Mukkara Hatana

The Mukkara Hatana ("The Mukkuvar War") is a 17th century palm leaf manuscript from Sri Lanka. Written in Sinhalese, the work celebrates the victory of the Karaiyars, also known as Karavas over the Mukkuvars, whom battled for the dominance of the western coast of Sri Lanka.[1] The manuscript is now preserved in the Hugh Nevill collection at the British Museum.[2]


The victory of the Karaiyars over the Mukkuvars happened in the Saka era 1159, corresponding to the 15th century.[3] About 7700 Karaiyar chieftains from Kanchipuram, Kaveripattinam and Kilakarai of Tamil Nadu arrived in Sri Lanka under the invitation of Parakramabahu VI of Kotte.[4] The army was led by the chieftains Kurukula Nattu Thevar, Adiarasa Adappan, Varunasuriya Adappan, Kurukulasuriya Mudaliyar, Bharathakulasuriya Mudaliyar, Arasakulasuriya Mudaliyar and their main royal chief Manikka Thalaivan.[5]

The chieftains first overthrew the fort of Puttalam after a three month siege with the Mukkuvar, with the loss of their own 1,500 troops. The Mukkuvar were led by their leader Nala Mudaliyar.[6] The Karaiyar chieftains thereafter proceeded to Nagapattinam and overthrew the fort there after another four months siege with the loss of additional 1300 troops, where also their royal Karaiyar leader, Manikka Thalaivan got killed.[7]

Manikka Thalaivan's sons were eventually adopted by Parakramabahu VI, one of whom is known as Sapumal Kumaraya.[8][9] The chieftains settled after the victory in the area between Chilaw and Negombo.[7][10]

See also

  • Timeline of the Karavas


  1. N. Fernando, A. Denis (1987). Peninsular Jaffna from Ancient to Medieval Times: Its Significant Historical and Settlement Aspects. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, Vol. 32. p. 83. JSTOR 23731055.
  2. Nadaraja, Tambyah (1972-01-01). The Legal System of Ceylon in Its Historical Setting. Brill Archive. pp. 34–35. ISBN 9004036377.
  3. McGilvray, Dennis B. (2008). Crucible of Conflict: Tamil and Muslim Society on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. Duke University Press. p. 61. ISBN 0822341611.
  4. Kurukshetra, Volume 4. University of Michigan: Sri Lak-Indo Study Group. 1978. p. 86.
  5. The Ceylon Antiquary and Literary Register. 1922. p. 2.
  6. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. 1998. p. 166.
  7. M.D., Raghavan (1961). The Karava of Ceylon. University of Pennsylvania: K. V. G. De Silva. pp. 14–16.
  8. "Sapumal Kumaraya and Puran Appu - Later avatars of Prince Aba?". Retrieved 2017-03-05.
  9. Kurukshetra, Volume 2. University of Michigan: Sri Lak-Indo Study Grou. 1976. p. 25.
  10. Fernando, A. Denis N. "Dona Catherina was the direct heiress by virtue of her heredity". Info Lanka.
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