Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kudiramalai Point

Kudiramalai  is a headland cape, point and ancient port town on the west coast of Sri Lanka. It was once a flourishing emporium of international trade and the capital of an ancient Kingdom based in Jaffna peninsula of the Naka, before the capital was moved to Nallur in the medieval period. Situated on the Gulf of Mannar's coast close to Silavaturai, the town has a shared history with the proximally located Karaitivu island, the ancient port town of Mannar and the historic and famous Thiruketheeswaram temple. Kudiramalai is the northernmost point of the Puttalam District, and proved to be a useful subsidiary southern port of Mannar in the classical period, serving the island's northern kingdoms of the Jaffna Peninsula and Vanni country as one of their southernmost border towns. It lies directly west across the Vanni from Trincomalee (Thiru-Konamalai), home of the historic Koneswaram temple. The shores from Kudiramalai point 20 km north up to Vankalai village formed the most famed pearl fishing banks in the classical and medieval eras.
Famous rulers of this land included Queen Alli Arasani, Chief Korran, his father Pittan, and Korran's contemporaries Chief Elini and Athiyamān Nedumān Añci (father/son duo) and Kumanan. Traders brought several horses in watercraft to the island during the Sangam period. The port was known as Hippuros to ancient Greeks (literal translation of Kudiramalai in Greek - Horse Mount/Hill) and finds mention in the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea of Ptolemy. Archaeological excavations have revealed Kudiramalai to have been a site of ancient habitation from the 1st century BCE-to the 7th century CE and later. Kudiramalai's ruins attract visitors from around the world. It is now a barren dry zone landscape, with red earth terrain typically seen in Northern and North Western Sri Lanka, and sand dunes once serving as sites of habitation.

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