17 June, 2024


Nallur Kandasamy Of “The-Other-Side” Nallur Versus St. James’ Of “Town-Side” Nellore

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. Ratnajeevan Hoole

The Perahera in Kandy was permitted even with artistes catching Covid. The Nallur Thiruvilla was banned. Our terrorising police had parades at the temple for TV but shut down streets and diverted traffic although no one was worshipping. When robbers came 2 doors away (21.08.2021)  during curfew, the police emergency number did not answer, and the normal number was hung up when I called. The police do not protect us. My Nellore is being robbed of its name and history.

Rick Grannis of UC Irvine found American racial populations being organized according to “who is down the street.” I address here the subtle fight over place names to suggest the dwellers’ caste. Nellore is the name of Nallur in early church records. Streets correlate to caste and land price.

We see street segregation in the Fifth Century Tamil Hindu Epic Chilappathikaram Canto 5. Streets are reserved by caste having their “respective localities.” Jewellers, copper/iron mongers, cobblers, grain-sellers, et al., had their reservations – even mutton vendors, fishmongers, and prostitutes. These places in the city went by the name of Maruvurppakkam (The Other Village Side). In Pattinappakkam (Town Side) dwelt highly renowned great men.

Nellore was the seat of the Jaffna Kingdom of the Aryachakaravarthies. Chekarajacekaramalai says their lineage was Brahmin (I doubt it). Our royals naturally upheld agamic Hindu culture; particularly caste.

Madurai’s practice was upheld in Nellore – see the street map from the Jaffna Public Library. The CMS St. James’ stands where the principal Hindu Temple stood at Nellore Centre. Guardian-temples stood in agamic fashion, namely Chattanaathar Kovil (North), a destroyed untraceable temple (West), Moothavinayagar Kovil (South) and Veyyilviluntha Pillaiyar Kovil (East). The map says what caste lived where. People who want a high-status buy into Vellala areas.

There is pushback. For example, North of Chattanaathar Kovil is where the Kaikular of middling caste live (palace guards). It was called Kaikulanj Chanthai, now renamed Kalviankadu. This area North of the Palace was occupied by  the Portuguese garrison.  Many Kaikular show admixture: physical stature (like TELO’s Srisabaratnam), pink skin, and grey eyes which are now ascribed to Brahmin admixture and used by Kaikulas to make claims to Brahmin-ritual, like shorter periods of mourning.

The upper castes lived on the main roads within the circle of the guardian temples centred on CMS St. James’, called Changili Thoppu (King Changili’s Garden). People in the bylanes were of lower castes – typically workers from the trades and musicians, whom the royals needed, and untouchables.

An Official Map of Jaffna showing caste-based streets around St. James’
Note: Paraiya Lane, Sayakkaratheru, Thaddatheru Olungai, Coppersmith’s Lane, and Dyer’s Lane. Further South are Vannartheru Olungai, Thatchatheru Lane, Vaidivaruiddu Olungai, etc. North of St. James’ is Kaikulanj Chanthai. The caste system accommodated new castes as in Noththarisvettu Olungai, for notaries as the legal profession grew under the colonial powers.

Old families from Changili Thoppu, the Hensmans and the Phillipses, may assert royalty through their lands there. Where the palace stood used to be Chettiar Thottam (the Vaisya Chetties are higher than the Sudra Vellalas). Chettiyar Thottam has been encroached on by powerful Kaikulas from the area who have built there and are able to prevent their eviction.

Of Royal Lineage: Victor Hensman, a.k.a. E.M.V. Naganathan, MP.

In India many Christians were untouchable. To avoid this reputation holding back conversions, the Church sought upper-stratum Tamils for the clergy. The Rev. John Hensman was a prize catch from royalty as the first Anglican priest from Jaffna. It is a shame that Dr. Victor Hensman of that family whose life we celebrated only on 15 Aug. 2021 through an international Zoom conference, abandoned that proud heritage and took on the name E.M.V. Naganathan, MP, SJV Chelvanayakam’s righthand. 

The high-caste Circle stopped East of Veyyil Viluntha Pilllaiyar Kovil where Chemmany Road (leading to Chemmany) ends on the map. East of that is Nayanmaarkattu where field workers lived. The unnamed road at the top-right of the map was Nayanmaarkattu Veethi (becoming Aadiyapaatham Road) going to Thirunelveli Market. The short stretch of road from Kachcheri-Nallur Road towards the temple as Point Perdro Road curves toward Muththirai Chanthai was exclusively for Musicians, who could be heard practising their sweet music up to the mid-1960s. They have sold their lands to those seeking caste-upgrade by coming closer to the Nallur Temple.

Many new families have moved in buying land especially as the Christians left Nellore. Changili Thoppu where CMS St. James’ stands and the Palace stood, contains Muthirai Chanthai (Stamp Market, where stood a market to my times, and named so because the King’s tax collectors stamped in indication that taxes had been paid). That market is gone now so new-comers give away their late-coming status by calling it Muththirai Chanthi (Stamp Junction), although Church deeds refer to “Muththirai Chanthai.”

Chemmany Road

Chemmany Road, running by the old palace and central temple with the stretch of Point Pedro Road in front of the Palace entrance, was one of the most important roads. Fr. V. Perniola (The Catholic Church in Sri Lanka) makes occasional reference to the early church in Jaffna in Portuguese times. The early missionaries were Franciscans. King Changili martyred the first Franciscans and many Tamil saints, including his own son. The name Chemmany Road is commonly thought to have its etymology in chem (red) mani (stone, jewel). That, however, is far-fetched because there are no red stones or gems in the area. The likely etymology is chem (holy-red) munn (sand)-ee (the place that has red sand). Chemmany is the place where martyrs’ blood was spilt. As such, the church precincts and the Teachers’ Training College, with its associated CMS Practising School, are hallowed grounds for Christians, RC and non-RC.

The Rev. Elijah Hoole, ordained a year after Hensman, married a girl from Nallur and the Hooles have lived on Chemmany Road for generations. Because women gave up their surname at marriage, little is known of her family except that her dowry was big. Church deeds testify that our land belonged to my great-great grandmother “Mrs. E. Hoole.”

The significance of Nellore is that, following our kings, the Dutch Governor lived in his mansion by the Church which now is the Mission House. His path to work to the Kachcheri he had lined with Mahoganies. The Bishop on his visitations celebrated at St. James’. After St. John’s College founded in 1852 grew, Chundikuli became more important.

Nellore Temple History

St. James’s Church is built on the original Central Temple razed to the ground presumably in June 1619 when the Portuguese launched an expedition against Changili II. Changili took baptism in Goa before his beheading for his crimes, testifying “I would rather die a Christian Coolie than a Heathen King” and “uttering the sweet name of Jesus” (Queyroz, 690-1). His two Queens were preached to by Friar Antonio de Santa Maria (Queyroz 686ff); involving long debates about religious choices with the Queens showing appreciation for Christianity but not sufficiently to convert – until one Queen one day is moved to ecstatic tears and gets baptised and preaches to the other who too converts. She donated the land where the central temple stood to the Church. On that spot was built a Roman Catholic chapel occupying the St. James’ altar and vestry, and a schoolhouse. Thus St. James’ turned 557 years old in June 2019 when it had Mary as part of its name (citing Roman Catholic  historian Rev. Dr. Fr. J. E. Jeyaceelan), although the 200th anniversary recently celebrated was only of the Anglican Church.

Following replacement of the Central Temple by a Roman Chapel, historic documents refer to the Nellore Temple having been built by Chembaha Perumal. There is deliberate spinning between the razed temple and the new to make the present temple seem old. The Wikipedia says, “According to the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, the temple was developed at the site (NB) in the 13th century by Buwaneka Bahu, a minister to the King of Kotte. Chembaha Perumal is credited with building the third Nallur Kandaswamy temple”. Where were the first and second? Other so-called encyclopedic sources say, “the Temple’s foundation was laid in 948 AD. … Due to invasion of foreigners, the temple had to be relocated several times in different places within [the] Nallur area.” Nonsense.

After 948 AD it was the time of the ardently Saivite Cholas, who never would have destroyed a Kandasamy Temple, and then of the Aryachakaravarthies who too promoted Saivism. So why did the temple have to be relocated several times within Nallur whereas those escaping invaders would have fled Nellore?

However, many writers blame Phillippe de Olivero – a Portuguese army commander –  for destroying all Hindu temples in Jaffna in 1620. His expedition against Changili II was in 1618. So where was the Nallur temple he destroyed? Which? When? That account is doubtful. The actual destruction would have been in 1619 under de Olivero by when a Christian Chapel was already standing. That would have been where the original temple was. Stories of its relocation need clear proof of when and to where it was relocated.

The present-day Nellore Temple was really built (as a new temple, not rebuilt) when the Dutch allowed it. According to what I was taught in primary school and to India’s Jaffna Consul General’s web site, “It is believed that there was a shrine dedicated to an Islamic Sufi saint in the temple complex from 1734 to 1749 which was relocated in 1749 when the temple structure was built.” This relocation was presumably to the Burgher [Firangi in Hindi as in Parangi Theru] Quarter, Chinnakadai, where the Sufis had a centre on Bankshall Street. Many American disciples would come and stay therre. (When my wife gave birth to our eldest in 1985 in Philadelphia, the nurse wrote my daughter’s name in Tamil to show my wife. Strangely the Sufi Chief had been taken to Philadelphia where he had an Ashram and this nurse had been among the Parangis who fled to Australia and South Africa).

Clearly the present temple stands on “The Other Village Side” in the Muslim quarter with bad connotations for caste. The original Nellore (Paddy Village, Chemmany to this day having paddy fields cultivated by Palla field workers) had to be rescued and made Nallur, the place of good people. The Muslims were pushed further West into Chonaka Theru.

What was done to the Sufis was exactly what the Portuguese did to the Hindus, and the LTTE did to the Muslims in Oct. 1990.

So the Nallur temple cannot be older than late Dutch rule –  late in the Eighteenth Cent. when the Dutch began giving permission to build temples. (The Portuguese never attacked Mosques because they contained no idols).

We see a lot of self-enhancing expansionist heritage history concerning Nallur. Wikipedia even claims, “Part of the original Shivalingam of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple was located in the Vicarage [of St. James’] till 1995 when it was destroyed during the recapture of Jaffna by Sri Lanka armed forces. Nonsense. I lived in the vicarage from 1956 to 1967. There was no Sivalingam.

Battle for Nellore

St. James’ is the centre of Nellore made into Nallur to claim high caste status which the temple lacked in “The Other-Village-Side”, although according to the map, several lower castes also live in Nellore outside the circle round St. James’. The temple too was outside this circle.

The new temple stands where Muslims and traders ejected from there lived; technically on low-caste soil. It was Maruvurppakkam rather than central Nellore in Pattinappkkam. Reclaiming “the Town-side” is a long-term project in progress. For that, the temple area must expand East and Nayanmaarkattu expand West, thereby eliminating the real Nellore.

I have begun receiving letters addressed to Nayanmaarkattu Road rather than Chemmany Road (our address for generations). St. James’ up to 1975 or so was dominated by Vellalas, but now only about 3 families remain. The other castes to the east (Nayanmaarkattu) and south (Ariyalai) outside the circle around St. James’ dominate the church, even though the Hindus among them have stone-throwing and fisticuffs when there is Paraya-Palla love. With all Wardens today non-Vellalas, they have lumped our family with Nayamaarkattu for administrative purposes arguing that Changilithoppu is now part of Nayanmaarkattu. Likewise, Paraya Street now has disappeared into St. Benerdict’s Street. The North-South Nayanmaarkattu Olungai leading to Nayanmaarkattu is removed and now runs East-West to Kanaharatnam Road leading to Ariyalai. However, the Provincial Department of Education has illegally encroached on the CMS Teachers’ Training College. The Vellalas (or aspiring Vellalas) there will not use the Nayanmaarkattu Road as address in preference to Chemmany Road. Therefore obliterating that Chemmany Road address is uphill.

New Chammany Road

The attempt to replace “Chemmany Road” with the name “New Chemmany Road” elsewhere is ongoing. A road by this name is seen as having been started from Kaikulanj Chanthai. It does not even reach Chemmany. The Nallur sub-Post Office was within the circle by Chattanaathar Kovil. That has been moved to Kaikulanj Chanthai diminishing the claims of the original Nallur.

When I returned to Sri Lanka and was looking for land close to St. James’, my Hindu relations told me my Hindu cousin in new Nallur was selling his land. When I inquired, he denied it. My relations said he was untruthful. Three months later he had sold it to a Hindu. There is an ongoing attempt to call the temple area Siva Boomi. So meat-eating Christians are not welcome (although I am vegetarian when most Hindus re not). Even the strict king of Kannaki’s, Pandiyan Nedunj Chelian, permitted mutton-vendors and fishmongers; but not the Velllalas of Nallur Temple. Eating-houses are vegetarian. A meat-eating German Shepherd on Siva Boomi has been switched to vegetarian.

The real Nellore is vanishing. The usurper Nallur stands on sufi soil and is in bad hands; the hands of people who use caste to attack others and try to enhance their caste, but will say to talk about the evils of caste is to practise caste.

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Latest comments

  • 4


    The current Chettiyaa Thottam is not in the original original form.

    These are the Google map links.



    Description of Yamuna Veethy is missing in both Google street and terain map.

    Yamuna Veethy is the unnamed off road from the label AB20 (which is the Point Pedro Road) to the right, just below Ruins of King Sangiliyan’s Minister’s Residence.

    The actual Chettiyaa Thottam spanned along side of Point Pedro Road due south (in the map) from about lower part of Yamuna Veetthy that ends in Yamunaa Veethy and Sellar Veethy (Sellar Ln in google map) Junction, passing Yamunaari, to the old Kanthasaamy Koyil land where the Church (St. Jame’s) is now in Chemmany Road.

    It can be easily from the Google street and terrain maps that Chettia Thottam is back part of the Royal Court & Palace (stoned entrance is called Kalthorana Vaayil is still there as the front of Sankili Thoppu and marked in Goole map with the King chess piece).

  • 4


    This link is for Yamunaari.


    The location of Yamunaari and how the current structure looks, it is absolutely certain that Yamunaari was the Kerni to the old Koyil.

    It may well be that old Koyil land (where Church is now) was also part of actual Chettitya Thottam.

    My elder agrees that there is an element of encroachment (follow sections below to see why it may not be if not converted) in the current Chettiya Thottam. However, the elder says most of the families in that land are generations of the people who were employed by the Rajadhani (i.e. Royal Court & Palace).

    However, the Church (St. Jame’s) had also encroached some land in the actual Chettitya Thottam for cemetery.

  • 5


    However, we suspect that, all lands where the Rajadhani was and those Koyils, if not constituent parts (like Kopay, Mannar etc.) of the Kingdom were also subject to (symbolic) claim by Koyils (Sivan Koyils being the majority of them). The reason is all of those lands have some sort of connection to Koyils (for example, Kurukkal valavu is the name of parcel of the land where the current Nallur Kanthasaamy Koyil is).

    The Kingdom was rightful custodian and got the right to alienate land by the home and patronage of Saivism.

    So, Chettiyaa Thottam too was not in the ownership of any persons’ or the Kingdom’s.

    Essentially, those lands were alienated by the Kingdom for the (permanent) use by the faith of Saivism.

    When some one using the land converted to other faith from Saivism, all rights and even the alienation by the Kingdom was no more. (Though, born Saivite can never convert self, even through generations.)

    Basically, Hensman or who ever had become usurper of Chettiyas Thottam if they had been given permanent rights by the Kingdom for using the land.

    So did all who converted (to Catholicism) and essentially had also encroached their current land as well.

  • 4


    Claiming current Chettiya Thottam land by Chettiyar name or caste (it cannot be as above), which had already passed several hands over generations, might come back to haunt ownership of Hoole’s Chemmani Road address / property and perhaps all Christians who had converted.

    (Mind you the King Sankiliyan (i.e. Sankili 1) even beheaded his own son for converting to Catholicism; essentially practised his preaching.)

    The alienation of the land to the Church (i.e. where the old temple was) by the Queen was also problematic to the least. Because, the likelihood is that Queen alienated that land after baptising, at which point the Queen lost the right for alienating land.

    Readers then can imagine how those remained Saivites (regardless of caste) will react to Prof Hoole’s claim.

    In modern sense, I agree it is was vested interests among religion, power, politics and caste in the Kingdom.

    However, if the learned professor want revisit 500 years back for Nellore proper for the (vested) interest of his Chemmany Road address and claim of Chettiyaa Thottam (it cannot be) that had already passed hands over generations, then it may well open Pandora’s box even to his Chemmany Road address property.


  • 2

    “A form of caste system, not as rigid as the Aryan Varna system was still being practiced by the ancient Dravidians as per the ancient Indus valley and other older civi;izaations” S.S. Sarma

    They were I believe trade guilds and clans, and are healthy and necessary. The Brahmin to codify caste, and hold that only a Brahmin can attain mukthi and some down in the hierarchy are untouchable is not spiritual.

    It is because caste is in the religion itself in Hinduism we have to play a double game. Love God results in love your neighbour by imitation of God.

    But when God puts caste ab initio in creation, how does one deal with either without angering God or oppressing my marupuraththu brother?

    All are children of the one God. They say karma. Who mixed karma into the primordial ‘matter’ and why do it?


    • 5

      This is all old hat, I’m afraid, Dusty!
      Those are the five proofs for the existence of God first put forward by St Thomas Aquinas, and their refutations.
      This is why I’m going to continue being an agnostic. We have enough problems in our lives on earth without creating God in our own image.
      The more you read on such subjects, the less you know.
      Happy reading!

    • 5

      Dusty, god never created caste but it was mankind and strictly speaking one is not born a Brahmin but can achieve it through being by behaviour and personal qualities. Their livelihood is prescribed to be of strict austerity and poverty. However, all this got later corrupted by power and racism . In ancient Iranian even in modern Farsi, Bahman meant good man. Many believe the word Brahmana or Brahmin originated from this word. The caste system was originally codified in Northern India as a form of Aparthied racism, where so called Indo Aryans and other powerful and people who held power, even if they were not of Indo Aryan heritage( very few) became the higher castes and the native Dravidians and others became the Shudra and untouchables. In Southern India other than a small population of North Indian origin Brahmins of Indo Aryan heritage, the rest were largely of Dravidian and other heritage, therefore the caste system was different. It was not racial, other than the so called Indo Aryan Brahmin still ritually remaining at the top but with no power. It was codifed and became rigid but it was largely based on trade and occupation and the ruling classes became the upper castes and the poor meek and the ones who rebelled against this Brahmin hegemony or this caste system, became the lowere castes or out castes.

      • 5

        The caste system in ancient Dravidian society may have been based on guilds and clans and like I stated was not as rigid or codified like the Aryan Varna system but it was still there but was not degrading and rigid as what happened later. Basically it was grading a person according to their so called racial origin, especially in Northern India. The more Aryan you were supposed to be you were at the top. This form of racist grading took place in South Africa, even in Latin America also at one time and still do. Descendants of European settlers at the top, in between the mixtures at the bottom, the natives and the African slaves the untouchables. This is basically the caste system, especially in Northern India and I am viewing this only dispassionately not defending it.

      • 0

        “god never created caste but it was mankind and strictly speaking one is not born a Brahmin but can achieve it through being by behaviour and personal qualities.”

        Scientifically true.

        However, Brahmin and Kaikolar do claim and trace their origin in and to divinity.

        I think Kaikolar are much pronounced in this claim and have current symbolic evidences.

        Please see below my 9 parts brief history (intended to rebuke Prof Hoole’s imagines claims).

  • 3

    Dear Mr Vijaya Lekamge and Nathan,
    Vijaya, you’ve made some wonderful comments and said some kind things about me, too. Many thanks.
    Nathan, I’ve tried not to get too involved in all this. I also hope that Vijaya will not waste too much time in trying to solve the caste problems of Jaffna. Jeevan is a wonderful guy in many ways; his scientific work, I don’t pretend to understand, his work as an Elections Commissioner was carried out with admirable courage and commitment beyond the call of duty. The rights of our fellow Dravidians (Vijaya has stressed that!) who speak Tamil must be fought for.
    Vijaya, you’ll be glad to know that Jeevan’s children appear to have minds of their own; I have met three of the four, and also his wife, Dushyanthi. The “children” are all so tall that their main criterion in looking for mates may be height, and not caste! They’re all nice, you know. Both he, and his brother, RatnaRAJAN have Wikipedia entries (Rajan has never read his, and it is a bit incomplete). We were classmates.

  • 3


    Rajan will agree with many of the things that you’ve said, and he’s working quietly trying to alleviate the many handicaps faced by Up-country Tamils , still confined to estates and not having sufficient opportunities for education. All humans are conceived equal, but some seem to get neglected from that point on, so that even at birth they have fallen behind.
    Vijaya, please hold on to your faith, there’s nothing self-righteous about you! If at all assert yourself more. As for me, I try to think out problems without constant reference to God; I’m content to wait patiently until I cross the bar, after which I will either have all revealed to me, or find that I have totally ceased to exist. Meanwhile we have quite enough to do here in the South, with those whose difficulties we know much better.
    We must certainly be concerned about the plight of those in the North, but we must recognise our limitations; we have too many Eagle Eyes and Somas who think that they can prescribe remedies.
    Panini Edirisinhe

  • 0

    Mr. English speaking Sinhala Man,

    “or find that I have totally ceased to exist.”when I cross the bar ..

    If you ceased tonexist when you cross the bar or cease to exist like pass through some event horizon cosmic atomizer or whatever er, how’ wdya know you are no more ? Or us?

    You touch on two systems

    “Anatta means nothing beyond kanatta”.

    Did they not teach you at STC that Those who die in Christ even though they are dead will live? Does a life fleeting as it is, then worth creating, and being loved and crucified for?
    uYou wille be reconstituted iwith a beautiful resurrected body, at least for trying to make peace in these columns. and doing the rounds as a ischola mahatmaya in youra early days

  • 2

    Thank you Mr. Panini Edirisinhe , Thank you for your response above.
    Mr. Dusty wrote: ” You will be reconstituted with a beautiful resurrected body, at least for trying to make peace in these columns.”
    The Bible says ,”Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.”
    I too am very happy with your efforts to ” make peace in these columns.”
    Please keep the good work up, recognizing that according to the Bible, “the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.’
    It further states “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
    Warm regards
    V. Lekamge

  • 7

    1. “Old families from Changili Thoppu, the Hensmans, and the Phillipses, may assert royalty through their lands there,” says Hoole.

    He acknowledges that these families were the initial rice bowl Christians. There were no Christians in Tamil areas before them.

    2. “King Changili martyred the first Franciscans and many Tamil saints, including his own son,” says Hoole.

    The fact remains that at Mannar Inquisition, thousands of Saivaites were killed to be buried at a grave in the present-day Mannar town. Carbon dating of this grave testifies them as 480-year-old remnants of bones and skulls. This Mannar inquisition was conducted by Francis Xavier in person along with his lieutenant John Lawson. King Sankili I sent a force headed by his son. Cunningly the inquisition mastero Xavier imprisoned the son with the support of Portuguese soldiers. So King Sankili I himself led a force to Mannar, drove the Portuguese soldiers away. The captive son was killed by the avenging Portuguese soldiers.  Sankili I killed John Lawson. Francis Xavier escaped to Tuticorin. Franciscans and few converts were killed during the victorious war led by Sankili I. All those killed at war were burnt in wooden pyres following Sankili I’s Hindu tradition.

    • 4

      I know that Sankili 1 had sent his son to Mannar, and as I have noted above, I came to know in vernacular local history that he was converted and was beheaded by his Father, King Sankili 1, which you now refute, which in way a pleasant surprise for me (that the son remained true too to his father even after the capture, I thought the son some how had surrendered to Portuguese).

      Are there any historical notes anywhere that we can refer too.

      In the killing of Saivites in Mannar too, my ancestors as well (who was closely involved with Thiruketheesvaram as another Sivan Koyil and of course the Kingdom seems to have been caught (or may well have revolted against Portuguese), which I will come to answer in factual way (rather than condescending manner the author has employed in relation to caste, although I do not wish to do this, however, has to be done for providing facts).

      Thank you.

  • 2

    Regarding current Nallur Koyil in (old) Muslim area, although there was Islamic presence, the whole land is Koyil land, which as I stated was called Kurukkal Valavu. Essentially, Koyil had recovered the land.

    I do not think Muslims were chased away. If so, what stated below could not have happened.

    There is a story that underneath or in the current Nallur Koyil Aathimoolam, there is an Islamic shrine. Within Nallur Koyil too, people used to pay respect to the back of Aathimoolam. Whether that practice is still continues, I do not know.

    However, when traders were allowed in front of the current Nallur Koyil during 26 day festival, the section of the land that is in front of Vayiravar deity and is inline with water taps (just opposite side of Ther Mutti side facing Vayiravar deity) was allocated only for Muslim traders.

    However, Hindian bastards writing our history cannot be allowed. Because the innocent people killing and raping satanic forces had systematically confiscated and taken away historical and archaeological artefacts (in the Jaffna University) on the Hindian highest level order for eliminating the evidence for the nationhood of Eezham Tamils in October – December 1987. This was a very well planned operation.

  • 3

    3. Hoole writes: “Changili took baptism in Goa before his beheading for his crimes, testifying “I would rather die a Christian Coolie than a Heathen King” and “uttering the sweet name of Jesus” (Queiroz, 690-1) says Hoole.

    Queiros wrote the Conquista temporal, e espiritual de Ceylão, although he had himself never traveled to the island. At Goa, there is no archival material supporting the description of Queiroz on Sankili I. Except for Queiroz, no other Portuguese historian either in Lisbon or in Goa recorded so.

    4. Hoole dismisses home grown text Yalpaana Vaipava Maalai as “nonsense’. Hoole trusts the word of the faraway Queiroz whose primary interest was the restoration of the central role of the Portuguese military in Srilanka, a fact that sits uneasily with his religious vocation. Also, Queiroz had no access to textual sources in Sri Lanka as Dutch were in control of coastal Sri Lanka. Dutch had banned Catholicism in their territories. For the Jesuit historians, especially those who wrote history without visiting Sri Lanka, the textual sources and oral traditions of Sri Lankan non-Christians were imperfect.

    • 0

      I agree the Portuguese version of it was tailored towards the propaganda that was suitable for overall Portuguese invasions, conversions, maritime trade, overall interests etc.

      However, Yalpaana Vaipava Maalai does also seem to have discrepancies.

      However, it does not in any eliminate the horror of Portuguese. Quoted from the following link, http://www.tamilwritersguild.com/overseas-exploits-tamil.htm#chapIII

      “According to. Robert Knox : ‘When he got any victory over the Cingalese, he did exercise great cruelty. He would make the women beat their own children in mortars wherein they used to beat their corn’. The Portuguese in times of siege having drunk wine would partake of the salted-human remains of their own soldiers, due to the scarcity of food in their fortresses. Knox further adds: ‘His cruelty appear both in tortures and the painful deaths he inflicts, and in the extent of his punishments, viz., upon whole families for the miscarriage of one of them.”

  • 3

    5. Queiroz never attempted to learn about the linguistic traditions of Sri Lanka. He writes that an inscription in “ancient characters of the Chingala” was found on the stone after dismantling a temple in Triquimale (Trincomalee). The passage was deciphered, according to Queiroz as meaning that “there will come a nation called Francos who will demolish it [this temple] and there will be no King in this Island to rebuild it anew.” Let this rice bowl ancestry-laden Hoole know that it was Queiroz who wrote “nonsense” as the Trincomalee inscription is in Tamil. Conversely, Queiroz thought that all Sri Lankans of his time spoke Tamil. He did not know that the southern Sri Lankans spoke Sinhalese and most Buddhist religious texts were written in Pali.

    6. “There is an ongoing attempt to call the temple area Siva Boomi,” says Hoole. Let it be known to Hoole and other rice-bowl ancestry-laden Christians that Nallur has been since pre-historical times, and shall continue to be the seat of Tamil tradition and culture as Siva Boomi. Desert-sprang cults and philosophies are non-Tamil violent intrusions into this sacred Siva Boomi to be deported at the earliest convenience of the Tamils.

    • 4

      Ravi SL

      “Nallur has been since pre-historical times, and shall continue to be the seat of Tamil tradition and culture as Siva Boomi.”

      I can understand “seat of Tamil Tradition” however what is culture as Siva Boomi. On the contrary Gota and his fellow Sinhala/Buddhist believe and claim this island being a Sinhala/Buddhist country.

      First please explain what is Siva Boomi and how would you reconcile Siva Boomi with Sinhala/Buddhist country.

      Seriously, I hope you are not making stories as you go along.

  • 2


    I request CT to publish my comments as contiguous pieces.

    Following information is for knowledge from historical perspective and is NOT for patronising or condescending other people (like the author appear to have done, which is quoted).

    You (the author) also got it very wrong about that caste (Kaikolar) by quoting Sri Sabaratnam and attributing admixture (with Portuguese) to their physical body features.

    You (the author) attribute physical feature (skin, eyes colour) of persons of that caste by their supposed (or author’s imagined) admixture (with Portuguese) as a consequence of Portuguese garrison North of Chattanaathar Koyil.

    The author also reasons, in rather derisive and condescending manner (without further investigation), that the people (of that caste) use the physical feature (evolved through the supposed admixture with Portuguese) to make claims to Brahmin-ritual, like shorter periods of mourning.

    Luckily the author saved himself from possible physical assault by not saying to person(s) of that caste in face-to-face conversations, and publishing his views (or reasoning) in an indirect forum like CT.

  • 1

    Going by authors reasoning, immediately a hypothetical yet logical question arises as to why converted (by author’s admission mostly Vellalar initially and later other castes) Christians could not obtain the supposed admixture with Portuguese (or any other subsequent Parangis or Whites)? Where as, (how come) rather revolting (against Portuguese, see below), Saivite Kaikolar were able to to convince the Portuguese to freely mix with them to the extent for creating admixture? So, hypothetically, there could be several answers.

    Firstly, I am interested to know any evidence (that you (the author) might possess) for Portuguese garrison (North of Chattanaathar Koyil), which I never heard or seen in vernacular version of the history. Or, is the Portuguese garrison some thing you (the author) thought or imagined it by yourself? As it is history, I am open to see and verify author’s evidence if provided.

    It is well known that The Portuguese had built Jaffna fort by the granite stones from demolished (then) Chattanathar Koyil (and other Koyils). As such the Portuguese were unlikely to have constructed a garrison by timer or similar (any other bio degradable) material. There are no remnants of Portuguese garrison (even in ruins) in the area.

  • 1

    I have to give the account of width and breath of the area that I had trailed, walked, run and cycled in my child hood and early teens. Irupalai Junction (from which there is a road to Kodavil, where the road meets Pallaali road) to Jaffna Town, to the East Chemmani Crematorium and close to Navat Kuli bridge through the paddy fields because of Sori Sinhala Army camp and even watching focused lights from Navatkuli army camp by hiding in the Chemmani fields (and at times escaping the firing by the Army through the paddy fields leading to New Chemmany Road), to the West, Kondavil- Manipay, to the south west Arali (in fact my cousin and I had challenges for cycling to Arali and come in the same day without any help, lost navigation couple of times and eventually returned via Navaly – Suthumalai – Inuvil -Kodavil Irupalai only by asking people since I knew Irupaalai-Kondavil road – basically a whole circle from east to southwest – west – North), to the south east Nayanmaar Kattu (locally it is called Naa(i)maadu), Ariyalai, to the south Kurunagar Paasaiyoor, Chundukuli, Koiyaaththotam, Manaiyanth Thotam centering St Patrics College and all neighbouring areas.

  • 1

    I doubt even now days, as early teen agers, if any would venture out this far either on foot or cycle. In my late 2nd grade – 5th grade, 3-4 friends used to walk from St’ John’s Bosco school to our homes in North of Chattanathar Koyil if our transport car service did not turn up on time and were scolded several times by the strict principal and my mother for doing so. We used pray that the car service should not show up at all. All three routes from Bosco to our home – from Rakka Road, via Katcheri Nallur Road – Chemmany Road – Muthirai Santhi, or Maruthady lane – Crossing Navalar Road – Chettith Theru – to Point Pedro Road, or at the Juuntion of Maruthady Olunkai Chetith Theru turning right on to Navalar Road and taking Nallur Cross Road or even Katcheri Nallur Road – to Point Pedro Road, or taking Koyil Road via Kailasa Pillaiyar Koyil – back of Nallur Koyil – either going straight to Sankiliyan Veethy or Sattanathar Veethy for joining Point Pedro Road, and my friends and I have mastered it by start of grade 3.

  • 2

    Any person with local knowledge can see the extent of area covered by my friends and I is relatively huge and complicated (relative to the age). Although, I am decades away from that place, I have written all these from my memory except for Navalar Road, which I recalled as Stanley College Road (of course after Kacheri Nallur Road and Navalar Road Junction is the where the Stanley college is). This is to provide geographical perspective to the area which is kind of my childhood and early teen home.

    To given an example, as a teen, I witnessed the horror of tank crushed (by the so called innocent people killing and raping Hindian satanic forces) bodies of Tamil civilians in Pirambadi Olungai in October 1987, which is still in my memory.

    The account of my local geography trail is required to see that I am not quoting any thing out of the blue, like the author seems to have done.

    I know the area extremely well since child hood (readers may have guessed it from my marking of Yamuna Veethy, which is missing in Google map).

  • 2


    I now return to Portuguese period.

    There is a story of one of my ancestor attempted to attack Portuguese (during transport of these stones) by throwing stones by the revolt (how true it was, no body knows, perhaps the whole family or section of residents were deported, as we know that there were deportations).

    Why do you think I know this much about Sivan Koyils, Nallur (i.e. Murugan), and (currently symbolic) claim of lands by Koyils. It all starts with Kaikolar or Sengunthar.

    Of all the castes (although all are soothiraar by varnaasiramam), only Brahmin and Kaikolar claim and trace their origin in divinity. Follwoing is a brief mythology. Kaikolar trace their origin to Verravaahu and his siblings (even now called Nava veerakal) who were born to brave 9 women who were created by Sivan from Paarvathi’s 9 beads (which Parvathi left when Sivan got angry). Veravaahu was the commander in chief of Murugan. Although warriors by birth, before leading the war for Murugan, Kaikolar were doing the duty of Brahmins. After the war and involving in bloodshed, they wanted to give up fighting and did not want to get back into sacred duty of brahmins.

  • 1

    By the request of Veeravaahu were trained in another profession, weaving (it is believed this was chosen by Sivan for reason, see below).

    However, for preserving the honour of Brahmin duties, Murgan had granted a boon even without any request. That boon was by the divine order of Murugan that Veeravaahu and his siblings’ people / clan (i.e. Kaikolar) are the only ones who can provide Kodi Cheelai (the orders were weave Kodicheelai by your heart, hand, and sweat for my father, Sivan and, me, Murugan, and I will invite only you to do so) to Murugan and Sivan Koyils.

    Any one can find the variation this mythology in Wikipedia and other sources.

    This is why it was used to be this caste that provided Kodi Cheelai to the ancient Sivan (5 Eeswarams) and Murugan Koyils in the Island (as well as in then Tamil country in current India).

    This is the reason for Kaikolar was resident around Koyils, especially ancient Murugan and Sivan Koyils. That was how my ancestors who were around Thiruketheeswaram seemed to have been caught up in the massacre by Portugese in Mannar because (I think) they revolted.

  • 2


    Whilst all Tamil Savites consider Murugan (leader of 3 Sangams) as their first deity, Kaikolar or Sengunthar emotionally and intimately hold Murugan as their first deity.

    Apart from Brahmins, only Kaikolar were / are allowed into Aathimoolam of any Koyils and only Kaikolar have / or are allowed to have Koyils within their home that is in fact recognised as proper Koyils (of course anyone can have it but no Brahmin would give recognition for that). Even now, Saiva Kurukkal profession is practiced by some selective families, with more strict adherence to discpline than Brahmins.

    This is why, like Brahmins, the mourning period is 16 days for Kaikolar (and not because as the author attributes to seek Brahmin status by using the physical feature resulting from admixture with Portuguese, even if the admixture really happened).

    Even now, the symbolic invitation ceremony by Nallur (Murugan) for the requesting Kodicheelai (symbolically weaved by Kaikolar) is conducted by foot (see you tube video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJ8RH9HQRC4). Watch all of it to see the Koyil within the home the person who receives the invitation.

    There is another family that takes the Kodicheelai (symbolically weaved) to Nallur (Murugan). In youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFhi_La5x74

  • 2

    In the last day of Kantha Chatty, there are certain Kaikola families only whom are allowed to be Mudikaarar (i.e. representing Nava Veerakal) in Nallur and other ancient Murugan Koyils.

    Cholar were the ones then to militarise Kaikolar because it was Kaikolar who had the sort of Naval force for protecting their sea faring weaving trade. Cholar also took the Kaikolar into sucide squads (it was called Therinja Kaikolar). Karayars and Kaikolar had shared interests and traits.

    By the way I am not trying to boast here, however, it is only Karaiyar and Kaikolar who took initiative for armed struggle in modern times (Thangathurai, Kuttimani, Prabha etc; and Setti (though Setti has deviated to robbery, Selvanayakam (Sellakkilli), Sri Saba; Konesan and Charles Anthony (Seelan) concealed Potasium stolen from their School lab in Sori Sinhala flag which was to have been raised by a minister and when the minister unveiled the flag lit and went up in smoke). Coincidence?

    I do hope that this has given factual historic perspective than a derisive, condescending, divisive and mostly assumed (or imagined) view of the history, like the author’s (for own interests).

    • 0

      “Konesan (Aruna) and Charles Anthony (Seelan) concealed Potasium stolen from their School lab in Sori Sinhala flag which was to have been raised by a minister and when the minister unveiled the flag lit and went up in smoke”

      I must have said that it had happened Trincomalee (and I think it was in a Saivite or Hindu School or place).

  • 0

    Part I of III
    I just looked at my computer after arriving in San Francisco following a hectic week. I can defend myself without help from SIvasegaram who is trying to slander me while pretending to help me.

    I reject Sivasegaram’s claims. I have no relation married to an Irish Catholic. I have never referred to adverse implications to my children because of such a marriage. Such things I would not tell outsiders anyway. I still say I am low caste Dalit. When I made my claim it was after my family had returned to Sri Lanka in 1995 at an ICES talk.

    In caste, Taken to be is the right phrase for the fiction called caste. We have Uyarthara Vellalas (First-rank, or strictly vegetarian Chaiva Vellalas) and Irandaamthara Vellalas (Second-class, selectively vegetarian, flesh-eating Vellalas). What we are taken to be depends on whether we control the social narrative as powerful members of society. When one wants a husband in a good job but happens to be Second-class Vellala, so long as the groom is not too low, those taken to be higher-rank Vellalas would comfortably marry Second Class Vellalas since the social narrative can be controlled.

  • 0

    Part II of III
    I have had supposed First-rank Vellala Saivites proposing marriage to me when I was eligible, telling us “My grandfather was Christian,” revealing the fact that according to K.M. de Silva and others nearly all in Jaffna had converted by 1795. hat Ravi and Roshan25 call Rice Bowl Christians reverted and true Christians remained Christian.

    Very broadly Christian, Islander and Non-peninsular Vellalas are Second-class even if they claim Vellalahood. In caste, a Vellala marrying a Koviya does not produce half-Vellala-half-Koviya. For there is no such caste. In Hindu law their children are outcast Chakkilis. The power of the family to control the narrative will determine if the progeny are Vellala or Koviya within a couple of generations.

    One of Navalar’s ancestors was Chetty, Vaisiyas, higher than Vellalas. That makes him a Dalit. But since Vellalas control the narrative Navalar has been made a high born Vellala.

    I too am of mixed caste (Chaiva Vellalas, Other Vellalas and Chetties) and in this sense Chakkili in Hindu law. Powerful members of the family marrying Hindus are able to enforce theirww status as Chaiva Vellalas, the highest kind of Vellala. Most of us are happy as Second Class Vellalas.

  • 1

    Part III of III
    Our detractors would use our Christian background to put us down because in the early days of Protestantism in Jaffna there was mixing when the Christian community was small.

    Sivasegaram who really understands caste-upgrades, perhaps deliberately, misunderstood my Thamotharampillai talk. He was his usual nasty self there although he says he came away with a high opinion of me. My wife sang Carnatic lyrics by Thamotharampillai that are now in our hymnbook. Sivasegaram quite rashly attacked her saying we have taken Hindu Thevarams and are calling it Christian music.

    Sivasegaran should understand that with Chaiva Vellalas at the top of our society, there are others like Trinco-, Chritians- and Island-Vellalas who, as Historian Raghavan put it, “slowly, slowly” become Vellalas.

    For example, “Theevaan”, Islander, is a caste put down. So to upgrade those of Kayts, Kaarai Theevu,” to be rid of Theevu (Island)) began calling their birthplace Caradive. That sounded a little ridiculous. So after independence Caradive became Karainagar. Nagar alludes to Nagaram, or Pattinam as in Pattinappakkam, of Silappathikaaram. A good example is the Christian Cloughs of Caradive. After marrying GG Ponnambalam, they are not even remotely thought to be islanders (Theevaar) or Christian.

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