Grants to Kali in the Tamil Pillar Inscription at Kalutara

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Tamil Inscription in Kalutara
Tamil Inscription in Kalutara
Photo Credit : Jinadasa Katupotha

This inscription is located in the premises of Kalutara Magistrate Court Complex between Galle Road and the Colombo-Galle railway line . The letters and the description indicate that this inscription belongs to the 15th century and to the Kotte Kingdom (1412–1597 A.D).

It was Mr P.E. Peries who first read this inscription. According to him, There are two layers in the stone. The Tamil inscription has been written over an older inscription. Some letters of the older inscription is still visible. According to Mr. Peries these are clearly Sinhala letters. (Gamage, 2007)

Gangathilaka Viharaya was popular temple by the Kalu river which is mentioned in Sandesha poems such as Thisara Sandeshaya and Parevi Sandeshaya and as well on in the Portuguese documents. Mr Peries believes that the original inscription documents the grants made to the Gangathilaka Viharaya and after the destruction of this temple, the same grants have been made to a Kali Devale and the inscription over written in tamil text as worship of Kali is predominantly practiced by Tamils and not Brahmins. (Gamage, 2007)

There are 11 lines written in Tamil Language in this inscription. From 1-7 lines of this inscription indicates that the king offered the income of paddy fields and other property to the Kali Kovil. Likewise, lines from 8-11 indicates that this income (cereals) offered by a regional chief on behalf of the King to the Kali Kovil.

The inscription is read as

1 — Annurru
2 — mar kalikku
3 — racakkal ku-
4 — mpa kku –
5 — tutta totta –
6 — yam vayal
7 — ayam -ivai
8 — mutalikku
9 — Kontu kutu
10 — tta taniyam
11 — ayam ivai

(Veluppillai, 1971)

There is no mention of a kings name but the grant is to have been made by the king and the chiefs. Dr. Veluppillai argues that the word Annurrumar could be read as “the five hundred”. Tamil words Ticaiayirattu Annurruvar which means Five Hundred of the Thousand Directions” has also being found at 3 other tamil inscriptions, namely in Vahalkada (near Vahalkada Reservoir on Yan Oya), Padaviya (by the side of the Padaviya Reservoir) and at Viharahinna (near Moragolla of Kandapalle Korale in Matale North).

The ‘Five Hundred of the Thousand Directions’ was the name of a corporate commercial organisation of South Indian origin. Before the Age of the Colas, this organisation was extending its activities throughout Peninsular India. With the rise of the Cola maritime power, this organisation was spreading throughout South and SouthEast Asia. Dr Veluppillai believes that this This medieval corporation might have been operating in Kalutara also and that the Kali temple might have been constructed by them.


  • ගමගේ , ගු., 2007. රයිගම්පුර රාජධානිය. 1st ed. දිවුලපිටිය: සරස්වතී ප්‍රකාශන.
  • Katupotha, J., 2011. Cultural and Historical Monuments and Protected Resources of Archaeological Significance in the Lower Kalu Ganga Basin, Sri Lanka. In: National Archaeological Symposium. Colombo: National Archaeological Symposium, pp.197-213.
  • Veluppillai, A., 1971. Ceylon Tamil Inscriptions – Part 1. 1st ed. Kandy: Royal Printers, pp.44-52.

Also See

Map of  Kalutara Tamil Inscription Pillar

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Travel Directions to Kalutara Tamil Inscription Pillar

Route from Colombo  to Kalutara Tamil Inscription Pillar
Time to Spend : 15 minutes
Distance :42 km
Travel time : 1.5 hours
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