Aryacakravarti dynasty

Last updated

Jaffna Royal family.jpeg
Country Sri Lanka
Founded1200s CE
Founder Kulingai Cakravarti
Final ruler Cankili II in Jaffna Kingdom
TitlesCinkaiariyan, Cetukavalan, Kangkaiariyarkoon
Estate(s)Jaffna Kingdom
Cadet branchesNone

The Aryacakravarti dynasty (Tamil : அரியச் சக்கரவர்த்திகள் வம்சம், Sinhalese ආර්ය චක්‍රවර්තී රාජවංශය​) were kings of the Jaffna Kingdom in Sri Lanka. The earliest Sri Lankan sources, between 1277 and 1283, mention a military leader of this name as a minister in the services of the Pandyan Empire; he raided the western Sri Lankan coast and took the politically significant relic of the Buddha’s tooth from the Sinhalese capital city of Yapahuwa. Political and military leaders of the same family name left a number of inscriptions in the modern-day Tamil Nadu state, with dates ranging from 1272 to 1305, during the late Pandyan Empire. According to contemporary native literature, such as Cekaracecekaramalai, the family also claimed lineage from the Tamil Brahmins of the prominent Hindu pilgrimage temple of Rameswaram in the modern Ramanathapuram District of India. [1] They ruled the Jaffna kingdom from the 13th until the 17th century, when the last of the dynasty, Cankili II, was ousted by the Portuguese.

Tamil language language

Tamil is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India and Sri Lanka, and by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Douglas, and Chindians. Tamil is an official language of two countries: Sri Lanka and Singapore and official language of the Indian state Tamil Nadu. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. Tamil is spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India.

Sinhalese language language of the Sinhalese people of Sri Lanka

Sinhalese, known natively as Sinhala, is the native language of the Sinhalese people, who make up the largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka, numbering about 16 million. Sinhalese is also spoken as a second language by other ethnic groups in Sri Lanka, totalling about four million. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. Sinhalese is written using the Sinhalese script, which is one of the Brahmic scripts, a descendant of the ancient Indian Brahmi script closely related to the Kadamba script.

Jaffna Kingdom former country

The Jaffna Kingdom, also known as Kingdom of Aryachakravarti, of modern northern Sri Lanka was a historic monarchy that came into existence around the town of Jaffna on the Jaffna peninsula traditionally thought to be established after the invasion of Magha, who is credited with the founding of the Jaffna kingdom and is said to have been from Kalinga, in India. Established as a powerful force in the north, north east and west of the island, it eventually became a tribute paying feudatory of the Pandyan Empire in modern South India in 1258, gaining independence in 1323, when the last Pandyan ruler of Madurai was defeated and expelled in 1323 by Malik Kafur, the army general of the Muslim Delhi Sultanate. For a brief period, in the early to mid-14th century, it was an ascendant power in the island of Sri Lanka when all regional kingdoms accepted subordination. However, the kingdom was eventually overpowered by the rival Kotte Kingdom, around 1450 when it was invaded by Prince Sapumal under the Kotte Kingdom's directive.


Theories of origin

The origins of the Aryacakravarti are claimed in contemporary court chronicles; modern historians offer some competing theories.

Pandyan feudatory family

Pandyan tribute-paying territories circa 1250, include what eventually became the Jaffna kingdom in Sri Lanka Pandya territories.png
Pandyan tribute-paying territories circa 1250, include what eventually became the Jaffna kingdom in Sri Lanka

From the thirteenth-century inscriptions commemorating dignitaries calling themselves Aryacakravartis in present-day Tamil Nadu we can deduce that they hailed from the coastal region of present-day Ramanathapuram District, which they called Cevvirukkai Nadu. They administered land and held important military ranks. It is believed that most of them belonged to one family of Tamil Brahmins in the modern Ramanathapuram District who had become prominent during the days of the Pandyan king Maravarman Kulasekaran. [2] The kings of Jaffna Kingdom claimed the title Sethukavalar meaning "the guardian of Cetu” on account of being related to the Sethupathis of Ramanathapuram. The word cetu means "dike" or "bridge" and was a general term referring to area covering the Pamban Island and the reef of Mannar Island. [3]

Tamil Nadu State in Southern India

Tamil Nadu is one of the 29 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian subcontinent and is bordered by the union territory of Puducherry and the South Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. It is bounded by the Eastern Ghats on the north, by the Nilgiri Mountains, the Meghamalai Hills, and Kerala on the west, by the Bay of Bengal in the east, by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait on the southeast, and by the Indian Ocean on the south. The state shares a maritime border with the nation of Sri Lanka.

Iyer is a caste of Hindu Brahmin communities of Tamil origin. Most Iyers are followers of the Advaita philosophy propounded by Adi Shankara. The majority reside in Tamil Nadu, India.

The Sethupathis are a Tamil clan of the Maravar community native to the Ramanathapuram and Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu, India. They were from the 17th century considered independent kings who ruled the Ramnad kingdom, also known as Maravar country. Among the seventy two poligars of the region, the Sethupathi stood first. This special position was conferred not based upon the revenue that his kingdom generated but because of his military prowess. Back in the beginning of the eighteenth century, the Sethupathi ruler could mobilize a considerable army, about 30,000 to 40,000 strong at short notice(one week).

Furthermore, the title Cakravarti seem to have been commonly used in the Pandyan kingdom as a caste or job title. Compound titles exist, such as Maravacakravarti that belonged to a Maravar chief as well as Malavacakravarti that belonged to a Malava chief. Ariyar in Tamil could denote a noble or a learned person, a Brahmin or alternatively a person from Aryavarta. Thus the title Ariyacakravarti seems to fit the structure of similarly used titles across the Pandyan kingdom. [4] [5] Inscriptions of 12th century mentions that the title Ariyacakravarti was a title earned in the military service under the Pandyan kingdom, the title is frequently referenced in the inscription of Maravarman Kulasekaran in Ramanthapuram. [3]

Caste form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle often including occupation, status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion, existing in various regions including South Asia

Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a lifestyle which often includes an occupation, status in a hierarchy, customary social interaction, and exclusion. It is an extreme evolution of a system of legally-entrenched social classes, also endogamous and hereditary, such as that of feudal Europe. Although caste systems exist in various regions, its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of Indian society into rigid social groups, with roots in India's ancient history and persisting until today; it is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside India. In biology, the term is applied to role stratification in eusocial animals like ants and termites, though the analogy is imperfect as these also involve extremely stratified reproduction.

Maravar are a Tamil community in the state of Tamil Nadu. These people are one of the three branches of the Mukkulathor confederacy. Members of the Maravar community often use the honorific title Thevar.

Brahmin is a varna (class) in Hinduism specialising as priests, teachers (acharya) and protectors of sacred learning across generations.

Some of the dignitaries noted in the inscriptions are one Devar Arayacakravarti, Alakan Arayacakravarti, Minatungan Arayacakravarti and Iraman Arayacakravarti of whom Devar Arayacakravarti has at least two known inscriptions of which one at Sovapuri in Ramanathapuram in 1272 is the earliest. He caused a second inscription (1305) in Tirupulani in Ramanathapuram to be engraved thus indicating he was a minister or a feudatory. Notably the inscriptions also had the epithet Sethumukam signifying "in the order of Sethu." [2]

According to a Sinhalese primary source Culavamsa , a warlord or minister named Aryacakravarti invaded the Sinhalese capital of Yapahuwa on behalf of the Pandyan king Maaravarman Kulasekaran between the years 1277–1283 and took the politically significant Buddha’s tooth relic. [6] [7]

Sri Lanka Island country in South Asia

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is historically and culturally intertwined with the Indian subcontinent, but is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.

Primary source Original source of information created at the time under study

In the study of history as an academic discipline, a primary source is an artifact, document, diary, manuscript, autobiography, recording, or any other source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. Similar definitions can be used in library science, and other areas of scholarship, although different fields have somewhat different definitions. In journalism, a primary source can be a person with direct knowledge of a situation, or a document written by such a person.


The Cūḷavaṃsa, also Chulavamsa, is a historical record, written in the Pali language, of the monarchs of Sri Lanka. It covers the period from the 4th century to 1815. The Culavamsa was compiled over many years by Buddhist monks, and displays a variety of epic styles. It is generally considered to be a sequel to the Mahavamsa written in the 6th century by the monk Mahanama. The Mahavamsa and the Culavamsa are sometimes thought of as a single work spanning over two millennia of Sri Lankan history.

Brahmins from Rameswaram

Rameswaram temple - Aryacakravarti kings claimed origin as Tamil Brahmin priests of Pasupata sect from this temple Ramanathaswamy temple7.JPG
Rameswaram temple – Aryacakravarti kings claimed origin as Tamil Brahmin priests of Pasupata sect from this temple

The Cekaracecekaramalai written during the Aryacakravarti rule in Jaffna asserts that the direct ancestors of the Kings belonged to a group of 512 Ariyar (a Brahmin priestly caste) of the Pasupata sect of the Rameswaram Hindu temple. The source also claims that two out of the 512 were selected as Kings of Ariyars. [1] It also explains that a direct ancestor of the kings was a scribe in the Pandyan kingdom and was called during a war with other kingdoms to assist the king, and that the ancestors of the kings fought in wars against kings in the Hoysala and Karnataka.

Karnataka State in southern India

Karnataka is a state in the south western region of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, with the passage of the States Reorganisation Act. Originally known as the State of Mysore, it was renamed Karnataka in 1973. The state corresponds to the Carnatic region. The capital and largest city is Bangalore (Bengaluru).

During Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan's rule the Pandyas overwhelmed their Hoysala enemies and killed the Hoysala monarch Vira Someshwara in 1254. [9]

A study of their epithets, such as Teevaiyarkoon ("King of Teevai"), Kantamalayaariyarkoon ("Ariyan King of Kantamalai") and Ceetukaavalan ("Protector of Cetu") confirms their connections to Rameswaram Hindu temple, as Teevai, Cetu and Kantamalai are all names for the same location: Rameswaram. [9]

Ganga dynasty

In the opinion of Rasanayagam Mudaliar [10] and Swami Gnanapragasar the Aryacakravarti dynasty was connected to the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Rasanayagam believes that a Brahmin from the town of Rameswaram married into the surviving family members of the Kalinga Magha, an invader claiming to be from Kalinga kingdom in India. Magha apparently belonged to the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The Royal flag of the Jaffna kingdom is similar to the Royal insignia of the Eastern Gangas. Gangas themselves also claimed Brahmin origins. The Setu coins minted by the Aryacakravarti kings also have a similar symbol. [11]

Swami Gnanapragasar believes that the first Ariyacakravarti also called Cinkaiariyan (Ariyan from Cinkainakar) was Kalinga Magha himself. [12] Three main arguments are adduced to support the claim that these kings were of Eastern Ganga descent. The first is the similar device on their coins; the bull couchant and the crescent surmounting it were struck on coins issued by the Eastern Gangas and Ariyacakravartis. The second is the traditions of their origins are almost identical. The last is the assumption of titles Kangkainaadan (From the country of Ganges) and Kangkaiariyan (Ariyan from the Ganga dynasty). [12] According to S. Pathmanathan's history of the Jaffna kingdom, [13] these only establish similarity, but not any conclusive direct connections. Pathmanathan believes that we cannot categorically link the Aryacakravarti dynasty with Eastern Gangas and can explain most of the similarities based on influence, even Western Ganga Dynasty descendants who had moved into Tamil lands after their defeat by the Chola Empire around the year 1000 and interpret them simply as reflecting a claim of origin from the Hindu holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the holiest river Ganges. [12] [14]

Javaka-Kalinga invaders

The Buddhist stupa Chedi Phrae Boromadhatu built by Chandrabhanu of the Padmavamsa lineage in Tambralinga (now Thailand) Nakhon Si Thammarat Chedi Phra Baromathat.jpg
The Buddhist stupa Chedi Phrae Boromadhatu built by Chandrabhanu of the Padmavamsa lineage in Tambralinga (now Thailand)

S. Paranavitana offered a novel surmise explaining the origins of the Ariyacakravarti. According to him the Aryacakravarti are descendants of Chandrabhanu a Malay chieftain, [15] who invaded the island from Tambralinga in 1247. According to him refugees and immigrants from the Indian kingdom of Kalinga founded similarly named Kingdoms in South East Asia, and some of them came due to various reasons to north Sri Lanka and founded the Jaffna Kingdom. [16] This view has been refuted by noted Indian historian K.A. Nilakanta Sastry as having no credible evidence, [17] and other historians such as Louis Charles Damais (1911–1966), an expert on Indonesian studies, [18] Yutaka Iwamoto (1910–1988), a Buddhist scholar, and S. Pathmanathan. They assert that there were no kingdoms in South East Asia called Kalinga and such assertions are based on erroneous readings of the Chinese name for a locality called Ho-ling which actually stood for Walain not Kalinga. Further S. Pathmanathan asserts that Chandrabhanu had categorically claimed Padmavamsa lineage whereas S. Paranavitana had adduced a Gangavamsa lineage to the Aryacakravarti. Further he notes that the inscriptions that S. Paranavitana used to make his theory have not been deciphered by any other scholar to imply a Javaka connection to the Aryacakravartis. [19] [20]

Other sources

Contemporary chronicles

The earliest local Tamil chronicles on Jaffna Kingdom were composed in the Middle Ages. A prose work, Yalpana Vaipava Malai , compiled by poet Mayilvakana Pulavar in 1736, cites four earlier writings such as Kailaya Malai, Vaiya Padal, Pararasasekaran Ula and Rasamurai as its source. Of which Rasamurai (or list of kings) has not been found and all what we know about is through Yalpana Vaipava Malai. These, composed not earlier than the 14th century, contain folkloric legends mixed with historical anecdotes. But an astrological work, Cekarasacekara Malai, written during the rule of Cekarasacekaran V (1410–1440) [21] by Soma Sarman has verifiable historical information and has been used extensively by historians from Humphrey Coddrington to S. Pathmanathan to reconstruct the kingdom's early history. [22]

The Sinhalese chronicles, such as Culavamsa, Rajavaliya and a number of Sandesya chronicles, such as Kokila Sandesaya and Selalihini Sandesaya, have valuable information on the early and middle period of the kingdom, its activities and its eventual occupation by the rival Kotte Kingdom in 1450–1467. Culavamsa mentions in detail the arrival and the conquest of the Sinhalese capital Yapahuwa by a minister named Aryacakravarti during the period 1277 to 1283. It also mentions that the minister carried away the Budha’s relic from the capital to Pandyan Kingdom. [23] The Rajavaliya a primary source written during the 17th century refers to the fact that the Aryacakravartis collected taxes from Udarata and southern lowlands. [24]

The conquest by a certain Sapumal Kumaraya, a military leader sent by the Kotte king, seemed to have left an indelible impression on the Sinhalese literati. The victory of Sapumal Kumaraya is sung in the Kokila Sandesaya ("Message carried by Kokila bird") written in the 15th century by the principal monk of the Irugalkula Tilaka Pirivena in Mulgirigala. The book contains a contemporary description of the country traversed on the road by the cookoo bird from Devi Nuwara ("City of Gods") in the south to Nallur ("Beautiful City") in the North of Sri Lanka.

Beloved Kokila, wing the way to Yapa Patuna. Our Prince Sapumal has driven away from there King Arya Chakravarti, and has established himself in war-like might. To him, I offer this message. Arya Chakravarti beheld his glory, dazzling as the glory of the sun. He beheld his might which was poised throughout the eighteen ratas. Thereupon grief entered into his heart, he abandoned his realm and fled beyond the sea. [25]



Parakramabahu V (1344–59) a king of Gampola who ruled from Dedigama retreated to the southeast of the island, to a place called Magul Maha Viharaya in the Ampara District after a confrontation with the Aryacakravarti. This is evident from inscriptions in a place called Lahugala. [26]


The Medawala inscriptions dated 1359 found near a bo-tree at Medawala in Harispattuva reveal that Martanda Cinkaiariyan appointed tax collectors to collect taxes from the villages belonging to the Gampola kingdom. [27]


The Kotagama inscriptions found in Kegalle District are a record of victory left by the Aryacakravarti kings of the Jaffna Kingdom in western Sri Lanka. [28] [29] The inscription was assigned to the 15th century by H.C.P. Bell, an archeologist, and Mudaliar Rasanayagam, based on paleographic analysis of the style of letters used. If this late date is to be accepted then this inscription stands in contrast to generally accepted theory based on Sinhalese literature that Alagakkonara the local chieftain who confronted the Aryacakravarti kings in 1391 was victorious in his effort. [28] [30]

Rameswaram temple

Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan or his successor is credited with an inscription dated 1414 in the South Indian Hindu temple Rameswaram about renovating its sanctum sanctorum. It indicated that the stones for the renovations were shipped from the city of Trincomalee in present-day eastern Sri Lanka. This inscription was destroyed in 1866. [31]

Tenkasi Ten

The Tenkasi Ten inscription of Arikesari Parakrama Pandya of Tinnevelly who saw the backs of kings at Singai, Anurai,' and else where, may refer to kings of Singai. Singai or Cinkainakar being the capital of Arayacakravartis and Anurai the name for any Sinhalese capital; it is dated between 1449/50 and 1453/54. [32]


Image of Singai Parasasekaran, his sons Pandaram, Paranirupsingan and Cankili I Jaffna Royal family.jpeg
Image of Singai Parasasekaran, his sons Pandaram, Paranirupsingan and Cankili I
Marco Polo

Marco Polo was a Venetian trader and explorer who gained fame for his worldwide travels, recorded in the book Il Milione ("The Million" or The Travels of Marco Polo ). He reached a port in the northern part of present-day Sri Lanka between 1292–1294. According to him the local king was an independent ruler who did not pay tribute to any other monarchs. [33] He named the king as Cantheman, which is considered to be a corruption of Cinkaiariyan. [34] Polo's was followed by a visit by John of Montecorvino, who was a Franciscan missionary, traveller and statesman. He wrote in December 1291 (or 1292), the earliest noteworthy account of the Coromandel coast furnished by any Western European. According to him, he saw the wreckage of sixty seagoing vessels in the general area of Jaffna. [35]

Ibn Batuta

Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta was a Moroccan Berber [36] scholar and jurisprudent from the Maliki Islamic law, and at times a Qadi or judge. He is best known as a traveler and explorer. He spent a few days as a guest of an Aryacakravarti in 1344 and wrote a detailed account of his encounter. According to him, the king controlled the economically important pearlfishing trade in the Palk Straights and had trading links with countries as far as Yemen. The monarch also spoke Persian and was located in the western coastal area of the island, in Puttalam region. He was also noted as receiving tribute of cinnamon from other southern rulers. [37]

Giovanni de Marignolli

Giovanni de' Marignolli, a notable traveller to the Far East in the 14th century, came to Sri Lanka sometimes between 1330 and 1350. He wrote in great detail about the country, its peoples and customs. According to him, the northern part of the island was ruled by a queen, with whom he had many audiences, who also lavished him with precious gifts. This queen is considered to be the mother of an Aryackaravarti and a regent who ruled on behalf of her young son. The so-called "Catalan Map" drawn in 1375 also indicates that northern Sri Lanka was ruled by a queen. [38] Before Marignolli, there was another traveler, Friar Ordrick, who landed in Jaffna in 1322; he also wrote about the prosperity of the kingdom. According him

"The gold, silver and pearls this king had in his possession cannot be found anywhere else in the world". [39]

Portuguese colonial documents

Tradition claims that the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple was constructed by the first Aryacakravarti king. Nallur.jpg
Tradition claims that the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple was constructed by the first Aryacakravarti king.

In his Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon, Father Queroz records a tradition as

In course of time, there came some Brahmanes, natives of Guzarata called Arus, who claiming royal descent; and with the favor of Nayque of Madura, they erected a pagoda at Ramancor, whence they began to have trade and friendship with the king of Jaffnapatae, and one of them married a daughter of the king; and finally her descendants became heirs to the Kingdom. [40]

This rendition is fraught with many errors but the basic story line seems to fit the modern consensus. Father Queroz’s time line is also anachronistic. The Aryacakravarti dynasty came to power long before the ascendancy of the Madurai Nayaks as well as the Brahmins of Rameswaram had established a temple even longer before. Also the Gujarati origin of the Kings paternal line also in not in conformance with native claims of origin from the city of Varanasi which is in today's Uttar Pradesh not in the historical Gujarat. [41]

Current consensus

The current consensus held by historians such as S. Pathmanathan, Patrick Peebles and K.M. de Silva is that the Aryacakravartis were a Pandyan feudatory family that took power after the chaos created by the invasions of Kalinga Magha and Chandrabhanu. That the family was connected to the Ramanathapuram Hindu temple and was of Tamil Brahmin origin. It may have married into the family of eastern gangas or even for that matter the Chandrabanu’s successors, but the direct undeniable evidence for it is lacking. The influence of Eastern gangas in its royal flag and the coins is indisputable. Kulingai Cakravarti mentioned by the Tamil chronicles of the Kingdom may have been Kalingha Magha. [42] [43] [44] [45] [46]


  1. 1 2 Pathamanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, p. 9
  2. 1 2 Pathmanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, p. 11
  3. 1 2 Holt, John (2011). The Sri Lanka Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press. p. 83. ISBN   0822349825.
  4. Pathmanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, pp. 11–13
  5. "Salem District, Namakkal Taluk, Namakkal. Narasimha-Perumal Temple – In The Underground Cellar, Near The Entrance Into The Central Shrine (A.R. No. 11 of 1906)". South Indian Inscriptions. Retrieved 2008-03-17.
  6. Kunarasa,The Jaffna Dynasty, p. 66
  7. Gnanaprakasar, A Critical History of Jaffna, p. 83
  8. Gnanaprakasar, S. A critical history of Jaffna, p. 84
  9. 1 2 Pathamanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, p. 15
  10. Rasanayagam, M., Ancient Jaffna, pp. 303–304
  11. Perera, H., Ceylon & Indian History from Early Times to 1505 A.D., p. 353; Coddrington, H., Ceylon Coins and Currency, pp. 74–75
  12. 1 2 3 Pathamanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, pp. 4–5
  13. Spence, Sri Lanka: History and the Roots of Conflict, p. 116
  14. Kamath, A concise history of Karnataka: from pre-historic times to the present, p. 118
  15. Malays and all South East Asians are knows an Javakas or "Javanese" in Indic literature.
  16. Paranavitana, Senarat. "The Aryan Kingdom in North Ceylon". Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. II: 174–224.
  17. Sastry, K.A Nilakanta. "Ceylon and Sri Vijaya". Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. VIII: 125–140.
  18. Damais, Luis Charles. "transcription Chinoise- Ho -ling comme designation de Java". Bulletin de Ecole Frncaise D'extream-Orient. III: 93–141.
  19. Pathamanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, pp. 5–8
  20. Liyanage, The Decline of Polonnaruwa and the rise of Dambadeniya, p. 136; Recuil des Inscriptions du Siam II, 26, tr. 27.
  21. The throne name of Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan.
  22. Gnanaprakasar, A Critical History of Jaffna, p.#; Pathmanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, pp. 14–16
  23. Pathmanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, p. 8
  24. de Silva, A History of Sri Lanka, p. 136; "Looking anew at Kandyan combat strategies". Betty Weerakoon. Archived from the original on 2011-06-05. Retrieved 2008-12-02.
  25. "Buddhist Jaffna" . Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  26. Holt, Buddha in the Crown: Avalokitesvara in the Buddhist Traditions of Sri Lanka, p. 102
  27. de Silva, A History of Sri Lanka, p. 136
  28. 1 2 Rasanayagm, Ancient Jaffna, p. 364
  29. Coddrington, Short history of Ceylon, p. 89
  30. Coddrington, K. Ceylon coins and currency, pp. 74–76; "From Devundera to Dedigama". S. Pathiravithana. Archived from the original on 6 November 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-19.
  31. Gnanaprakasar, A Critical History of Jaffna, pp. 99–102; Kunarasa, The Jaffna Dynasty, pp. 67–68
  32. "The Kotte Dynasty and its Portuguese allies". Humphry Coddrington. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-03.
  33. Gnaprakasar, A critical history of Jaffna, p. 84
  34. Nadarajan, History of Sri Lanka, p. 75
  35. Natarajan, History of Ceylon Tamils, p. 76
  36. Ross E. Dunn, The Adventures of Ibn Battuta – A Muslim Traveler of the 14th Century, University of California, 2004 ISBN   0-520-24385-4.
  37. Gnanaprakasar, A Critical history of Jaffna, pp. 85–88
  38. Natarajan, History of Ceylon Tamils, pp. 78–79
  39. Natarajan, History of Ceylon Tamils, p. 77
  40. Fernao de Queyroz, The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon p. 48
  41. Pathamanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, p. 10
  42. Coddrington, Ceylon Coins and Currency, p. 74
  43. Coddrington, Short history of Ceylon, pp. 91–92
  44. Pathmanathan, The Kingdom of Jaffna, pp. 1–13
  45. de Silva, A History of Sri Lanka, p. 132
  46. Peebles, The history of Sri Lanka, pp. 31–32

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Trincomalee also known as Gokanna/Gokarna, is the administrative headquarters of the Trincomalee District and major resort port city of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Located on the east coast of the island overlooking the Trincomalee Harbour, 237 kilometres (147 mi) north-east of Colombo, 182 kilometres (113 mi) south-east of Jaffna and 111 kilometres (69 mi) miles north of Batticaloa, Trincomalee has been one of the main centres of Sri Lankan Tamil language speaking culture on the island for over two millennia. With a population of 99,135, the city is built on a peninsula of the same name, which divides its inner and outer harbours. People from Trincomalee are known as Trincomalians and the local authority is Trincomalee Urban Council. Trincomalee city is home to the famous Koneswaram temple alluded to in its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai and is home to other historical monuments such as the Bhadrakali Amman Temple, Trincomalee, the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall and, opened in 1897, the Trincomalee Hindu College. Trincomalee is also the site of the Trincomalee railway station and an ancient ferry service to Jaffna and the south side of the harbour at Muttur.

Koneswaram Temple temple

Koneswaram Temple (Tamil: திருக்கோணேச்சரம் Tirukkōṇēccaram, also known as Dakshinakailasha is a classical-medieval Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in Trincomalee, Eastern Sri Lanka. The temple is situated atop Konesar Malai, a promontory that overlooks the Indian Ocean, the nearby eastern coast, as well as Trincomalee Harbour or Gokarna Bay. Koneswaram is revered as one the Pancha Ishwarams, of Sri Lanka for long time. Being a major place for Hindu pilgrimage, it was labelled "Rome of the Gentiles/Pagans of the Orient" in some records. Koneswaram holds a significant role in the religious and cultural history of Sri Lanka, as it was likely built during the reign of the early Cholas and the Five Dravidians of the Early Pandyan Kingdom.

Kalinga Magha

Kalinga Magha also known as Magha the Tyrant and Kulankayan Cinkai Ariyan, is an invader who is remembered primarily for his aggressive conquest. He is identified as the founder of the Jaffna kingdom and first king of the Aryacakravarti dynasty. According to the Segarāsasekara-Mālai belong the first Aryacakravarti king of Jaffna to Eastern Ganga dynasty of Kalinga, who were descendants of Western Gangas and Cholas. His family was connected to the rulers of Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu. Kalinga Magha’s relatives of Ramanathapuram administered the famous temple of Rameswaram. He usurped the throne from Parakrama Pandyan II of Polonnaruwa, in 1215. His reign saw the massive migration of native Sinhalese to the south and west of Sri Lanka, and into the mountainous interior, in a bid to escape his power. Magha was the last ruler to have his seat in the traditional northern seat of native power on the island, known as Rajarata; so comprehensive was his destruction of Sinhalese power in the north that all of the successor kingdoms to Rajarata existed primarily in the south of the island.

Chandrabhanu King of Jaffna

Chandrabhanu or Chandrabhanu Sridhamaraja was the King of Tambralinga Kingdom in present-day Thailand, Malaysia and Sumatra. A Javaka, he was known to have ruled from during the period of 1230 until 1263. He was also known for building a well-known Buddhist stupa in southern Thailand. He spent more than 30 years in his attempt to conquer Sri Lanka. He was eventually defeated by the forces of the Pandyan Dynasty from Tamil Nadu in 1263 and was killed by the brother of the south Indian Emperor Jatavarman Sundara Pandyan.

Kingdom of Polonnaruwa

The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was the Sinhalese kingdom from which Sri Lankan kings ruled the island from the 11th century until 1310 CE. Pollonnaruwa was the second administrative center of Rajarata.

Kotagama inscriptions

The Kotagama inscriptions found in Kegalle District in Sri Lanka is a record of victory left by the Aryacakravarti kings of the Jaffna Kingdom in western Sri Lanka. The inscription reads;

"The women-folks of lords of Anurai who did not submit to Ariyan of Cinkainakar of foaming and resounding waters shed tears from eyes that glinted like spears and performed the rites of pouring water with gingerly seed from the bejeweled lotus like hands."

Martanda Cinkaiariyan ascended the throne of Jaffna Kingdom under the throne name Pararasasekaram III. He is one of the early Aryacakravarti kings about whom historical and epigraphical evidence is available. He was noted by Ibn Battuta in his well-known travelogue as well as he has left behind a few inscriptions. He oversaw the international trade of the Jaffna kingdom with Yemen via the kingdom's powerful trading ships. Martanda Cinkaiariyan accompanied Battuta to the peak of Sivanoli Padam Malai along with Yogis and other Hindus and companions of the king who visited the sacred Shiva site annually.

Flag of the Jaffna Kingdom

The Flag of the Jaffna Kingdom of the Aryacakravarti line of kings of Jaffna kingdom in northern Sri Lanka consisted of the couchant bull, the silver crescent moon with a golden sun. The single sacred conch shell, which spiral open to the right, and in the centre above the sacred bull, is a white parasol with golden tassels and white pearls. The color of the Royal Flag is saffron. The flag symbols are similar to number of flags found in India especially belonging to the Eastern Ganga dynasty. The Setu coins minted by the Aryacakravarti kings also have a similar symbol.

Setu coins

Setu coins or Setu bull coins are found in large quantities in the northern part of Sri Lanka and in Southern India. Codrington in his book Ceylon Coins and Currency published in 1924 and Mitchiner in his book Oriental Coins published in 1978 have clearly pointed out that the traditional design of Sri Lanka standing King Type Copper Massa (coins) of the Jaffna Kingdoms belongs to the Aryacakravarti dynasty from 1284 AD to 1410 AD. Setu coins were previously attributed to the Setupati Princes of Ramanathapuram in South India. There are two series one in the issued from the 13th to the 15th centuries and the other after the brief loss of sovereignty to the rival Kotte kingdom from 1450 to 1467 and reconstitution of the Kingdom. Even during the rule of Sapumal Kumaraya coins were issued in Jaffna that was distinct. Three types of this series are illustrated below. The obverse of these coins have a human figure flanked by lamps and the reverse has the Nandi (bull) symbol, the legend Sethu in Tamil with a crescent moon above.

Kanakasooriya Cinkaiariyan was the first of the Aryacakravarti dynasty kings of Jaffna Kingdom to lose complete power to a rival king. He inherited the throne from his father Gunaveera Cinkaiariyan in 1440. He was deposed in 1450 by Sapumal Kumaraya a military leader sent by Parakramabâhu VI from the rival Kotte Kingdom in the south. Number of primary sources such as Rajavaliya and Kokila Sandesa written in Sinhalese vividly describe the planning and conquest of the Jaffna Kingdom.

Kulasekara Cinkaiariyan is considered to be the first of the Aryacakravarti dynasty kings to establish his rule over the Jaffna Kingdom in modern Sri Lanka.

Jeyaveera Cinkaiariyan was the Aryacakravarti king of the Jaffna Kingdom in modern-day northern Sri Lanka, who had a military confrontation with a southern chief known as Alagakkonara. According to traditional sources, Alagkkonara defeated Jeyaveera's naval and land forces and assumed royal power in the southern Gampola Kingdom. Later, King Harihara II's brother Yuvaraja Virupanna invaded Sri Lanka from Karnataka, defeated Alagkkonara and established a pillar of victory there.

Bhuvanekabahu VI of Kotte, known also as Sapumal Kumaraya and Chempaka Perumal, was by self admission an adopted son of Parakramabâhu VI whose principal achievement was the conquest of Jaffna Kingdom in the year 1447 or 1450. He ruled the kingdom for 17 years when he was apparently summoned to the south after the demise of his adopted father. According to a primary source Rajavaliya, he killed the grand son of Parakrama Bahu VI namely Vira Parakrama Bahu or Jaya Bahu but Do Couto, however, who was well-informed, says after a few years' reign the king died and his half-witted son was put on the throne by his aunt, who two years later finding herself unable to rule sent for Sapumal Kumaraya from Jaffna.

Kandarodai is a small hamlet and archaeological site of Chunnakam town, a suburb in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.

Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa

Nissanka Malla, also known as Kirti Nissanka and Kalinga Lokesvara was a king of Sri Lanka who ruled the country from 1187 to 1196. He is known for his architectural constructions such as the Nissanka Lata Mandapaya, Hatadage and Rankot Vihara, as well as for the refurbishment of old temples and irrigation tanks.

Savakanmaindan was a monarch of the kingdoms of Tambralinga and Jaffna. He was the son of the Savakan king Chandrabhanu of Tambralinga who usurped the Tamil throne in 1255. During his rule of Jaffna, the Venetian traveller Marco Polo visited the northeastern Tamil country.

When to date the start of the history of the Jaffna kingdom is debated among historians.

Vickrama Cinkaiariyan was the fourth of the Aryacakravarti kings of Jaffna Kingdom. Author of the book “Ancient Jaffna” C. Rasanayagam calculated that he has been ruled Jaffna from 1279 to 1302. Yalpana Vaipava Malai says during his rule the county was in disorder. Riot occurred between Sinhalese and Tamils. Vickrama Cinkaiariyan ordered death sentences 17 Sinhalese and imprisoned many Sinhalese after the murder of 2 Tamils.

Virodaya Cinkaiariyan was the Aryacakravarti king of the Jaffna Kingdom in modern-day northern Sri Lanka. Tamil historical writer C. Rasanayagam calculated Virodaya Cinkaiariyan’s reign was from 1371 to 1394 while Swamy Gnanapirakasar calculated from 1344 to 1380. During his reign, Vanniar incited Sinhalese for rebellion, which resulted suppression of rebellion, Virodaya’ innovation against Vanniar and they suffered.