Friday, December 14, 2018

Kalutara Tamil Pillar Inscription

Kalutara Tamil Pillar Inscription is one of Tamil inscriptions in Sri Lanka. The record is found on a stone pillar located in the premises of the Magistrate Court Complex, Kalutara (Katupotha, 2011). It reveals about the donations made by a king and a chief to a temple dedicated for Kali, a Hindu goddess (Fernando, 2003).

The inscription consists of 11 lines. The first 7 lines say that king offered the income received from the gardens and fields to the Kali (Kali temple) and the rest of the inscription, lines from 8-11, says that the income of grains were donated (to the temple) on behalf of the chief (Veluppillai, 1971). The name of the king is not mentioned here and the chief could be a regional head (Fernando, 2003). According to Veluppillai (1971), during the medieval period there was a mercantile corporation between South India and Sri Lanka under the name Ticaiyayirattu ainnurruvar (the five hundred of thousand directions) or ainnurruvar (the five hundred). During this period, Kalutara might be one of the stations used for their operations. The Kali temple mentioned in this inscription, therefore, may had been erected by them (Veluppillai, 1971).

Kali is among the pantheons of Hinduism but not a Brahmanical deity (Veluppillai, 1971). This could be the reason why this inscription does not contain Brahmi lines but only Tamil scripts (Fernando, 2003, Veluppillai, 1971). Depending on the palaeographical features, the inscriptions is assigned to about the 15th century A.D. (Veluppillai, 1971).

  • Kalutara Pillar Inscription (Tamil)

    Period : 15th century A.D.
    Scripts  : Medieval Tamil
    Language : Medieval Tamil 
    Transcript : Annurru mar kalikku racakkal kumpa kkututta tottayam vayal ayam ......>>
    Translation : These are the incomes from gardens & fields granted as heap by the king to the Kali of the five hundred......>>
    Citation : Veluppillai, 1971

1) Fernando,. M., 2003. Kalutara (In Sinhala). Thejani Publications. ISBN:955-8818-00-3. pp.40-44.
2) Katupotha, J., 2011. Cultural and Historical Monuments and Protected Resources of Archaeological Significance in the Lower Kalu Ganga Basin, Sri Lanka. Conference Paper. National Archaeological Symposium 2011. pp.197-213.
3) Veluppillai, A., 1971. Ceylon Tamil Inscriptions: Part 1. Published by the author. pp.44-45.

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