Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu VI

Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu
Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription of Parakramabahu VI is one of the Tamil inscriptions in Sri Lanka. It is now on display at the Stone Gallery of the Colombo National Museum. It records a grant of fields in Naimmana village (in Matara District) to feed Brahmans at the alms hall near the Shrine of Devinuwara.

The slab was found at a place in Naimmana village in Matara District. Edward Muller, in his book "Ancient Inscriptions of Ceylon", says that an upright slab with a Tamil inscription was found standing in the jungle of Naimmana, located about two miles north of Matara (Muller, 1984).

The inscription has been engraved on both sides of an irregularly shaped stone slab; measures 2 ft. 9 inches by 1 ft. 0.25 inches on side A and 3 ft. 1 inch by 1 ft. 0.5 inches on side B (Paranavitana, 1953). The top of the slab is round and outline drawings of the Sun and the Moon (on the first side) and 'Samkha' and 'Cakra' (on the second side) are found carved above the lettering. It consists of forty-six lines and has been written on both sides of the slab (Pathmanathan, 2005). The epigraph is mainly in the Tamil language with the Tamil scripts but it ends with two Sanskrit verses written in Grantha scripts (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The inscription is dated in the twenty-first year of a king-styled Sri Parakramabahu (Pathmanathan, 2005). Depending on the palaeographical considerations, S. Paranavitana has assigned this inscription to the 14-15th centuries A.D. (Paranavitana, 1953). S. Paranavitana and S. Pathmanathan are of the opinion that this inscription has been set up during the reign of King Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.), around the year 1433 A.D. (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The inscription has two parts: the Sanskrit portion and the Tamil portion. The Sanskrit portion is identified as the summary of the Tamil record but significant differences are found in the descriptions of the grant in the two languages (Pathmanathan, 2005). The Sanskrit portion records the endowment of the village of Naimmana by Parakramabahu, the king of Lanka, for the purpose of feeding twelve Brahmans daily at 'sattra' (an alms hall) of Devaraja (Pathmanathan, 2005). The Devaraja who is mentioned here, according to S. Paranavitana, is no other than God Upulvan [(Varuna) Paranavitana, 1953]. The Tamil portion records the grants of fields of several villages (including Naymnanai) by the king, for the purpose of providing alms daily at the 'cattiram' of the shrine of the (god) king (Pathmanathan, 2005).

The interpretations for the Naimmana Tamil inscription by S. Pathmanathan (2005) are given below,

Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription
Naimmana Tamil Slab Inscription

Reign : Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467 A.D.)
Period: 15th century A.D.
Language: Tamil, Sanskrit
Script: Tamil, Grantha
Transcript: (1) Ciri parakkirama (2) vaku tevarku ya (3) ntu 20 avatuk (4) ku etiravatu vai (5) kaci mu 5(i)l maha (6) iracavintiru .....>>
Translation: Hail Prosperity. The twenty-first anniversary of the inauguration of the reign of his majesty Parakkiramavaku tevar is on the fifth (day) of the first fortnight of (the month of) Vaikaci.....>>
Citation: Pathmanathan, 2005

See also

1) Muller, E., 1984. Ancient Inscriptions in Ceylon. Asian Educational Services. New Delhi. p.60.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1953. The Shrine of Upulvan at Devundara (Vol. 6). Ceylon Government, Archaeological Department. pp.71-74.
3) Pathmanathan, S., 2005. Tamil inscriptions in the Colombo National Museum: Spolia Zeylanica. Vol 47. (2010). Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka, pp.39-52.

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This page was last updated on 12 May 2023

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