Sunday, December 13, 2020

Kadirana Copper Plate Grant

Kadirana Copper Plate Grant
Kadirana Copper-Plate Grant (also known as Kadirana Thamba Sannasa of Vijayabahu VI) is a copper inscription discovered in Negombo in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka. It is presently on the display at Colombo National Museum.

The copper plate was discovered underground, in the Kadirana Cinnamon Plantation near Negombo, by some women while digging edible roots (DeZoysa, 1873).

It bears no date but has been written in Sinhala characters resembling those of the Devinuwara inscription (Paranavitana, 1961). It records a grant made to a Brahmin named Venrasu Konda Perumal on the fifteenth day of the dark half of the month of Poson (June-July) in the ninth year (the succeeding year to the eighth) of the Emperor Sirisangabo Sri Vijayabahu, on the occasion of a solar eclipse (DeZoysa, 1873; Paranavitana, 1961). The king mentioned here has been identified as Vijayabahu VI (1509-1521 A.D.) of the Kotte Kingdom (Rohanadeera, 2007). On the day of the grant, he was at his countryside palace at Udugampola (Gampaha), issuing the proclamation in front of his royal court (Rohanadeera, 2007).

The solar eclipse
The date of the grant has been ascertained by historians by the solar eclipse which had taken place on the day the grant was proclaimed (Paranavitana, 1961; Rohanadeera, 2007). There were two solar eclipses on 18 June 1517 and 8 June 1518 but the second eclipse is said not to have been visible in Sri Lanka (Paranavitana, 1961). Therefore, the date of the grant has been taken as 18 June 1517, which was the ninth year of King Vijayabahu VI (Paranavitana, 1961).

This eclipse is also mentioned in Portuguese sources that tell about the first Portuguese intervention at Colombo harbor in 1517 (Rohanadeera, 2007).

1) DeZoysa, L., 1873. Transcript and translation of an ancient Copper-plate Sannas. Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Part I. J. Capper, Ceylon Times Press, Colombo. pp.75-79.
2) Paranavitana, S., 1961. The emperor of Ceylon at the time of the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505. University of Ceylon Review (Vol. XIX, No.1). p.18.
3) Rohanadeera, M., 2007. Archaeological Survey of Ceylon: Inscriptions of Ceylon: Vol. VIII. Department of Archaeology. ISBN: 978-955-91-59-64-3. pp.103-106.

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