The History of the Current Royal Family of Jaffna
Arya Cakravartti Dynasty
By the Thirteenth Century, an Independent Tamil Kingdom was once again established in (Ilankai) Sri Lanka. It was the most significant period in the History of Jaffna. The Arya Cakravartti a Chief Dignitary from the Pandya Kingdom assumed power and authority in the reign of Maravarman Kulasekhara in Northern Sri Lanka. A kinsman of this dignitary, from Cakravartti Nallur in Cevvirukkai Nadu was the founder of the Arya Cakravartti Dynasty. Cinkai Ariyan was a descendant of a Brahmin General who had mastered the four Vedas and belonged to the Kasyapa Gotra. The Pandya inscriptions too, show that the Arya Cakravarttis of Cevvirukkai Nadu from where the Kings of Jaffna traced their descent, had earned great honour and distinction in military service under the Pandyas. Cakravartti Nallur in Cevvirukkai Nadu was the ancestral home of the Arya Cakravartti, 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 Ariyar. Sri Rama invited the 512 Ariyar of the five villages and gracefully directed them to officiate at the temple. He 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 Bull (Nandi) standard at Kantamatanam, a locality on the southern extremity of India. Cekaracacekaramalai which asserts that the Ariyar of Rameswaram had come from Benares.
During the reign of Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran, he restored order and stability in the Kingdom of Jaffna. 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.
|1)||Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran (I) + Thilakavathiyar||(1215-1240)|
|2)||Kulasekara Cinkai Ariyan||Pararacacekaran (I)||(1240-1256)|
|3)||Kulottunga Cinkai Ariyan||Cekaracacekaran (II)||(1256-1279)|
|4)||Vikkrama Cinkai Ariyan||Pararacacekaran (II)||(1279-1302)|
|5)||Varotaya Cinkai Ariyan||Cekaracacekaran (III)||(1302-1325)|
|6)||Marttanta Cinkai Ariyan||Pararacacekaran (III)||(1325-1348)|
|7)||Kunapusana Cinkai Ariyan||Cekaracacekaran (IV)||(1348-1371)|
|8)||Virotaya Cinkai Ariyan||Pararacacekaran (IV)||(1371-1380)|
|9)||Jeyavira Cinkai Ariyan||Cekaracacekaran (V)||(1380-1410)|
|10)||Kunavira Cinkai Ariyan||Pararacacekaran (V)||(1410-1440)|
|11)||Kanagasuriya Cinkai Ariyan||Cekaracacekaran (VI)||(1440-1450)|
|Chempaka Perumal alias Sapumal Kumaraya||(1450-1467)|
|(Conquered the Kingdom of Jaffna)|
|11)||Kanagasuriya Cinkai Ariyan||Cekaracacekaran (VI)||(1467-1478)|
|(Recaptured the Kingdom of Jaffna)|
Kanagasuriya Cinkai Ariyan Cekaracacekaran reigned (1440-1450 & 1467-1478). His chief queen bore him two sons named Pararacacekaran and Cekaracacekaran. Later, both brothers decided to abbreviate their hereditary title of Cinkai Ariyan to Cinkai, accordingly becoming known as Cinkai Pararacacekaran and Cinkai Cekaracacekaran.
Cinkai Pararacacekaran ascended the throne in 1478 and reigned until 1519. Before ascending the throne in 1478, Cinkai Pararacacekaran had married Raja Lakshmi Ammal of the Chola Dynasty (while in India) who later became his chief queen. She bore him two sons, namely, Singha Bahu and Pandaram. He had also wed Valliammai, daughter of Arasakesari, who belonged to the Pandi Malavan clan, known as the “Mudithotta Vellalar”, as his second wife. It was customary for the royal family members to marry from high caste Vellala families. Valliammai bore him four children, the eldest son was named Paranirupasinghan, the second son was named Ilansinghan, the third son (Name not Known) and a daughter named Maragathavalli. His third wife Mangathammal of the Manava Family, who bore him a son named Cankili and a daughter named Paravai. Arasakesari was an eminent Royal Scholar who lived in Nallur, and was a nephew of Cinkai Pararacacekaran. Arasakesari became the Monarch’s son-in-law by marrying Ilavarasi Maragathavalli. She bore him a son named Veerasundara Mudali. The place where they lived is even now called “Arasakesari Vallavu”.
Cinkai Pararacacekaran’s sons, were well educated and grew up to become able Princes. But the golden era sadly moved on to lamentable later years. Crown Prince 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 Crown Prince Singha Bahu, Cinkai Pararacacekaran made his second son, Ilavarasan Pandaram who was next in line of succession, Crown Prince.
Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan, the third son, whom Cinkai Pararacacekaran wished to appoint as his successor. Ilavarasan Cankili 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 was planning to become the King of Jaffna before Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan returned from Kandy. Ilavarasan Cankili ambushed and stabbed to death the Crown Prince Pandaram when the latter was taking a walk alone in the royal gardens. Blaming the Vanniyars for the brutal murder of the Crown Prince Pandaram. Both the Crown Princes died under mysterious circumstances. However to this date there are no records of the Crown Prince Singha Bahu and Crown Prince Pandaram’s descendants.
Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran (1519-1565)
Ilavarasan Cankili was the son of Cinkai Pararacacekaran and Mangathammal. He seized the throne proclaiming himself as the King of Jaffna. In 1519, Ilavarasan Cankili ascended the throne of Jaffna, by winning the support of the army, adopting the royal name of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran. Though the aged Arasan Cinkai Pararacacekaran was then living, he was old and feeble, was helpless in the face of Cankili Raja’s treachery. Cinkai Pararacacekaran spent his later years as a humble individual.
Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran reigned from 1519 to 1565. He had children by his wives and concubines. His eldest son, known as Prince Martyr, was murdered in Jaffna in 1544, for embracing Christianity. His second son was named Puvi Raja Pandaram, by his concubine. Cankili Raja’s other sons were Dom Joao (sent to Goa by Cankili Raja’s sister Ilavarasi Paravai), another son (Name not Known), was handed over as a hostage to the Portuguese and he died in Goa in 1571, and Periya Pillai Pandaram and Kasi Nayinar.
Returning from Kandy, the enraged Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan fruitlessly attempted to regain the throne from Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran as the rightful heir. But the crafty Cankili Raja (I) set about appeasing him. Claiming that Crown Prince Pandaram had been murdered by the Vanniyars. Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran assured Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan to be his Chief Minister. Cankili Cekaracacekaran offered to be the Arasan 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. Hence, Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan began to function as Chief Minister to Cankili Raja (I). Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan had a son named Pararajasinghan and he was appointed by Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan as the Chief of the Seven Villages and entrusted their administration to him.
When Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran had strengthened his position on the throne, gradually he began to break his assurances given to Paranirupasinghan and thereby antagonized him. He also put to death the supporters of the lawful heirs. 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 Cekaracacekaran also interfered with Ilavarasan Pararajasinghan’s administration of the Seven Villages. More damagingly, 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.
Prince Martyr of Jaffna
The youthful son of Cankili Raja (I) 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. The Portuguese merchant Andre de Souza laboured so much that he was converted and was on the point of taking him to Goa for his baptism, when Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran had intelligence of it, and had him treacherously murdered. He then ordered his body to be burnt with much ceremony, according to usage. The Prince was from then known as Prince Martyr. A little Chapel of the “Ermida da Cruz or Kurusu Kovil” was erected by a native Christian named Antonio Fernandez, near the sport remembered by tradition as the place where the ashes of Jaffna’s protomartyr, the son of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran, had been laid to rest. Local tradition affirms that the spot where the Prince Martyr’s holy remains were interred was somewhere near the site of the present St. Mary’s Cathedral Church of Jaffna. All this happened in November 1544, and these facts have been authenticated by historical documents.
Ilavarasan Ilansinghan (Martyrs of Mannar)
During the early years of the 16th 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 dependant on the Crown of Jaffna. According to C. S. Navaratnam, by 1543 many of the Paravas in the Coasts of Tuticorin had embraced Christianity, and St. Francis Xavier was carrying on a vigorous evangelistic work among them. It is said that the year 1544 has been the peak year of conversions in the East. The fact, that Christian priests were making conversions in Mannar, was reported by Hindu Priests to Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran.
Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran being a strong Hindu, upon hearing of this conversion reacted angrily and violently. Cankili Raja (I) could not utilised his own Military and Naval Garrison stationed at Mannar under Ilavarasan Ilansinghan who was the Commanding Officer and the royal representative of the Kingdom of Jaffna in the Island of Manner. It is because his Commanding Officer Ilavarasan Ilansinghan and all other ranks in the Mannar Garrison had embraced Christianity.
Therefore Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran personally led an army of 5000 soldiers to Mannar and published an Edict. Unless the converts renounce their new Faith and re-embrace the Hindu religion, they would be severely punished. But the Christians of Mannar stood firmly in their Faith. In December 1544 some escaped to the mainland, the Priest Francis Xavier and about 600 to 700 of his subjects, Commanding Officer Ilavarasan Ilansinghan, entire families of the soldiers and sailors who had become Christians were put to the sword at Pattim in Mannar. Cankili Raja (I) did not spare even small children. Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran issued a proclamation that no priest of any other religion than the Hindu should approach the shores of the Island of Mannar.
Paranirupasinghan Mudali Embraced Christianity
Paranirupasinghan Mudali in fear of his stepbrother Cankili Raja (I) 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 in Goa before Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran.
Pararajasinghan Mudali's Children
Pararajasinghan Mudali was the son of Paranirupasinghan Mudali, he should have been the Crown Prince. But Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran had deprived them of their royal titles and status by giving them the title of “Mudali”. When his father bequeathed to him the seven villiages, Pararajasinghan Mudali became their Chieftain and was known as “Elur-Athipan”, viz Chieftain of the seven villages. The Portuguese had an abiding trust in Pararajasinghan Mudali and they appointed him as Chief Minister. Pararajasinghan Mudali held this position with dignity and earned the respect of many. Pararajasinghan Mudali had eight children, seven sons and one daughter. Pararajasinghan Mudali distributed the seven villages under him to his seven sons and one daughter. His eldest son Alakanmaivalla Mudali received Nallur and Kallyankadu; his second son Thanabalasingha Mudali, Mallagam; his third son Vetrivelayutha Mudali, Sandilipay; his fourth son Vijayathevendra Mudali, Araly; his fifth son Thidaveerasingha Mudali, Achchuveli; his sixth son Chandrasekara Mudali, Udupiddy, and his seventh son Rajaratna Mudali, Kachchai. He granted the village of Mathagal to his daughter Vethavalli, and married her off to Thanabala Mudali, the Vellala Chief of Mathagal, son of Rajendra Mudali. His seven sons settled down in their respective villages and became the administrative officers (Mudali’s) of the villages.
Cankili Raja's Son was handed over As A Hostage To The Portuguese
According to the agreement that Cankili Raja Cekaracacekaran made with the Portuguese, that as hostage for the fulfilment he should surrender the Prince, his heir and two Mudaliyars named Oriculnar and Eleagora who served as his Secretary. The treaty was drawn up in both languages, were signed and authenticated and the Prince was handed over and sent in a ship with the Mudaliyar in good custody to Goa, India. There Cankili Raja’s son was converted to Catholicism and died in Goa in the year 1571, six years after the death of his Father.
Ilavarasan Puvi Raja Pandaram (1561-1565)
During Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran reign, 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 second son Puvi Raja Pandaram (1561-1565), who ruled on his behalf.
Thus Cankili Raja (I) 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, another son (the heir who died in 1571), his sister, two nephews, a daughter-in-law and his cousin the young Raja of Trincomalee.
Cankili Raja (I) 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 (Singha Bahu & Pandaram) and his own son, (Prince Martyr) was treacherously murdered. Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran is regarded as a hero who had fought with the Portuguese till the very end, never allowing them to rule the 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.
Kasi Nayinar Pararacacekaran (1565-1570)
After the death of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran there was a great confusion in the royal court. As the rightful heir to the throne was deprived of his kingdom. Kasi Nayinar, son of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran, usurped the throne of Jaffna and reigned from 1565 to 1570, under the throne name of Pararacacekaran. Kasi Nayinar was unpopular and unable to maintain the Portuguese support due to his usurpation. In the time of the Portuguese Captain Jorge de Mello de Castro of Mannar, those of Jaffanapatao 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. Captain Jorge de Mello de Castro put him in prison, and another was raised King (a quisling prince on the throne and the name of this prince is not known), 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 being informed of the matter, hastened the Jaffnapatao, and with the approval of the people the Portuguese installed Ilavarasan Periya Pillai as King of Jaffna.
Periya Pillai Pandaram Cekaracacekaran (1570-1582)
Periya Pillai Pandaram, son of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran, reigned from 1570 to 1582, under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran. His queen bore him four sons, Gago Pandaram, Arasakesari Pandaram, Ethirmanna Cinkam Pandaram and Peleleya Pandaram and a daughter, Dona Maria.
Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram (commander-in-chief of forces)
Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram, the eldest son of Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran, was married to his first cousin, (Name not Known) daughter of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran. The Ilavarasi, bore him twin sons and two daughters. The elder twin was named Cankili also known as Cankili Kumaran (Last King of Jaffna) and the younger twin son (Name not Known) and the two daughters (Names not Known). Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram was a nephew and a son-in-law of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran.
Ilavarasi Dona Maria, daughter of Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran, married Dom Diogo and they had three sons, Dom Philip, Dom Francisco and Dom Bernardino and a daughter, Dona Ines.
Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran, with the help of the 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. Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran was loyal to the Portuguese, he paid tribute and allowed the missionaries to spread Catholicism in the country.
Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1582-1591)
After the rule of Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran, Ilavarasan Puvi Raja Pandaram, the second son of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran, ascended the throne in 1582. Puvi Raja Pandaram reigned from 1582 to 1591, under the throne name of Pararacacekaran. He soon began to follow an anti-Portuguese policy. Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran attacked Mannar with the support from the Kunjalis, the admirals of the Zamoria of Calicut. The attack proved to be unsuccessful and the Portuguese retaliated by invading Jaffna. 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 the Portuguese forces fought at the area between the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple and Veeramakali Amman Temple. Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram, 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.
The younger Ilavarasan Ethirmanna Cinkam, Brother of the one killed in the stockade, (Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram) cried out not to kill him, because he was the son of Periya Pillai. On 28 October 1591, Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran, tried to escape into a Temple, but being led before Andre Furtado, 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. With him was slain his eldest Son. Thus ended the story of a soldier King, who never allowed his Portuguese enemies to rest. Cinkai Arya Cakravartti Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran carried on a relentless war for the independence of his native country. All the family of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran were taken captive, the Queen his wife, already advanced in years, another Queen with five sons including Ilavarasan Luku Kumaran and two daughters, the wife of Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram, who was a daughter of the deceased King (Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran), with two daughters, Ilavarasan Cankili (II) with his twin brother, Ilavarasan Ethirmanna Cinkam Pandaram with a younger brother of his. There were also seven Ilavarasans, sons of the past Kings, two of them were sons of Kasi Nayinar, whom the crooked King (Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran) killed, when Gorge de Melo de Castro was Captain of Mannar.
Ethirmanna Cinkam Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1591-1615)
Ilavarasan Ethirmanna Cinkam was consequently proclaimed King of Jaffna. He was the son of Periya Pillai Pandaram Cekaracacekaran and the younger brother of Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram. Ethirmanna Cinkam Pandaram reigned from 1591 to 1615, under the throne name of Pararacacekaran. For the protection of the King, a hundred Portuguese troops and three hundred lascarins were stationed in a garrison adjoining the Palace. Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran had three wives, namely, Dona Clara da Silva, Dona Antonia Rapoza and Dona Clara. Dona Clara da Silva, bore him a daughter, Dona Catherina de Sa de Rebelo. Dona Antonia Rapoza, bore him two daughters, Dona Izabel and Dona Maria. The two wives, Dona Clara da Silva and Dona Antonia Rapoza were his first cousins and they were the daughters of Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran. Then Dona Clara, bore him a son, Dom Constantino.
Paddilarasan Arasakesari Pandaram (1615-1616)
Ethirmanna Cinkam Pararacacekaran entrusted his son Dom Constantino to the care of his elder brother Ilavarasan Arasakesari Pandaram and he promised to do everything faithfully and on the Brother’s death he was acclaimed Paddilarasan of Jaffna (Prince Regent) and was obeyed by all and Paddilarasan Arasakesari Pandaram reigned from 1615-1616. The arrangement however did not last long, the very next year the Regent Prince Arasakesari was murdered.
Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran (1616-1620)
Ilavarasan Cankili (II) was the elder twin son of Ilavarasan Gago Pandaram and the grandsons of Periya Pillai Cekaracacekaran (1570-1582) and Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1561-1565 & 1582-1591). He was also the great-grandson of Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran (1519-1565). Ilavarasan Cankili (II) usurped the throne of Jaffna, after his uncle Paddilarasan Arasakesari Pandaram was killed at the Royal Palace. Cankili (II) reigned from 1616 to 1620, under the throne name of Cekaracacekaran and he was the last King of the Kingdom of Jaffna. Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran had a son named Pararasa Pandaram (aka Peter), and his son Veera Bahu (aka Vincent), had a son Puviraja Pandaram, and his son Gurunathar, who in return had a son Vedanayagam Mudali, whose son was Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali.
It should be remembered the following three legendary Kings of Jaffna, Cinkai Arya Cakravartti Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran (1519-1565), Cinkai Arya Cakravartti Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1561-1565 & 1582-1591) and Cinkai Arya Cakravartti Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran (1616-1620) had fought with the Portuguese till the very end never allowing them to rule the Northern Sri Lanka and there by the protecting the Independence of the Kingdom of Jaffna.
Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali
Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali, son of Vedanayagam Mudali, was born in Manipay, Jaffna. He was well educated and was a Chief Postmaster at Manipay in Jaffna. Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali had a son named Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali and a daughter named Chellammah Nachchiyar. Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali was Raja Remigius Kanagarajah’s maternal great-great grandfather. Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali had inherited the properties from his ancestors in Jaffna and Pundaluoya. The answer to how Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali came to own so much lands in Pundaluoya, is that his great-great-grandfather Veera Bahu (also known as Vincent), the grandson of King Cankili (II) Cekaracacekaran (1616-1620) lived in Pundaluoya because he was in hiding from the Portuguese and Dutch during the colonial rule. The Heritage of Ambagastenne Tea Estate and the Bungalow is located 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 Beautiful two storey Bungalow was built in the shape of the letter “T”. There was a beautiful large garden and a big pond filled with Lotus. The bungalow is surrounded by hills, tea plantations, green paddy fields, forest and streams. The Harrow Tea Factory, planter’s club and the property of Mr. Ponniah Edwards alias John Edwards are located near the bungalow. 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. The Crown Lands are the private lands of the Royal Family of Jaffna. The Lands and the Bungalow shall not to be sold, transfer, leased or disposed of in any manner.
Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali
Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali, the eldest son of Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali, was born in Manipay, Jaffna. He had a great personality and served in the Malayan Railways as a Station Master and also lived in Penang and Kuala Lumpur in Malaya (Malaysia). Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali was first married to the daughter of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah of Nallur. From his first marriage he had a son who died at the age of seven. Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali married for a second time to his first wife’s sister, Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu. She was the fifth child in the family and was a very conservative person. Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali and Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu Cadiravel were Raja Remigius Kanagarajah’s maternal great-grandparents. 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 named T. C. Arasaratnam born in Malaya, T. C. Navaratnam Selvarajah born in Seremban, Malaya, T. C. Nadarajah born in Nallur and T. C. Thambirajah born in Malaya.
Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali lived a lavish lifestyle. 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 and other special occasions many people, visit “Pavala Vaasal” to receive their blessings 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 Siddha system of medicine. The Siddha system of Medicine is considered one of the most ancient traditional medical systems and it originated in the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. The Siddha system of medicine is called “Saiva Sampradayam” (tradition of Lord Shiva), and was practised in Jaffna. It considered best suited to the climatic conditions of Jaffna and Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali spent his spare time on researching plants and herbs.
Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu Cadiravel and Villavarayar Sinnathamby Pulavar (1716-1760) of Nallur, were cousins. His father Mudaliyar Naganathar Villavarayar was a highly educated person who was held in great respect by the people and the Government. Mudaliyar Naganathar Villavarayar was the son of Mudaliyar Naganathar of Nallur and he was a descendant of King 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, Rear Admiral Rajan Kadirgamar, MVO. SL Navy and Sir Chittampalam Abraham Gardiner (1896-1960) were nephews of Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu Cadiravel. She was also closely related to Navaliyoor Somasundara Pulavar (1876-1953), Rev. Fr. S. Gnanaprakasar, OMI, (nee Vaithilingam) was the son of Rajasingham Swaminathar and Thangamuthu. His father Rajasingham Swaminathar was a devout Hindu and the Custodian of the Velakkai Pillaiyar Temple in Manipay. Rajasingham Swaminathar was a teacher by profession and was a descendant of King Puvi Raja Pandaram Pararacacekaran (1582-1591). His mother Thangamuthu was the eldest daughter of Vidane Vairamuttu Sittampalam, son of Vidane Vairamuttu, Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan (1851-1930), Rev. Fr. P. J. Jeevaratnam, OMI, (Rector of St. Henry’s College Ilavalai, Jaffna) and T. Chinniah Yogakumaran (Superintendent of Police, SLPR) of Chundikuli.
Ilavarasan Thambiah Cadiravel Arasaratnam
Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam was the eighth son of Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali and Ilavarasi Annapoorani Nagamuttu. He had three younger brothers, Ilavarasan T. C. Navaratnam Selvarajah, Ilavarasan T. C. Nadarajah and Ilavarasan T. C. Thambirajah and they resided at “Pavala Vaasal” in Nallur, Jaffna. It was a traditional style mansion with nine rooms and with a central courtyard. They were raised under strict supervision of their maternal grandmother and governess. All four brothers were well educated at St. John’s College in Jaffna and they were brilliant students. The four brothers maintained very close family ties and they had passion and interest for sports.
Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam was very talented and during his school days, he was extremely well known for his speeches and he was also a member of the Court Jury. 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 other places. Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam married his first cousin, Annammah, daughter of Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar and Zamindar Ramasamy Sangaralingam Caruppiahpillai of Kaveripoompattinam, India. She was beautiful, kind, very generous and caring person. Ilavarasi Annammah lost five children at birth and they were blessed with four children, three daughters named Maheswary, Yogeswary and Rajeswary and a son named Mahendran Yogaraj Sundaram. While the children were very young, Ilavarasi Annammah died at a young age following the birth of her youngest child. She was a devoted wife and loving mother. Their mother’s death was an incurable loss and grief for them.
After Ilavarasi Annammah’s death, the parents of Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam, suggested that he should get married again. Few months later, Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam married for a second time to Puranam of Kondavil. She was descended from a highly respectable family with wealth. They had two children, a son named Ananthan Puranaratnam and a daughter named Ranji.
Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam
Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam, daughter of Ilavarasan T. C. Arasaratnam and Ilavarasi Annammah, was born in Jaffna. Ilavarasi Maheswary and her two younger sisters, Ilavarasi Yogeswary and Ilavarasi Rajeswary were educated at Holy Family Convent Ilavalai, Jaffna. It is one of the best convent schools in Jaffna. Rev. Mother M. Salome Reynaert of Belgium was the Mother Superior of the Convent in Ilavalai, and Rt. Rev. Dr. Jerome Emilianuspillai, OMI, was the Bishop of Jaffna. They also met their paternal relatives (Aunts) at school, two daughters of Landar Selladurai and a niece of Sir Chittampalam Gardiner and they spent many happy days with their relatives. Nesaratnam Selladurai was the daughter of Landar Selladurai, who studied at Holy Family Convent Ilavalai. She converted to Catholicism and later she became a Roman Catholic nun and took the name Lumina. She was thereafter known as Sister Lumina. Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam was a bright and intelligent student and during her school days, she enjoyed such as music, painting and social events. She also had a great enthusiasm for sports. Ilavarasi Maheswary was a keen netball and tennis player and she has served as Captain for both teams. She was a House Captain (Peter House) and Head Prefect. Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam after completing her education, at the request of Rev. Mother Salome Reynaert (Mother Superior), she taught English at Little Flower Convent in Karampon and then in Point Pedro. She also taught at Teachers Training College in Jaffna. During her brief teaching career, she was held in high esteem by her colleagues and as well as her students.
Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam was graced with beauty, very pale skin; she had an erect posture and 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 Sari with a Pottu on her forehead. Her attire was glamorous and stylish, and she enjoyed an extremely privileged lifestyle. Ilavarasi Maheswary Arasaratnam married her first cousin, Thambirajah M. Kanagarajah, son of S. C. Thambirajah and Kolandavel Ponnambiki. The 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 five children, three sons named Rajendra Sylvester, Meryll Venatious and Remigius and two daughters named Vanaja Maria Queenie and Jeraldine. They were raised under strict supervision of their parents.
Unfortunately, their eldest son, Ilavarasan Rajendra Kanagarajah died at a very young age and he was laid to rest next to the tomb of his paternal grandmother Thirumathi Kolandavel Ponnambiki Thambirajah.
Their second daughter, Ilavarasi Vanaja Kanagarajah married Sivathasan, son of Sabapathy Suppiah of Chavakachcheri. Later they moved to the Netherlands and they have three sons named Rajiendhar, Naveen and Pravin. In 2012, their eldest son, Rajiendhar Sivathasan married his first cousin, Akkila Clementine, daughter of Ilavarasan Meryll Kanagarajah and Chandramathy.
Their third son, Ilavarasan Meryll Kanagarajah married Chandramathy, daughter of Kandiah. They have two daughters named Akkila Clementine and Achela Meloni.
Their fourth daughter, Ilavarasi Jeraldine Kanagarajah married Jerom Prithiviraj Balachandran, son of Mahalingam Balachandran of Jaffna (Retired Chief Postmaster, Central Mail Exchange) and Angeline Balachandran (nee Goonawardene) daughter of late A. W. N. Goodawardene of Artie - Moragoda Walawwa, Dodanduwa. They have a daughter named Maha Antoinette.
Their fifth son, the Raja Remigius Kanagarajah married Aishwary Rajnandhini Lusijah, daughter of Emmanuel Ratnajothi Rajaratnam of Nallur, Jaffna. By mutual consent the couple decided to separate officially in 2006.
Ilavarasi Maheswary Kanagarajah’s Siblings
Ilavarasi Yogeswary Arasaratnam had a great interest in social work, loved music and was good at needlework. Ilavarasi Yogeswary Arasaratnam married Suppiah Kadiravel and they had a son named 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. Ilavarasi Rajeswary Arasaratnam underwent a Teachers Training program for three years at the Teachers Training College in Palali, Jaffna. After completing the teachers training program she commenced her teaching career and functioned as English Teacher at Little Flower Convent in Karampon, Kayts. Later she was appointed to the position of Vice-Principal in the same Convent. She was considered a strict disciplinarian and was held in high regard. Ilavarasi Rajeswary Arasaratnam married Anthonipillai, son of Soosaipillai Saverimuththu. They had three sons named Gerard Pius, Reginold Michael and Eugene 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 was first married to Saratha. They had two daughters and two sons. In order from oldest to youngest, their names are Shanthi, Suresh, Nishantha Kumara and Dushanthi. Ilavarasan Mahendran married for a second time to Dorathy Mary, daughter of Arthur Leslie Melville of Scotland and Agnes Robert. They had a son named Rabindran.
Ilavarasan Thambiah Cadiravel Arasaratnam’s Siblings
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 his involvement in sports. Ilavarasan T. C. Selvarajah married Seetha Devi, daughter of Vallipuram Chelliah and Chellammah Muthiah of Nelliady. They had four children, three sons named Suseelan, Soman and Bahman and a daughter named Bahma and the family settled down in Malaya.
Ilavarasan T. C. Nadarajah was first married to Punithavathani, daughter of Dr. Saravana Balasuriya of Jaffna. They had a daughter named Sivagnanam Sothy. Ilavarasan T. C. Nadarajah 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.
Ilavarasan T. C. Thambirajah married Pahavathi Selvaratnam, daughter of Thillaiampalam Karthigesu of Manipay and he was the cousin of Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali. They had four daughters and two sons. In order from oldest to youngest, their names are Thavamani Devi, Jeyakumar, Vijayakumar, Jeevanayagi, Selvanayagi and Rajanayagi.
Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai - (ref. Family Tree - 2)
Ilavarasi Vethavalli of Mathagal was the daughter of Pararajasinghan Mudali and granddaughter of Paranirupasinghan Mudali. She was also the great-granddaughter of Cinkai Pararacacekaran (1478-1519) and Valliammai Arasakesari. Ilavarasi Vethavalli was given in marriage to Thanabala Mudali, the Vellala Chief of Mathagal, son of Rajendra Mudali. Their second daughter married Mudaliyar Chidambaranatha II, son of Mudaliyar Chidambaranatha Narasinga Mappana. Their son Mudaliyar Chidambaranatha Sittampalam married Seethevipillai, daughter of Mudaliyar Rasasingham Karalasingham. Their son Sittampalam Thiruchelvarayar had a son named Karalapillai, and his daughter Santhiyal Karalapillai married Soosaipillai. They had a daughter named Mariamuttu Soosaipillai and she was married to Kanagaratnam. They had five children, three sons, namely, Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai, Sellathurai and Rajathurai and two daughters, namely, Nallammah and Muttammah.
Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai was the son of Mariamuttu Soosaipillai and Kanagaratnam. He was an influential person, and was held in high regard by the people. “Cankili Thoppu” in Nallur, Jaffna, was the ancestral home of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai. He married Nagammah of Nallur and they had ten daughters and one son. Their children were born and raised in “Cankili Thoppu” in Nallur, Jaffna and they all got married into noble families of Jaffna. Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah were Raja Remigius Kanagarajah’s maternal great-great grandparents.
Proctor 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.
Landar Selladurai was the grandson of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah. The title of Landar was conferred upon him and he was the first person to own a Horse-drawn carriage in Nallur.
Valliammai was the daughter of Mudaliyar Kanagaratnam Thambithurai and Nagammah. Valliammai was given in marriage to Konamalai and he was a descendant of the Pandya Dynasty. Later the Konamalai family had settled down in Trincomalee.
Muttu Sayamban (also known as Muttu Sayampu and Sayampu Master), the eldest son of Thangamuttu and Lakshmanan, was born in Nallur in 1866. Muttu Sayamban was married to Meenachchi of Chundikuli. In August 1888, Muttu Sayamban founded the Hindu English Vidyalayam in Karainagar. The name of the school was changed to Thirugnana Sambanda Murthi Nayanar Vidyalayam. In 1936 the school name was changed again to Karainagar Hindu College. Muttu Sayamban was a Master at the Hindu English Vidyalayam in Karainagar and later he became the Headmaster and remained there until his retirement in December 1931. He was inspired by Sri Arumuga Navalar of Nallur, like Arumuga Navalar, Muttu Sayamban master was dedicated to the cause and it used to be said, “What Sri Arumuga Navalar was in Jaffna, Muttu Sayamban was to Karainagar”. Sri Arumuga Navalar and Muttu Sayamban were visionaries driven by a passion to save the East from the pernicious aspects of Western culture.
Sivakolunthu was the daughter of Thangamuttu and Lakshmanan, and the younger sister of Muttu Sayamban. Sivakolunthu was married to Gate Mudaliyar Muthuthamby son of Chellappa, who hailed from a distinguished and wealthy family. “Thamil Agham” is the ancestral home of the Gate Mudaliyar Muthuthamby family in Anaipanthy. The “Muthuthamby Lane” was named in his honour in Anaipanthy, Jaffna. Muthuthamby donated many books to the Jaffna Public Library, there were about 97,000 books and over 10,000 manuscripts and some of the books were priceless. All these precious collections were consigned to the flames when the Jaffna Public Library was burnt down in 1981. It was one of the largest libraries in South Asia.
Ilavarasi Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar - (ref. Family Tree - 3)
Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar, the youngest daughter of Vedanayagam Thambiah Mudali and the younger sister of Thambiah Cadiravel Mudali, was born in Manipay, Jaffna. Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar had her early education at home under the direct supervision and guidance of her mother and governess. Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar was Raja Remigius Kanagarajah’s maternal great-grandaunt and paternal great-grandmother. Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar was given in marriage to 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, conferred by the Arasan upon prominent Vellalar chieftains and feudal lords during the time of Chola and Pandya Kingdoms.
Chellammah Thambiah Nachchiyar and Zamindar Ramasamy Sangaralingam Caruppiahpillai had seven daughters and two sons. In order from oldest to youngest, their names are Periyathangam, Ponnuthangam, Annammah, Rasammah, Sinnathangam, S. C. Thambirajah, S. C. Rajaratnam, Sivapackiam and Ratnam.
Their eldest daughter, Periyathangam was given in marriage to Ponniah Edwards alias John Edwards, son of Murugesu Kandiah of Point Pedro, and they had no children. Ponniah Edwards married for a second time to his first wife’s sister, Ponnuthangam. They had a daughter named Selvalakshmi Edwards. She was the first granddaughter born in the family. Ponniah Edwards was a wealthy person, owned many lands, the Heavenwewa Tea Factory and Eighteen Transport Lorries in Pundaluoya. 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.
Their two sons, S. C. Thambirajah and S. C. Rajaratnam were well educated at Trinity College in Kandy. During festivals and special occasions, musicians, poets and dancers were brought down from South India. Hindu festivals were celebrated in the most elaborate and grandest way. Sweets and gifts were also distributed to the people. Often Family rituals and traditions are handed down from generation to generation, Zamindar Sangaralingam’s eldest son S. C. Thambirajah continued the family customs and traditions.
Zamindar Ramasamy Sangaralingam Caruppiahpillai owned a large Mansion and Paddy fields in Manamadurai, India. The Mansion was surrounded by a beautiful garden and green paddy fields. It was located in Vellalar Theru (Vellalar Street) in Manamadurai. He also 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 Manamadurai and in Pundaluoya.
S. C. Thambirajah
S. C. Thambirajah was the sixth child in the family and he was held in great respect by everyone. S. C. Thambirajah married Kolandavel Ponnambiki and they had five children, three sons named T. Selvarajah, T. Rajasingham and T. M. Kanagarajah and two daughters named T. Padmavathi Rasathi and T. Yogeswary. Unfortunately, their eldest son, T. Selvarajah died at the age of eighteen. S. C. Thambirajah and Kolandavel Ponnambiki were Raja Remigius Kanagarajah’s paternal grandparents. Kolandavel Ponnambiki had an uncle named Arunachalam (her mother’s brother), and Arunchalam’s daughter Baba was married to Robert Perera (erstwhile owner of Greenland Pharmacy). S. C. Thambirajah was pious and took part in all the religious ceremonies.
S. C. Thambirajah loved his wife Kolandavel Ponnambiki so much that he built a tomb right in front of the Bungalow 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. S. C. Thambirajah after performing his morning prayers he daily placed a Gardenia flower on her tomb. He made lavish contributions to charity, built other religious shrines and also donated lands to build temples. One of the Buddhist Temples still exists in Kadadorapitiya, Pundaluoya. The success and popularity of S. C. Thambirajah was so immense that, as a mark of respect following his passing, white flags were hoisted and all offices and shops were closed in Pundaluoya and nearby towns.
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