Last updated


Sri Lanka location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Location in Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 7°25′00″N81°49′00″E / 7.41667°N 81.81667°E / 7.41667; 81.81667 Coordinates: 7°25′00″N81°49′00″E / 7.41667°N 81.81667°E / 7.41667; 81.81667
Country Sri Lanka
Province Eastern Province, Sri Lanka
District Ampara District
Divisional Secretariat Kalmunai
  Type Kalmunai Municipal Council
Time zone UTC+5:30 (Sri Lanka Standard Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+6 (Summer time)
Postal Code

Maruthamunai (Tamil : மருதமுனை, romanized: Marutamuṉai; Sinhala : බුරුතමුන්න, romanized: Burutamunna, Sinhala : මරදමුනේ, romanized: Maradamunē) is a coastal village located along the eastern coastline, about 358 kilometres away from the capital city, Colombo. The Village has an estimated population of 13,948, predominantly Muslims. Maruthamunai Located in Kalmunai, Ampara District in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.


December 2004 tsunami

This picture shows 2004 tsunami hit in Maruthamunai Tsunami 2004 efect in maruthamunai.jpg
This picture shows 2004 tsunami hit in Maruthamunai

Maruthamunai was one of the villages most severely affected in Sri Lanka by the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004. The disaster killed 922 residents of the village, displaced 11,086, 1,391 houses were completely destroyed and 1,359 were partially damaged. Previous to the disaster the population of the village was officially 17,393. In addition to over 1,300 homes, many public buildings were destroyed by the tsunami. [1]


The primitive history of Maruthamunai village is entirely different from the history of the Muslim villages in the South - East region of Sri Lanka. The ancestral Muslims of Maruthamunai had settled in Thuraineelavanai village in the Southern boundary of the Batticaloa District, some 6oo years ago. After a lapse of few years of living there, those Muslims mutually replaced the Tamils lived in Maruthamunai.

Maruthamunai is bounded on the North by Periyaneelavanai village, on the West by paddy fields together with the river bed of the Batticaloa Lagoon, on the South by another conventional village - Pandiruppu, and on the East by the Bay of Bengal of the Indian Ocean. Maruthamunai had an extent area of 2.11 square kilometers and a Muslim population of about twenty thousand in 2004. This number is believed to have been decreased into 4/5 portion due to the Indian Ocean tsunami on 2004.12.26 on Sunday.

During the period from 661 A.D. to 750 A.D., there had been a dictatorial rule by “Umaiyahs” in the Arabian sub-continent where the rule was not accepted by the family members of “Hashim” of the Prophet Mohamed (Sal) and this contradiction created constant enmity between two aristocrats. Meanwhile, when a Umaiyan ruler, Abdul Malik Bin Marwan ascended the throne in 685 A.D., he used to vehemently tortured the “Hashim” members. Being unable to withstand the unbearable cruelty, many Arabian Muslims arrived in countries like Jawa, Malaya, and other far east countries.

Quite a number of such Muslims came to Puttalam and Kalpitiya villages of the North - West coast of Sri Lanka and lived there ever since. There are the Muslims who permanently settled in Sri Lanka. In the latter period of 15th century, some Muslims were deported by the Europeans who governed the coastal regions of Sri Lanka. These Muslims, finally, sought asylum from the Sinhalese king known as “Senarath” who ruled the rest of Sri Lanka making Kandy, as the city. Thus, those Muslims were colonized in the South East region of Sri Lanka. The ancient lineage of these Muslims became the Muslims of Maruthamunai village, in particular.

Another group of the Muslims, sailing through the Batticaloa Lagoon, settled in a South East bounded village, Thuraineelavanai making conducive existence with a group of Tamils lived there.

In the late nineteenth century, some people of India called “Seerpalha caste” settled down on their own in the rest of Thuraineelavanai, and so were they in Maruthamunai as well. It is natural to give a name to a new place where migrants wish to live in. Therefore, it is crystal clear that the people of a “Seerpalha caste” had named our village as “Maruthamunai”. The Muslims settled in Thuraineelavanai had been well- killed in Weaving, whereas the people of “Seerpalha caste” were interested in Agriculture. The two physical environments in their respective villages were adverse to their occupations. This situations paved the way for mutual transfer of the people so that the two villages could inductively engage in their occupations.

Hence the Muslims, who on mutual transfer settled in Maruthamunai village, were headed by the citizens of Jawa, called Aboobucker Ali and his relative; Sermon Mohamed Haji. They made their housings at “Aathi Medu” and “Santhi Manal” areas where the people of “Seerpalha caste” once lived at and also they built a small mosque at “Awakkali yappa palli”, the very spot where the present “Masjithun Noor” mosque is situated and used to follow Islamic doctrines right there onwards.

This ancient Mosque, having been destroyed in 1912, was given new shape into a beautiful mosque of Islamic architectural features in 1926. Considering the dense population existed, this pretty Mosque again was reconstructed commencing on 1977.04.08 in the name of “Masjithun Noor” and ended in 1988. This is the majestic mosque located at Batticaloa, Main Street at Maruthamunai.

A group of Muslims in Maruthamunai North moved to live in Maruthamunai in 1862 and made a small cadjan built Mosque called southern mosque. This too was extended then and there as population grew up. In 1957, reconstruction work began aiming at constructing the mosque permanently, and ended in 1976 bearing its name “Masjithul kabeer”. These two mosques served as the Jummah mosque from there Islamic preaching had been taking place every week on Fridays. Also these mosques have contributed this much in the fields of religious, cultural, educational and peace oriented activities related to the welfare of the people of Maruthamunai. Then emerged another Jummah Mosque at Akbar Village in the North East of Maruthamunai. This Mosque has been totally damaged by the tsunami disaster on 26th 12. 2004.

Instead, however, Jummah sermons take place at Bakiyathus Salihath Mosque, next to Akbar Mosque from 1.5.2005 onwards. And so came another Jumma Mosque called “Masjidul Malharul Magbooliya” in the South East part of Maruthamunai from 2003.10.24 onwards.

Since the people of Maruthamunai had their wedlock most probably within the boundaries of Maruthamunai; this village was thickly populated round the year. Taking this grave problem into consideration, a village of 100 houses named “Akbar Village Housing scheme”, “S. Z. M. Mashoor Moulana Housing Scheme” and “25 house scheme” were established in 1980s. The state lands for these schemes were exploited by the Government in the extreme coastal belt area.

GS divisions and population (2011)

GS NumberAreaTotal FamiliesPopulation
KP/68Maruthamunai-6 South5701953



Related Research Articles

Batticaloa City in Sri Lanka

Batticaloa is a major city in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka, and its former capital. It is the administrative capital of the Batticaloa District. The city is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka and is a major commercial city. It is on the east coast, 111 kilometres (69 mi) south of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island. Pasikudah is popular tourist destinations situated 35 km northwest with beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons.

Arugam Bay Town in Eastern, Sri Lanka

Arugam Bay, known locally as "Arugam Kudah", is a bay situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka's southeast coast, and a historic settlement of the ancient Batticaloa Territory. The bay is located 117 kilometres (73 mi) south of Batticaloa, 320 kilometres (200 mi) due east of Colombo, and approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of the market town of Pottuvil. The main settlement in the area, known locally as Ullae, is predominantly Muslim, however there is a significant Sri Lankan Tamil and Sinhala population to the south of the village, as well as a number of international expatriates, largely from Europe and Australia. While traditionally fishing has dominated the local economy, tourism has grown rapidly in the area in recent years. Arugam Kudah's literal Tamil translation is "Bay of Cynodon dactylon". Tourism in Arugam Bay is dominated by surf tourism, thanks to several quality breaks in the area, however tourists are also attracted by the local beaches, lagoons, historic temples and the nearby Kumana National Park.

Sri Lankan Tamils Ethnic group

Sri Lankan Tamils, also known as Eelam Tamils, Ceylon Tamils or simply Tamils, are members of the Tamil ethnic group native to the South Asian island state of Sri Lanka. Today, they constitute a majority in the Northern Province, live in significant numbers in the Eastern Province and are in the minority throughout the rest of the country. 70% of Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka live in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

Sri Lankan Mukkuvar is a Tamil caste found in the coastal regions of Sri Lanka.

Negombo City in Western Province, Sri Lanka

Negombo is a major city in Sri Lanka, situated on the west coast and at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon, in Western Province, 38 km from Colombo via Colombo - Katunayake Expressway.

Kattankudy Town in Sri Lanka

Kattankudy is a township near the city of Batticaloa on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. The town is dominated by Muslims.

History of Eastern Tamils of Sri Lanka is informed by local legends, native literature and other colonial documents. Sri Lankan Tamils are subdivided based on their cultural, dialects & other practices as into Northern, Eastern and Western groups. Eastern Tamils inhabit a region that is divided into Trincomalee District, Batticalo District and Ampara District.

Karaitivu (Ampara) Village in Sri Lanka

Karaitivu is a coastal village situated in the Eastern Coast of Sri Lanka about 30 miles (44 km) south of Batticaloa and is next to Kalmunai town. This is one of the oldest surviving village settlements in the Ampara District.

Kalmunai City in Sri Lanka

Kalmunai is the largest city of Ampara District. It is also the largest city of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. It had a total population of 106,780 as of 2011. It is one of the few Muslim-majority municipalities in the country. When Muslims in Colombo were expelled by Portuguese in the 17th century, they fled to Kandy and sought refuge with King Rajasinha II, who resettled these refugees in Kalmunai and Kattankudy (4,000). Kalmunai was the site of the royal farm, as a result of this settlement, it became a Muslim-majority area.


Dighavapi is a Buddhist sacred shrine and an archaeological site in the Ampara District of Sri Lanka, boasting of historical records dating back to the 3rd century BCE. Water reservoirs, called "tanks", were an important feature of the hydraulic civilization of ancient Lanka, and temples and cities were built around them. The importance of Dighavapi is connected with legends about visits to this site by the Buddha himself, and many allusions to Dighavapi in the ancient chronicles as well as in the Pali literature. It has also played a role in the political history of the region. In more recent (medieval) times, the Sinhalese kings have settled Moor and Dutch settlers in the neighbouring areas.

Dennis B. McGilvray is a professor in the Department of Anthropology in University of Colorado at Boulder. Dennis's research interest are focused on the Tamils and Muslims of south India and Sri Lanka. His research examines matrilineal Hindu and Muslim kinship, caste structure, religious ritual, and ethnic identities in the Tamil-speaking region of eastern Sri Lanka. It is also important to note that this region is deeply affected by the island’s civil war. He is also interested in visual anthropology and alternative modes of cultural representation. At University of Colorado he teaches on Tamil culture; upper division courses on symbolic anthropology, Foundations of Theory, and South Asian ethnography and a graduate seminar on Ethnography and Cultural theory.

Indians in Sri Lanka refer to Indians or people of Indian ancestry living in Sri Lanka, such as the Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka.

Methodist Church in Sri Lanka

The Methodist Church of Sri Lanka and in is a Protestant Christian denomination in Sri Lanka. Its headquarters is in Colombo and was established on 29 June 1814. It is a member of the World Council of Churches, the Christian Conference of Asia, the National Christian Council of Sri Lanka and the World Methodist Council.

Sammanthurai Town in Sri Lanka

Sammanthurai, is a town in Ampara District of Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. Sammanthurai situated at 7°22′0″N81°48′0″E, is 4.8 km west of the Bay of Bengal coast. It lies between the towns of Ampara and Karaitivu along the A31 road. It is surrounded by paddy fields and it is renowned for its rice paddies and its inner harbour from ancient times.

1978 Sri Lanka cyclone

The 1978 Sri Lanka Cyclone was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike Sri Lanka's Eastern province since modern records began. The cyclone formed on November 20, 1978 and attained peak intensity on November 23, 1978 right before making landfall on Trincomalee. In Sri Lanka's Eastern Province, Akkaraipattu, Ninthavur, Kalmunai, Kaluwanchikuddy, Pattiruppu, Chettipalayam, Thalankudah, Kattankudy, Batticaloa, Eravur and Kalkudah were the most affected due to their position in the vicinity of the cyclone..

Dharga Town Place in Western Province, Sri Lanka

Dharga Town is a town located in Kalutara District, Western Province, Sri Lanka. Dharga Town is close to Aluthgama and the tourist town Bentota.

Batticaloa region

Batticaloa region (Tamil: மட்டக்களப்புத் தேசம் Maṭṭakkaḷapput tēcam; also known as Matecalo; Baticalo; in Colonial records, was the ancient region of Tamil Settlements in Sri Lanka. The foremost record of this region can be seen in Portuguese and Dutch historical documents along with local inscriptions such as "Sammanthurai Copper epigraphs" written on 1683 CE which also mentions about "Mattakkalappu Desam". Although there is no more the existence of Batticaloa region today, the amended term "Batti-Ampara Districts" still can be seen in the Tamil print media of Sri Lanka.

Seerpadar A Tamil caste found chiefly in Eastern Sri Lanka

Seerpadar is a Tamil caste found in the coastal regions of Eastern Province in Sri Lanka. They are traditionally involved in agriculture. They are chiefly found in the Veeramunai, Mandur, Thuraineelavanai, Kalmunai, Kurumanveli and Periye Kallar regions in the Batticaloa and Ampara District.


  1. "Maruthamunai: a tsunami-devastated village in Sri Lanka, by A. Shanthakumar and W.A. Sunil, 29 December 2005". Retrieved 29 November 2011.