Arya Charavarti Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran, with the help of Nayakkar ruler of Thanjavur made preparations on a large scale to capture Mannar. This third military expedition against Mannar like the previous ones also proved unsuccessful. After the rule of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran, Ilavarasan Puvi Raja Pandaram of the Royal House of Jaffna, ascended the throne in 1582. The Portuguese authorities did not recognize the King, as they had no hand in his appointment. The King of Jaffna proved himself as proud as his name which was Puvi Raja Pandaram which means "King of the Kings of earth", though he was only an ordinary Kinglet, deformed from birth and for that reason called "the crooked King". Puvi Raja Pandaram was forceful and deformed and carried plans to outset the Portuguese.
CINKAI ARYA CAKRAVARTI PUVI RAJA PANDARAM (1582-1591)
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Puvi Raja Pandaram, he reigned from 1582-1591, under the throne name of Pararacacekaran. In an attempt to drive the Portuguese out of his Kingdom. Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran prosecuted a war against the Portuguese but with out success. On 28 October 1591, with the blessings of the priests, the Portuguese troops marched towards Nallur. The Tamil forces and Portuguese forces fought at the area between the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple and Veeramakali Amman Temple. Ilavarasan Gago, was the Commander-in-Chief of the forces, a nephew of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran entreated the King to leave the town for a place of safety, but the King refused to do so and calling him a poltroon, ordered him back to the fight. While the enemy with superior weapons hotly pressed the gallant forces of Jaffna stood their ground and Ilavarasan Gago, elder brother of Ilavarasan Ethirmanna Cinkam Pandaram, was killed and the Portuguese took possession of the device of his standard and the white shield which Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran had given him because he was his much loved son-in-law.
Then the suicide squad of the King, the heroic band of armed guards and the cream of the army all took to the field between the Veeramakali Amman Temple and Nallur Kandaswamy Temple. They all met their end fighting for their King and country. Their leader a Yogi and Priest of the Temple was also killed. The younger Ilavarasan Ethirmanna Cinkam, Brother of the one killed in the stockade, (Ilavarasan Gago) cried out not to kill him, because he was the son of Periya Pillai. Captain Simao Pinhao ran to his aid and placed himself in front of him at a time when his ears were already torn, being dragged for the ear-rings; and with two lance wounds, in the foot and in the belly, and as he fell headlong, Simao Pinhao placed one foot on him to defend him; (This incident is now found sculptured on a slab in the Sabaragamuwa Maha Saman Devale at Ratnapura).
The Captain-Major arrived, and Captain Simhao Pinhao raising him entrusted the Ilavarasan to him. He gave him all honour, putting round his neck the chain he was wearing on his own neck and covering him with a grand cloak and a straw hat with long plumes which Diogo de Miranda Henriques was taking and arming him with a sword wrought of silver belonging to Fernao de Melo Pereira. And without delay he went in search of the King, who tried to escape into a Pagode, but being led before General Andre Furtado de Mendonca, the latter ordered a Captain to cut off his head, which was forthwith placed on a pike and planted there, where it remained for some days. On 28 October 1591, Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran was beheaded by the Portuguese and with him was slain his eldest Son. Thus ended the story of a soldier King, who never allowed his Portuguese enemies to rest. Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran carried on a relentless war for the independence of his native country.
All the family of the King were taken captive, the Queen his wife, already advanced in years, another Queen with five sons and two daughters, the wife of Ilavarasan Gago, daughter of the deceased King with two daughters, Ilavarasan Cankili with a twin brother, the Ilavarasan mentioned above with another younger brother. Seven Ilavarasans, sons of past Kings, two of them sons of Kasi Nayinar, whom the crooked King (Puvi Raja Pandaram) killed, when Gorge de Melo de Castro was Captain of Mannar.
Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran’s two daughters were married to Kumarasingha Kumaraya (heir apparent) and Vijayapala Kumaraya, sons of King Senarat and Empress Dona Catharina. Maharaja Rajasinghe (II) poisoned Kumarasinghe Kumaraya, before Senarat’s death, which took place in 1635. When Vijayapala Kumaraya left to Goa, he left behind his wife and son. Four years later Vijayapala Kumaraya was persuaded to embrace Christianity. On 8 December 1646, Vijayapala Kumaraya was baptized with great ceremony, under the name Dom Theodosio and he died in exile in 1654, in Goa.
CINKAI ARYA CAKRAVARTI ETHIRMANNA CINKAM (1591-1615)
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Ethirmanna Cinkam he reigned from 1591-1615, under the throne name of Pararacacekaran. He was installed as King of Jaffna by the Portuguese and for the protection of the King, a hundred Portuguese troops and three hundred lascarins were stationed in a garrison adjoining the palace. The queens were Dona Clara de Silva and Dona Antonia Rapoza who were two sisters. Dona Clara de Silva, bore him a daughter, Ilavarasi Dona Catharina and a son, Ilavarasan Dom Constantino and Dona Antonia Rapoza, she bore him two daughters, Ilavarasi Dona Izabel and Ilavarasi Dona Maria.
Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran had a very difficult task in his hand to accomplished, because he pledged to favour the spread of Christianity in his Kingdom. He was to bear the full blast of the arrogant breed of officials, whose torturously insulting and patronizing behaviour, it appeared almost to the point of servility. The young King developed a dual personality, one pro-Portuguese and another anti-Portuguese. The Viceroy in Goa was not happy with the attitude adopted by the King and was to go in person to wrest the control of the Kingdom.
According to Fr. Fernao de Queyroz, Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran says to the Captain Silvestre de Arez: ’Besides this I remember that thrice I was made King of this Realm, (once) by right of birth, of which I was deprived by my own uncle; (then) (Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran) by grant of life, which Simao Pinhao preserved and Andre Furtado de Mendonca restored, though a stranger and victor; and (thirdly) by the choice which they made of me confirmed by the Viceroy. That great Andre Furtado Mendonca warned me then that, unless I got on well with the Portuguese, I should have the same fate which the King my uncle had, whose head at the time I saw on a spear. He gave me also a sword with a winding edge (Espada Colubrina) of great esteem among the Portuguese.
THE ASSASSINATION IN THE ROYAL PALACE
In the course of the year 1615, Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran fell seriously ill and understanding that he was going to die, he sent for Father Friar Pedro de Betancor. The King had a son who had not yet reached the age of three years and he remained heir to the throne of Jaffna. The Ilavarasan Arasakesari Pandaram was the elder brother of Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran. The King entrusted his only son to the care of Ilavarasan Arasakesari Pandaram. He authorised him to administer the Kingdom of Jaffna as "Paddilarasan", up to the time the Ilavarasan Dom Constantino became old enough to assume the reign. Ilavarasan Arasakesari Pandaram promised to do everything faithfully and on the brother’s death he was acclaimed Paddilarasan of Jaffna and was obeyed by all and he reigned from 1615-1616. But this prosperity lasted only for a short time.
Ilavarasan Cankili (II) was the nephew of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran. In 1616, an assassination took place in the Royal Palace. Ilavarasan Cankili (II) who was dissatisfied with the arrangements soon began to conspire and a conspiracy was set on foot. When this news was reported to the Paddilarasan Arasakesari Pandaram, he discredited it. On the third day after this warning Ilavarasan Cankili (II) ordered his confederates to enter the Palace at the hour of the siesta and to kill the Paddilarasan, his uncle and those who were with him. It was midday, they were both killed, and the doors being opened, Ilavarasan Cankili (II) entered to take possession of them. He forthwith ordered the house to be set on fire and the Ilavarasan to be killed. On perceiving the mutiny, they fled, but being overtaken; they were killed and there escaped only a brother-in-law of the tyrant named Luku Kumaran, likewise a son of the crooked King killed by Andre Furtado de Mendonca.
USURPER THE THRONE OF JAFFNA BY ILAVARASAN CANKILI (II)
Ilavarasan Cankili (II) usurped the throne of Jaffna, after his uncle Paddilarasan Arasakesari Pandaram was assassinated at the Royal Palace in Nallur. Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Cankili (II) reigned from 1616-1619, under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran and he was the last King of Jaffna. Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran was the son of Ilavarasan Gago, grandson of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran (1570-1582), and Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1582-1591). He was also the great grandson of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran (1519-1565). During Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran reigned, there was disquiet in the regime. When Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran died. The setting up of a regency to administer the Kingdom on behalf of the deceased ruler’s young son led to the emergence of three factions seeking to influence or control the exercise of power the legitimists, who rallied round the heir and his lawful guardian, a party of Christian Mudaliyars, planning for a Portuguese take over of the Kingdom and a party favouring Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran, a nephew of the deceased ruler. In the tripartite struggle for power, Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran, eventually won control of the Kingdom.
THE CAPTURE OF CANKILI (II) CEKARACACEKARAN AND HIS FAMILY
According to Fr. Fernao de Queyroz, The Captain Major learnt that Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran had fled on the day of the battle and at night owing to contrary winds had been driven ashore at the Ponta das Pedras (Point Pedro) and that at dawn he had betaken himself into another dhoney. But when the Portuguese received intelligence of his flight, they sent some "Manchuas" soon in pursuit and overtook him and seize his vessels in the Gulf, capturing with him, besides the Queens, Princes, Princesses and some of their familiars. With the capture of Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran, all resistance in Jaffna collapsed and the Kingdom was incorporated into the Portuguese Crown’s possessions. The Captain-Major ordered the wives and Princes to be sheltered in the College and Church of the Fathers, Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran to be imprisoned in Nallur and the rest to be hanged. Later from there, he was sent to Goa.
Some of Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran’s wives, when they heard about the defeat of the Arasan, they committed suicide at the place which is known as Nachchimar Kovil at Vannarponnai in Jaffna. Also some of the descendants of the royal families and noble families had escaped from Jaffna in fear of their lives. After Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran was captured by the Portuguese the Kingdom of Jaffna was brought under direct Portuguese rule. The Flag of Portugal was hoisted in Jaffna and Captain-Major Filipe de Oliveira appointed him self as the first Governor of the Kingdom of Jaffna and on 11 February 1621, Thus ended the sovereignty of the Arya Cakravarti Dynasty. The Kingdom of Jaffna and its subjects were under a separate administration and had their rich cultural heritage and language until the first colonial invasion took place in 1505.
After the Portuguese had conquered the Kingdom of Jaffna, more than 500 Hindu shrines were ransacked and razed to the ground on the explicit orders of Captain-Major Filipe de Oliveira. Even the stones from the foundations were removed to build Christian Churches in Jaffna. All the Royal Palace buildings were destroyed in order to construct the Fort in Jaffna. From the Royal Palaces and Hindu Temples priceless jewels, royal crowns, thrones and treasures of incredible wealth were taken by force.
Captain-Major Filipe de Oliveira also burnt down the Saraswathi Mahal the oldest museum and library in Jaffna, that housed precious and most valuable historical documents, depicting the origin, history literature, arts, science medicine, culture, civilization and other details of the Tamils and of their proud ancestry. Once this ancient library was burnt down, up to date, the Tamils are left with out any authentic records of their antiquity.
CONVERSION OF CANKILI (II) CEKARACACEKARAN TO CHRISTIANITY AND EXECUTION IN GOA
According to Fr. Fernao de Queyroz, Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran was sent to Goa by Captain General Dom Constantino de Sa de Noronha and he was imprisoned in Goa. He was tried by a court and sentenced to be beheaded. During the time of his imprisonment, he was constantly visited by the Religious of St. Francis of Goa who proposed to him, that as he had lost the temporal life he should not lose the eternal, but accept the Faith of Christ and Baptism the only means of salvation. Favoured by God, who only seeks the repentance of the sinner, he abandoned the blindness in which he walked and which was the principal cause of his tyrannies and said that he wished to be a Christian. The same Fathers baptized him under the name of Dom Philip. There was also baptized his wife under the name of de Dona Margarida of Austria and the Godfather of both was the Archbishop D. Frey Christouao de Lisboa, with all Regal pomp.
A theatre was prepared in the courtyard of the Custom house draped in mourning; on it a carpet with a cushion of red velvet; whither he came accompanied by many Religious of St. Francis who helped him to die well. He did not consent to have his hands tied, saying that it was not necessary because he died for his faults with great pleasure and as he uttered the sweet name of Jesus his head was cut off. Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran was executed in circa 1623. After his death he was dressed in the habit of St. Francis as he had asked when living; and being carried by the same Religious in procession, he was buried in their Chapter. His wife retired into the house of Converts were she lived an exemplary Christian life.
CONVERSION OF THE ROYAL FAMILIES AND PEOPLE OF JAFFNA INTO CHRISTIANITY
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran’s two Queens, his children, other members of the royal family and nobles were converted to Christianity. It was arranged to hold the baptism of these Queens and of a daughter of 12 or 13 years, a Brother of the Queen and his wife and children.
These three were baptised at the first table, the eldest under the name of Dona Clara da Silva, the other under that of Dona Antonia Rapoza and the Princess under that of Dona Catherina de Sa de Rebelo, which were the names of their Godmothers. The Captain-Major stood Godfather to all.
Then arrived the Brother of those Queens, with his wife and children and the younger Queen with the Princess came to assist and help in this ministry. The Mother was named Dona Maria Botelha, after her Godmother, the sons Philips; and when this ceremony was over, they were accompanied up to the gate and after the courtesies the musical instruments and military salutes continued.
As soon as the General approached Ilavarasan Don Constantino he put round his neck a beautiful chain of gold with a Reliquary and the Ilavarasan was baptized under the name of his Godfather Don Constantino de Sa, the Provincial Minister administering the Sacrament. Two other Sisters of the Ilavarasan were baptized, Dona Izabel and Dona Maria, Dom Diogo brother-in-law of the dead King, Dona Maria, his wife and Sister of Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran, with three sons and a daughter, under the names respectively of Dom Philip, Dom Francisco, Dom Bernardino and Dona Ines and along with them the rest.
The younger members of the Royal Family of Jaffna were encouraged to enter Roman Catholic Religious Orders to become monks or nuns. Ilavarasan Dom Bernardino afterwards took the habit of St. Francis, and bequeathed the right he had to the Kingdom of Jaffna to the King of Portugal. In that Holy Order he was much esteemed for his virtues and docility and he held therein honourable posts till in our days he died leaving behind a holy remembrance.
Ilavarasan Dom Constantino remained in Colombo and were educated in the college of St’ Anthony. Afterwards the Viceroy Francisco da Gama Conde da Vidigueyra, wishing to supervise himself the Ilavarasan’s education, called him to Goa where he placed him in the college of the Three Kings. It seems that at that time the Portuguese Government had the intention to restore him on his Father’s throne when he would have attained his majority, but the Ilavarasan aspirations were for monastic life and as soon as his age allowed him to do so; he entered the Franciscan Novitiate at Goa. The rightful heir to the throne son of Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran became a Franciscan in Goa in the year 1633. He took the name of Franciscan, Dom Constantino de Cristo distinguished himself later on by his learning and the Sanctity of his life and he held various posts in the order. The two Ilavarasis Dona Izabel and Dona Maria like their brother, Dom Constantino, they also decided in favour of the religion life. They became nuns in the Augustinian Convent of St. Monica in Goa, the First Ceylonese to become Roman Catholic nuns. Rev. Sister Dona Izabel died in her youth 1645, while Dona Maria was professed as a religious on 17 December 1637, fourteen years after her baptism. Her Catholic name was Dona Maria da Visitacao means Mary of the Visitation and she lived to an advanced age. On 1 January 1682, Rev. Sister Dona Maria da Visitacao, was elected the thirty third prioress of the Convent of St. Monica in Goa. However, she was not destined to hold the post very long and she died on 9 April 1682. Since they choose the life of celibacy, they died without descendants.
During the Portuguese colonial period there were Tamil people who converted from Saivism to Christianity. However, many people had publicly pretended to be Catholics due to fear of authority and consequences they might have suffered. Some acted as Christians while worshipped Hindu deities and observed the religious rites secretly, remaining faithful to Saivism.
Some of the descendants of the Royal Family of Jaffna who embraced Christianity willingly followed the Christian faith truly and as a result relatives took distance to them and excluded them from their society.
* * *
THE DIRECT DESCENDANTS OF
CINKAI ARYA CAKRAVARTI PARARACACEKARAN (VI) (1478-1519) + MANGATHAMMAL (3RD SPOUSE)
CINKAI ARYA CAKRAVARTI CANKILI RAJA (I) CEKARACACEKARAN (1519-1565)
Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran had queens and concubines. Cankili Raja (I) had a son Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran (1570-1582), he had a son Ilavarasan Gago, and he married the daughter of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1582-1591), their son Ilavarasan Cankili Cekaracacekaran (II) (1616-1619), had a son Ilavarasan Pararasa Pandaram, his son was Ilavarasan Veera Bahu, he had a son Ilavarasan Puviraja Pandaram, and his son was Ilavarasan Gurunathar, who in return had a son Vedanayagam Mudali, whose son was Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali.
Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali was born in Manipay. He was well educated and was a Chief Postmaster at Manipay in Jaffna. He had a son, Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali and a daughter, Chellammah Nachchiyar. Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali had his ancestral properties in Jaffna and bought the entire Ambagastenne Tea Estate and surrounding lands in Pundaluoya. Most of the Ceylon tea gardens are situated at elevations between 3,000 and 8,000 feet above the sea level, Pundaluoya is also known as Punduloya, Pundaloya, and it is located in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. The answer to how Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali came to own so much lands in Pundaluoya, is that his great-great-grandfather Veera Bahu, the grandson of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran (1616-1619) lived in Pundaluoya because he was in hiding from the Portuguese and Dutch during the colonial rule. In fact, Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali built the Heritage of Ambagastenne Tea Estate and the Bungalow in Pundaluoya for his descendants, which also includes Raja Remigius Kanagarajah and his family.
The Beautiful Bungalow was built during the colonial period, in the shape of the Roman letter "T". There was a beautiful large garden, a pond, the bungalow is surrounded by hills, tea plantations, green paddy fields, forest and streams. Nearby the bungalow mansion you will find the Harrow Tea Factory, planter’s club and the property of Mr. Ponniah Edwards alias John Edwards. The beautiful Dunsinane waterfall is near the Pundaluoya town, measuring about 92m in height. It belongs to the group of twenty most spectacular waterfalls in Sri Lanka and the Amman Hindu Temple is located on the bank of the waterfall.
Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali built several temples and he developed Pundaluoya from the beginning. He also owned lands and a large Mansion in Thiruppuvanam in Sivaganga District of South India. Most of his relatives spent their last days in the Mansion in Thiruppuvanam, India.
GREAT-GRANDPARENTS ON HIS MOTHER’S SIDE - THAMBIAH CADIRAVEL MUDALI
Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali was born in Manipay, Jaffna. He served in the Malayan Railways as a Station Master and also lived in Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaya (Malaysia). He first married the daughter of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah, from his first marriage, he had a son who died at the age of seven. Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali got married for the second time to his first wife’s sister, Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu and she was the fifth child in the family and was a very conservative person. It was customary in royal families to keep the Royalty within the family and they had royal intermarriages. Due to the situation that time, Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu Cadiravel lost seven children at birth. Finally, they had four sons, Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam born in Malaya, Ilavarasan T. C. Navaratnam Selvarajah born in Seremban, Malaya, Ilavarasan T. C. Nadarajah born in Nallur and Ilavarasan T. C. Thambirajah born in Malaya. They were brought up under the strict supervision of their maternal grandmother and governess in Nallur, Jaffna. They attended education at St. John’s College in Jaffna and were brilliant students. All four brothers maintained very close family ties and they had passion and interest for sports. Ilavarasan T. C. Selvarajah was a keen sportsman from his youth, representing the school at football and cricket. He completed the Cambridge Examination in Jaffna, and at a young age, he proceeded to Malaya and continued to play football and cricket. Later he married Seetha Devi, daughter of Vallipuram Chelliah and Chellammah Muthiah of Nelliady. They had three sons, Ilavarasan Suseelan, Ilavarasan Soman and Ilavarasan Bahman and a daughter, Ilavarasi Bahma and the family settled down in Malaya.
Ilavarasan T. C. Nadarajah first married Punithavathani, daughter of Dr. Saravana Balasuriya of Jaffna, and they had a daughter, Ilavarasi Sivagnanam Sothy. He got married for a second time to his first wife’s sister, Mathuram, they had no children and both wives lived in the same dwelling happily.
The youngest son, Ilavarasan T. C. Thambirajah married Pahavathi Selvaratnam, daughter of Thillaiampalam Karthigesu of Manipay and he was a first cousin of Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali. They had two sons, Ilavarasan Jeyakumar and Ilavarasan Vijayakumar and four daughters, Ilavarasi Thavamani Devi, Ilavarasi Jeevanayagi, Ilavarasi Selvanayagi and Ilavarasi Rajanayagi.
Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali lived a lavish life due to his family’s wealth, he followed the traditions and customs of his ancestors and made many charitable donations. In the Hindu tradition, there are many festivals that are observed throughout the year. During Hindu festivals many people, visit "Pavala Vaasal" to receive the blessing from Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali. Keeping with royal traditions he handed out sweets, gifts and gave them his blessing. Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali was a pious devotee of Lord Shiva and worshiped him all the time. After his retirement, he had a keen interest in the traditional Tamil Medical system known as the Siddha system, one of the ancient medical system and it originated in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. He also spend more time on research new herbs and their uses.
Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu Cadiravel is the cousin of Sinnathamby, son of Villavarayar Sinnathamby Pulavar (1716-1760) of Nallur, Jaffna. His father Mudaliyar Naganathar Villavarayar was the son of Naganathar of Nallur and was a descendant of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Pararacacekaran (1478-1519). Dr. Elangai Murugesu Vijayaretnam Naganathan, (MP) (1906-1971), who was residing at his ancestral home in "Cankili Thoppu" in Nallur, is also the nephew of Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu Cadiravel. Rear Admiral Rajan Kadirgamar, MVO. SL Navy is another nephew of Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu Cadiravel. She is also related to Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan (1851-1930), Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner (1896-1960), Rev. Fr. P. J. Jeevaratnam, OMI, (Rector of St. Henry’s College in Ilavalai, Jaffna), T. Chinniah Yogakumaran (Superintendent of Police, SLPR) and Rev. Fr. S. Gnanaprakasar, OMI, (nee Vaithilingam) son of Rajasingham Swaminathar and Thangamuthu. His father Rajasingham Swaminathar, was a devout Hindu and the Custodian of the Velakkai Pillaiyar Temple in Manipay. He was a teacher by profession and was a descendant of Cinkai Arya Cakravarti Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1582-1591). His mother Thangamuthu was the eldest daughter of Vidane Vairamuttu Sittampalam, son of Vidane Vairamuttu.
GRANDPARENTS ON HIS MOTHER’ SIDE - ILAVARASAN THAMBIAH CADIRAVEL ARASARATNAM
Ilavarasan Thambiah Cadiravel Arasaratnam was a Chief Post Master at Point Pedro in Jaffna, later he was at Colombo Secretariat Post Office and also served in many places. During his school days, he was famous for his speeches and he was also a member of the Court Jury. Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam married his paternal aunt’s daughter Annammah. She was beautiful, kind, very generous and caring. Ilavarasi Annammah lost five children at birth and they were blessed with four children, Ilavarasi Maheswary, Ilavarasi Yogeswary, Ilavarasi Rajeswary and Ilavarasan Mahendran Yogaraj Sundaram. While the children were still very young, Ilavarasi Annammah died at a young age following the birth of her youngest child. She was a devoted wife, mother to her three daughters and to the son. Their mother’s death was an incurable loss and grief for them.
Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam’s parents suggested that he should get married again after Ilavarasi Annammah’s death. Few months later, he married for a second time to Puranam of Kondavil, they had a son named Ananthan Puranaratnam and a daughter named Ranji.
His three daughters attended education at Holy Family Convent Ilavalai in Jaffna. It is one of the best convent schools in Jaffna. Rev. Sis. Salome of Belgium was the Mother Superior of the convent for more then thirty five years and the Bishop was Rt. Rev. Dr. Jerome Emilianus Pillai, OMI. They also met their paternal relatives at school, two daughters of Lanthar Selladurai and a niece of Sir Chittampalam Gardiner and they spent many happy days playing with their cousins. Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam was a bright and intelligent student and also enjoyed school activities such as music, painting, social events and had a great enthusiasm for sports. She was a keen netball and tennis player and has served as Captain for both teams. Ilavarasi Mahewary was a Head Prefect and a House Captain for (Peter House) during her school days. Ilavarasi Mahewary Arasaratnam after completing her education, at the request of Rev. Sis. Salome (Mother Superior), she taught English at Little Flower Convent in Karampon, then in Point Pedro and Teachers Training College in Jaffna. During her brief teaching career, she was very well respected by her colleagues and students.
Ilavarasi Yogeswary Arasaratnam had a great interest in social work, loved music and was good at needlework. Ilavarasi Yogeswary Arasaratnam married Suppiah Kadiravel, they had a son, Ilavarasan Mohanraj.
Ilavarasi Rajeswary Arasaratnam enjoyed sports activities such as netball and table tennis. She participated twice in table tennis competition at District level and won prizes. She underwent a Teachers Training program for three years at the Palali Teachers Training College. After completing the teachers training program she commenced her teaching career and functioned as English Teacher at Little Flower Convent in Karampon, Kayts. Few years later she was appointed Vice-Principal and she was a strict disciplinarian and was held in high respect. Ilavarasi Rajeswary Arasaratnam married Saverimuththu Anthonipillai, son of Soosaipillai Saverimuththu, they had three sons, Ilavarasan Gerard Joseph Pius, Ilavarasan Reginold Michael and Ilavarasan Eugene Mazanold Venesious.
Ilavarasan Mahendran Yogaraj Sundaram Arasaratnam attended education at Stanley College Jaffna. He showed special interest in literature and had also been a good sportsman in his college days. Ilavarasan Mahendran Yogaraj Sundaram Arasaratnam first married Saratha, they had two sons, named Suresh and Nishantha Kumara and two daughters, named Shanthi and Dushanthi. He got married for a second time to Dorathy Mary Leslie Melville, daughter of Arthur Leslie Melville of Scotland, and they had a son, Rabindran.
The late Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam was born in Jaffna and was the eldest daughter of Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam and Ilavarasi Annammah. Ilavarasi Maheswary was graced with beauty, very pale skin, she had an erect posture, long silky black hair, she was charming, graceful, admirable, strong willed and had a regal personality. She loved fine clothes, jewellery and she wore traditional saree with a pottu on her forehead. Her attire was glamorous and stylish. Ilavarasi Maheswary enjoyed an extremely privileged lifestyle and she married her first cousin Thambirajah Kanagarajah. He was the son of Thiru S. C. Thambirajah and Thirumathi Kolandavel Ponnambiki. The late Ilavarasan Thambirajah Kanagarajah was well educated, pious, had a strong personality and was the Landed Proprietor of Ambagastenne Tea Estate in Pundaluoya. He also served in the Army with the Ceylon Royal Artillery during World War II. They had three sons, Ilavarasan Rajendra, Ilavarasan Meryll and Raja Remigius and two daughters, Ilavarasi Vanaja and Ilavarasi Jeraldine. Unfortunately their oldest son Ilavarasan Rajendra died at a very young age and rest of their children were raised under strict rules. Raja Remigius’s other siblings are married and settled down with children.
ILAVARASI VETHAVALLI OF MATHAGAL — (REF. FAMAILY TREE - 2)
Ilavarasi Vethavalli of Mathagal married Thanabala Mudali, the Vellala Chief of Mathagal, son of Rajendra Mudali. Their second daughter married Mudaliyar Chidambaranatha II, son of Mudaliyar Narasinga Mappana. They had a son named Sittampalam and he was married to Seethevipillai, daughter of Karalasingham. Their son Thiruchelvarayar had a son named Karalapillai, he had a daughter named Santhiyal, she was married to Soosaipillai and their daughter, Mariamuttu was married to Kanagaratnam. They had three sons, named Sellathurai, Rajathurai and Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and two daughters, named Nallammah and Muttammah.
Raja Remigius Kanagarajah’s great-great-grandfather on his mother’s side was Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai, and he lived in his ancestral home "Pavala Vaasal" in Cankili Thoppu in Nallur, Jaffna. He was an influential person, and was held in great respect by the people. Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai married Nagammah and they had nine daughters and one son. Their children were born and raised in "Pavala Vaasal" in Cankili Thoppu in Nallur and they all got married into noble families of Jaffna.
Suliothayar was the son of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah. He was an eminent leading Proctor and established his practice in Nallur, Jaffna. Proctor Suliothayar took an active interest in religious matters, and was a popular person who was always of great help to the people of Jaffna.
Lanthar Selladurai was the first person to own a Horse Chariot in Nallur and the title of "Lanthar" was conferred on him. He was the grandson of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah. Konamalai Mudali, a descendant of Pandyan Kingdom, married Valliammai the daughter of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah. Later Konamalai’s Mudali family settled at Trincomalee. Gate Mudaliyar Muthuthamby who hailed from a highly respected and wealthy family, and lived at his ancestral home in "Thamil Aham" in Anaicottai, Jaffna and donated many books to Jaffna Public Library. Gate Mudaliyar Muthuthamby married Sivakolunthu, granddaughter of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah.
GREAT-GRANDPARENTS ON HIS FATHER’S SIDE - CHELLAMMAH THAMBIAH NACHCHIYAR — (REF. FAMILY TREE - 3)
Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar was born in Manipay. She was the daughter of Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali and younger sister of Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali. She had her early education at home under the direct supervision and guidance of her mother and governess. Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar married Zamindar Ramasamy Sangaralingam Caruppiahpillai of Kaveripoompattinam, India. Kaveripoompattinam also known as Poompuhar is located in Sirkali Taluk of Nagapattinam District in Tamil Nadu. It has a great historical importance and was once a flourishing ancient biggest port on the east coast and it was the Capital under the earlier Chola Kings. The greatness of the city is brought out in some of the poems in Sangam Literature and also by Silapathikaram, Manimekalai and Pattinappalai among the epics. Pillai was a Tamil title, which was given during the time of Chola and Pandya Kingdoms.
Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar and Zamindar Ramasamy Sangaralingam had nine children, two sons, namely, S. C. Thambirajah and S C. Rajaratnam and seven daughters, namely, Periyathangam, Ponnuthangam, Annammah, Rasammah, Sinnathangam, Sivapackiam and Ratnam. Their eldest son-in-law Ponniah Edwards alias John Edwards was a wealthy person and he was the son of Murugesu Kandiah of Point Pedro. Mr. Ponniah Edwards owned many lands, the Hevenwewa Tea Factory in Pundaluoya and eighteen transportation lorries. He also made many charitable donations and built religious shrines.
Zamindar Ramasamy Sangaralingam built the Rasammah Temple near the Mansion in Pundaluoya, after the unfortunate death of his loving daughter Rasammah. Raja Remigius Kanagarajah’s grandfather on his father’s side was S. C. Thambirajah, and he was the sixth child in the family and he attended education at Trinity College in Kandy, and was a very well educated person. S. C. Thambirajah married Kolandavel Ponnambiki, sister of Arunachalam. They had five children, three sons, namely, T. Selvarajah, T. Rajasingham and T. Kanagarajah and two daughters, namely, T. Padmavathi Rasathi and T. Yogeswary. Unfortunately their oldest son T. Selvarajah died at the age of eighteen.
S. C. Thambirajah loved his wife Kolandavel Ponnambiki so much that he built a tomb right in front of the Mansion and laid her ashes in it. The tomb was designed by S. C. Thambirajah and it was built with such beauty and height that people could sight it from the next town and that is how they identified Pundaluoya. He made lavish contributions to charity, built other religious shrines and also donated lands to build temples. One of the Buddhist Temple still exists in Kadadorapitiya, Pundaluoya. Zamindar Ramasamy Sangaralingam Caruppiahpillai bought the entire village "Narikudi Grahamam", which belongs to Virudhunagar District of South India. In the last decade of his life, he spent in the Mansion in Thiruppuvanam. For many years the Bungalow in Pundaluoya was seldom used, and has been neglected. It requires a great deal of maintenance.
Even though the sovereignty of the Arya Cakravarti Dynasty ended, the aristocratic blood still flows through their veins.
The Portuguese ruled the Maritime Settlements in Ceylon for 153 years (1505-1658), the Dutch for 138 years (1658-1796) and the British for 152 years (1796-1815), the British became the sole rulers of the Island and administered the country for 133 years, until 1948. The island had Three Kingdoms, each with its own sovereignty and territorial integrity and ruled by different Kings. All three colonial powers had administered the Three Kingdoms separately until 1833. The British were the first to combine the Three Kingdoms under one administration in 1833 and called this new colony as Ceylon. On 4 February 1948, Sri Lanka gained Independence from British colonial rule. On 22 May 1972, a new constitution was adopted and Ceylon was renamed Sri Lanka.
"Yalpanam will always remain a Hindu Realm keeping the Culture and Traditions alive for the future generations and the Glorious days will Return".