Manthri Manai Mansion, Jaffna

Manthri Manai Mansion
Manthri Mansion (Tamil: Manthri Manai; Sinhala: Rajamanthri Maligaya) is an old building situated in Nallur in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka.

The phraseology of the name of this building hints that this could be a palace for a queen or for queens (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). Some are in the belief that this is the palace of the Sangilian kings of the Aryacakravarty Dynasty (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). However, there is no firm evidence have been found yet in the country regarding the palaces built by this royal dynasty (Wijebandara, 2014).

Sangilian kings reigned in the last period of the Aryacakravarty Dynasty (Dias et al., 2016). It is said that the Jaffna viceroy clan called Tikkam Manai were living in the Tikkam Manai palace in Jaffna collecting taxes for the king of the Kotte Kingdom (Dias et al., 2016). Under the administration of the Kotte king, some royal lineages in Jaffna such as Arya Gangas, Brahmins, Pandyans Atti Brahmins, Malavans, Ashakeshari, and Malalas had administrated certain regions and collected taxes from pearls and elephants of Jaffna and given them to the minister Manai of Tikkama (Dias et al., 2016).

The building
Presently, this building is in a good state of preservation (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). It has been built out of Miocene limestone and the walls have been plastered with lime mortar (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014). The entrance porch of the building has an eye-catching architecture and it gives access to the inner hall. At the beginning of the hall is a column with a capital of an embossed wood carving of a lotus flower. The doors of a series of rooms are opened to the hall and a room with a timber upper floor is found to the left of the main entrance (Dias et al., 2016). To the right of the main entrance are a kitchen room and a well. The well has been divided into two sections by a wall built at the centre of it and the reason for that is unknown (Dias et al., 2016).
The front section of the building, according to the view of researchers, has been added to it during the Portuguese period (Dias et al., 2016). The person named A.S. Thambiapillay who is said to have rebuilt the facade of the entrance section in 1890 has left inscriptions on it in Tamil and English languages. The English inscriptions roughly say "If we spend our life righteously we and our people will be endowed with prosperity" (Dias et al., 2016; Wijebandara, 2014).

A protected monument
The ancient Manthri Palace situated in Point Pedro road in the village of Nallur in the Grama Niladhari Division of Nallur Rajatani bearing No. J-107 in the Divisional Secretariat of Nallur is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government gazette notification published on 23 February 2007.

Manthri Manai Mansion .
1) Mantri Manai by AntanO is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

1) Dias, M.; Koralage, S.B.; Asanga, K., 2016. The archaeological heritage of Jaffna peninsula. Department of Archaeology. Colombo. pp.207-208. 
2) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. no: 1486. 23 February 2007. p.129
3) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.98-103.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 23 May 2021
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map

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