Anaikoddai Megalithic Burial Grounds in Jaffna and – යාපනය අනායිකොට්ටයි මෙගලිතික සුසාන භූමිය

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source : Early settlements in Jaffna : An Archaeological Survey
source : Early settlements in Jaffna : An Archaeological Survey

The Jaffna lagoon separates the main land of Sri Lanka from the Jaffna peninsula and connects to the main landmass through a narrow strip of sandy land southeast of the peninsula. The coastline along Jaffna in this lagoon creates a natural creates an natural shallow bay which would have been ideal anchorage for ancient small vessels. This also would have played a important role in fishing in these times as even today this stretch of beach caters to much of the fish consumed in Jaffna.

Megalithic Burial Grounds of Anaikoddai lies close the inner most point of the bay, about 500 meters inwards. An archaeological survey has been carried out in this to study early settlements in the 1980. The burial grounds is reported to occupy an area of around two acres, in the paddy-field stretch of Anaikoddai. Half of the mound is undisturbed. This is covered by natural vegetation and by coconut trees. Part of the remaining half has become a Christian burial ground and potsherds had been discovered scattered in the earth dug out tor the burial pits. Every time a modern burial takes place it disturbs a Megalithic burial. Another quarter of the mound has been total!y disturbed by earth scoopers to fill a low-lying land for the Navanturai housing scheme.

A partially damaged large urn has been found with the rim missing. The content of the pot consisted of conch-shells, bones, a crab-shell and ECBR\W sherds. Near the urn a copper rod, probably a kohl stick that usually occurs in urn burials, was found. Two boulders, not of local origin was also discovered nearby. Based on the pottery and the other artifacts found on the site, the researchers believe this could be dated back to around 300BC.

Along with this survey few other other closeby sites too have been studied.

Anaikoddai Megalithic Burial Grounds9°41’40″N, 79°59’40″E
Kannakai Amman Kovil mounds9°41’35″N, 79°59’35″E
Aintu Panai Pitti9°41’50″N, 79°59’05″E
Mulli & Dutch Road9°42’10″N ,79°59’35″E
Yavil9°42’20″N ,79°59’50″E
Kattuvairavar  Kovil9°43’00″N ,79°58’30″E

Kannakai Amman Kovil mounds

The Kannakai Amman Kovil mounds can be reached by walking north trom the temple which lies alongside the Jaffna -Katativu road. Kannakai Amman Kovil is a non-Brahmanic fork shrine alongside the Katativu Road. There are three pottery bearing mounds north of the temple. Two ot them are partially disturbed and one is intact.

Aintu Panai Pitti

The Aintu Panai Pitti site lies by the side of the Mattolunkai road, has now become paddy-fields. This place presumably gained the name because there was a mound with five Palmyras. But the entire mound has vanished due to earth scoopers. However, at the time of the survey the lower layers of the mound were intact. The place had yielded a variety of pottery. mainly of Thick Rim Red Ware, its associated type and iron slags.

Mulli & Dutch Road

The Mulli site is located near the Dutch road Karaippiran (Karipiran) Pillaiyar Kovil on the lands adjoining the Dutch road. The Mulli site is in the periphery of the paddy fields of Anaikoddai. Potsherds were noticed at two places in this area. One was near the Karipiran Pillaiyar Kovil mound and in some house premises between the temple and the Nali road. The other spot was in the sandy area north-west of this location. The extent of this site, including both the spots, is around 10 acres. The Pillaiyar Kovil mound and the neighbouring house premises were found nearly packed with potsherds. Possibly it was a kiln site. The sherds are mainly ot the Thick Rim Red Ware Historic Black and Red Ware sherds also were obtained at lower levels. Chinese ware sherds and a few terracotta objects were obtained near the Pillaiyar temple.

Yavil

The Yavil site is near the Anaikoddai Junction behind the Manipäi Branch Office of the Jaffna District Development Council. The Kattavarayar Kovil is at the periphery of the paddy-fields. The road that deviates from the Vaddukoddai road near the Kalluntai Vairavar Kovil leads to this spot. Mounds were observed adjoining the Yavil Pond, and near the folk temple situated on the bund. Sherds were obtained here and in the flood outlet leading to the pond. The sherds were of Thick Rim Red Ware.

Kattuvairavar Kovil

The Kattavarayar Kovil is at the periphery of the paddy-fields. The road that deviates from the Vaddukoddai road near the Kalluntai Vairavar Kovil leads to this spot. The temple is located at the northern periphery of the Anaikoddai paddy field stretch and it is on the AnaikoddaiNavali border. This is a famous folk temple in this area known for the annual folk drama of Kattuvairavar . Here are huge mounds near by, many limestone polished slabs were found scattered in the area, A few socket stones also were noticed. The find point to structural remains here, which can be confirmed only by an excavation.

This report is now over 40 years old and during the the Tamil Terrorist war which lasted for over 30 years, whether any remains can be found is doubtful. However the respective authorities should research on such places and preserve these archaeological sites for the future generations.

Map of Anaikoddai in Jaffna and archaeologically important places from 'Early settlements in Jaffna : An Archaeological Survey
Map of Anaikoddai in Jaffna and archaeologically important places from ‘Early settlements in Jaffna : An Archaeological Survey

References

  • Ragupathy, P., 1987. Early settlements in Jaffna : An Archaeological Survey. 1st ed. Madras: Sudarsan Graphics.

Also See

Map of Anaikoddai Megalithic Burial Grounds in Jaffna


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Driving Directions to Anaikoddai Megalithic Burial Grounds in Jaffna

From Colombo to Jaffna (route 1) From Colombo to Jaffna (route 2)
Through : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Time to travel   : 7-8 hours
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Through : Puttalam – Silawathura – Pooneryn 
Distance : 365 km
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Jaffna town to Anaikoddai Megalithic Burial Grounds
Through : Karainagar
Distance : 4.5 km
Time to travel  : 10 mins
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