Kadurugoda Pillar Inscription

Kadurugoda fragmentary pillar inscription
The Kadurugoda (or Kandarodai) Pillar Inscription is a fragmentary stone pillar inscription discovered from the archaeological reserve at Kadurugoda in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.

The pillar was unearthed from the premises of the Kadurugoda archaeological site in 1981 and was later taken to the Archaeological Museum of Jaffna for conservation. (Ranawella, 2004).

The pillar is about 2 feet 7 inches in height and contains an inscription written in the Sinhalese scripts of the 10th century. Three out of the four sides of the pillar have been used for inscribing the text of the inscription and each side contains eight lines of writing preserved (Ranawella, 2004). The fourth side has been reserved for an outline drawing of Dhamma Chakraya or the sun (Dias et al., 2016; Ranawella, 2004). The upper part of the pillar is ended with a pot of special shape (Godakumbura, 1968).

A regal proclamation of the bequest of gifts and benefits to a Buddhist place of worship is recorded in the pillar. The preserved fragment does not contain the name of the king or the date of its issue (Ranawella, 2004). However, the donor here is mentioned as the king of the lineage Okavak and the ruler of Ruhuna. Depending on the morphology of the language used, some scholars had dated this proclamation to King Kassapa IV [(898-904 A.D.) Dias et al., 2016; Godakumbura, 1968; Wijebandara, 2014]. However, presently, scholars such as Prof. Sirimal Ranawella have dated this inscription to the reign of King Dappula IV [(923-935 A.D.) Ranawella, 2004].

The interpretations for the Kadurugoda pillar inscription by Sirimal Ranawella (2004) are given below,

  • Kadurugoda pillar inscription
    Reign          : Dappula IV (923-935 A.D.)
    Period        : 10th century A.D.
    Script & Language: Medieval Sinhala
    Citation: Ranawella, 2004. pp.103-104.

    Transcript: (Svasti) siribara (Kat)kula kot O(ka)vas parapu(re)n himi vu Ruhun danavu Malamandulu......>>
    Translation: Hail!....who secured for himself the Malamandalas of the province of Ruhuna, which he......>>

The inscription reveals certain immunities granted in respect of some lands belonging to Abhayagiri Viharaya at Anuradhapura, which were situated in the Jaffna Peninsula (Ranawella, 2004). This information, according to Prof. Sirimal Ranawella, is historically important as it indicates that the northern part of the country, including the Jaffna Penninsula, was under the control of Sinhala Kings at Anuradhapura during the 10th century (Ranawella, 2004).

1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. p.223.
2) Godakumbura, C.E., 1968. Kantarodai. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 12, pp.67-85.
3) Ranawella G.S., 2004. Inscription of Ceylon. Volume V, Part II. Department of Archaeology. pp.103-104.

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This page was last updated on 14 January 2023
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