Sangilian Thoppu

Sangilian Thoppu
Sangilian Thoppu/Sangiliyan Thoppu, also called Sangilian Facade, Cankilian Thoppu or Poothathamby Walaivu (Tamil: சங்கிலித்தோப்பு; Sinhala: සංගිලියන් තෝප්පු) is an old arch situated in Nallur in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. The arch is located on the wayside of Jaffna-Point Pedro road, about 950 m distance from Nallur Kandasamy Temple.

Mainly there are two opinions regarding the origin of this monument. As this monument is named after King Sangili/Sangilian (1619 A.D.), some believe that this arch could be a part of his palace (Dias et al., 2016). King Sangili is considered the last king of the Jaffna Kingdom (Dias et al., 2016). However, according to some, Sangili refers to King Sangili Segarajasekaram (1519-1564 A.D.) who is known for ordering the massacre of Christian converts and priests (Haramoto et al., 2015).

According to the other opinion suggested by some authors such as Dr Kunarasa, this arch was a part of the headquarter of Poothathamby Mudaliyar, a Tamil administrator who lived during the Dutch Period [(1658-1796 A.D.) Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014]. The arch is also known as Poothathamby Walaivu (arch) by the locals (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014).

There remains part of a building that has a semi-circular arch opening. It has been made of brick and plastered with lime mortar (Dias et al., 2016). Presently, portions of the plaster that had peeled off have been repaired with concrete and a simple shelter has been erected over the facade to prevent damage from rain. The monument remains in a well-preserved state.

Along a side path stretching from the back of the building, there is an area that appears to be the foundation of the palace and a pond, but sufficient information is lacking to corroborate their history (Haramoto et al., 2015).

A protected monument
The entrance of Sangili Thoppu Palace belonging to the village of Nallur in the Grama Niladhari Division of Sangiliyan Thoppu bearing No. J-109 in the Divisional Secretariat Division, Nallur is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 23 February 2007.

Sangilian Thoppu
1) Cankili Thoppu by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0
2) Foundation of the Cankilian Thoppu by AntanO is licensed under CC BY SA 4.0

1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. p.208.
2) Haramoto, T.; Inouchi, C.; Koizumi, Y.; Fukuyama, Y., 2015. Survey Report on the Protection and Utilisation of Cultural Property in the Northern and Northeastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. Japan Consortium for International Cooperation in Cultural Heritage. p.37.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1486. 23 February 2007. p.129.
4) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.112-114.

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This page was last updated on 12 April 2023
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