The kings of Kandy were from the Waduga dynasty, another Karava Kshatriya clan from south India.
Badugé and Vadugé are two ancestral family names used to date by Karava families of Sri Lanka. In their many extended variations, these two groups of names form a Karava clan of considerable size. The significance of these two names however appears to be now mostly lost. The end of Karava royal succession, the end of martial careers almost two centuries ago, loss of status, loss of power, loss of collective memories and over half a century of Sri Lanka government sponsored false propaganda that the Karavas are descendants of 'fishermen', have led the bearers of these great names to now say that their ancestors were humble Vaduvás (carpenters - in the Sinhalese language). However if that etymology was true, then the Badugés would be people who lived in rented houses !
Contrary to ludicrous modern assumptions, historical evidence from India and Sri Lanka show that these two groups were an important clan of the Karavas rather than a large body of carpenters. The Karáva family name Vedagé too is similarly misinterpreted now as ‘house of the physician’ whereas in the past it had denoted a person versed in the sacred Hindu Vedas and pronounced as Védagé.
The word Vaduga had been used both in India and Sri Lanka to distinguish persons and groups which had migrated to the south from the north. Accordingly Kauravas who migrated to South India from the north, had been called Kaura Vadugar in Tamil (Kurukula Charithaya I 48). Such nomenclature also justifies the observation of Hugh Neville that the Karáva of Ceylon and South India are undoubtedly a remnant of a northern race (Oriental Studies II 9).
In Southern Sri Lanka, the Vadiga Patuna is a traditional dance performed by dancers wearing Rajput dress, turbans and beards. The word Vadiga in Vadiga Patuna is reputed to denote the North Indian origin of the dance. Similarly the Nayque kings of Kandy too were reputedly known as Vadugas on account of their migration to Sri Lanka from India, which is north of Sri Lanka. However the Vaduga appellation of these kings had a much deeper clan identity.
The 1917 Madras District Gazetteer of the Tinnevelli District states that the Vadugans, bear the title Nayakan or Nayudu (The Madras Gazetteer I 3 88). This observation read together with the 17th century Portuguese historian Queyroz’s observation that Chem Nayque, the naval commander of the Nayque of Tanjore, was a Karáva (Queyroz 638), confirms the interrelationship of Karava, Vaduga and Nayque (also spelt as Naik, Nayaks and Nayakan ). Naik princes, referred to as Malabars by the British, were the commanders of the Kandyan army right up to the end of the Kandyan kingdom (Pieris 1939 pg 232).
Similarly the Surya Vamsa Nayque kings of Kandy were known as Vadugas / Nayakkars are from the same clan. Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (AD 1798 - 1815) the last king of this Vaduga dynasty is referred to in a South Indian source as a Pattankatti (Taylor II 26), a title borne only by Karáva chiefs. It is also used todate only by the Karávas as the family name Patabendige.
And indeed British records and colonial despatches from the period show that King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe was truly a Patabenda. An elegant gold forehead plate (Nalalpata) set with rubies , emeralds and pearls had been among the Kandyan regalia seized by the British in 1815. According to the British record, the King’s regalia had also included:
The British Agent John D’Oyly hadn’t classified any of the above royal ornaments under the head of ‘Regalia of the Crown’. Possibly he was misguided by one of his low caste interpreters. As such, all the above were sold by auction on 13th June 1820 by Thomas King at Covent Garden. The gold and jewels had been sold by weight, in ozs and carats respectively (Pieris 1939 pg 206). Now no one even knows that that King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe’s symbol of sovereignty was a gold Nanalpata. The Colombo Museum misleads everyone by displaying a hat of sheet gold as the king’s symbol of sovereignty.
As Kirthi Sri Rajasinghe (AD 1747 - 1782), the second Vaduga Náyakkar King of Sri Lanka was only 13 years old when he ascended the throne, his Father Nárenappa is said to have ruled the kingdom with assistance from Dom Andrado, a Karava Catholic Mudaliar from Jaffna.
A letter dated 28th October 1542 written by Fr. Francis Xaviar says that the Badugas (sic Vadugas) attacked Tuticorin and that the Badugas were the Nayque Sub Kings and Commanders of the Vijayanagar empire(Dharmabandu 324).
Therefore it appears that as much as the Kurunégala, Gampola, Kotte and early Kandyan kings were Karávas of Kshatriya Surya Wansa origins who had marriages alliances with the Karava Kirawella family, the last dynasty of kings of Sri Lanka too had been Karávas.
According to Karáva tradition and The Gazetteer of the Tinneveli District quoted above, Nayque, Naik and Nayakan all of which signified military leaders, were synonymous with Naidu (also spelt as Nayudu which was the Telegu equivalent used in Andra region). As many Sri Lankan Karávas of that period were known as Naides (Simoä Corea Pattangatim known as Naide Appu. Varnakulasuriya Ila Naide Muhandiram of Kalutara AD 1639 and Varnakulasuriya Ila Naide Muhandiram of Hulangamuwa, Matale ) it further corroborates the Karávas’ connection with the Nayque royalty of India and Sri Lanka. A prince named Varnakulatungen and a Kurukula Naik had occupied the throne of Madura in the 12th century (Taylor I 201). The Nayques of India had ruled Trichi, Madura, Tinneveli, Coimbatore, Travancore and Tanjore and the names of some of these rulers such as Kumara Krishnappa, Muttu Virappa, Mangammal etc. closely resemble the names of Sri Lankan Nayakkar royalty.
The secret minutes of the Dutch Political Council of 22nd September 1762 refers to Bandaranáike Súriya, a Karáva Patabenda of Devinuvara as a Basnáyaka. According to Paul Wirz ‘Bas’ in the compound Basnayaka (Bas+Nayque) is a Dutch word meaning ‘chief’ (Wirz 21) and therefore Basnáyake would mean ‘Chief of the Nayques’ . Since this early bearer of the title in Sri Lanka was a Karáva, it further confirms the Karáva-Nayque connection. The modern Sinhala words Mahanayaka, Nayaka etc which now mean chief monk, chief etc go back to these Nayakkar (Naik) princes.
The Kurukula Charithaya also traces the Sinhalisation of some of these royal names as: Sambanthar Vadugar to Sampathá Vadugé , Pálappan Vadugar to Bálappu Vadugé, Mannái Vadugar to Mána Vadugé and Periya Vadugé to Maha Vadugé.
The name Sambanthár Vadugé (now Sampatha Vaduge) is particularly interesting as Sambanthars of the past were important royal officials akin to co-ordinators. They ensured fair trading at ports and are referred to in Portuguese Tombos as Xambadar (Shabandar). The A. D. 1650 memoir of Dutch Governor Jan Maatzuyker to his successor, describes Ian de Costa, the Sabandaer of Galle as “the most important chief whose help the Dutch government must seek in the Galle Korale” (page 8 fn.). Some of the Sambanthárs are thought to have been known locally as Bandár or Bandára (Kurukula Charithaya II 271). Bandára was the name used by the Portuguese to describe local royalty and the name appears to have originated from the Portuguese word for flag Bandeira. The name was initially confined only to Kshatriyas as they were the only community entitled to use flags in the Sri lankan feudal set up. Other Sri Lankan castes started using this name only in the 20th century. Many Karáva villages known as Bandarawattas still exist in towns such as Ambalangoda, Chilaw, Weligama and other towns and Bandáragé is a respected Karáva family in Matara.
A similar etymological process appears to have applied to Badugé as well. As Badu in the Sinhala language means 'Tax' it is now sometimes assumed that the Badugés were the tax collectors of the past. However there is no evidence to suggest that tax collectors, their houses or their families were called Badugés. The tax collectors were called Vidánes and indeed there are many Karáva families bearing the gé names Vidána and Vithána. The Badugés and Vaduges were a distinct group and its probable that both names are derived from the proper noun Vaduga(n).
Therefore it appears that the family names Badugé and Vadugé are derived from Vaduga/Vadugan meaning northerners. Further, the Karáva family names Badugé and Vadugé appear to represent a distinct clan of the Karavas (the Kaura Vaduga), similar to the Suriya clans of the Karávas’, such as the Kurukulasuriya, Warnakulasuriya, Konda and Koon clans
The variations of the Badugé name presently in use by Karáva families of Sri Lanka are:
Ahangama Baduge, Appu Baduge, Alut Baduge, Amattia (meaning Minister) Baduge, Aruma Baduge, Andra Baduge, Bodiya (arrival with the sacred Bodhi. See migration) Baduge, Boossa Baduge, Dadayakkara Baduge (meaning Archer), Kande Baduge (meaning living on a hill), , Korin Baduge, Jayasuriya Kuda Baduge, Kristombu Baduge, Ladda Sinha Baduge, Lama Baduge, Madana Kama Baduge, Mallima Baduge (from Malima / Malimi - Ship captain - see Marakkalage ), Manamala Baduge, Manikku Baduge ( Manikka means Jewel as in jewelled crown. Karava commander Manikka Thalevan / Menik Otunu of the Mukkara Hatana was the Father of King Bhuvanekabahu VI), Naina Baduge, Nanayakkara Vira Varunakulasuriya Boossa Baduge, Paliyagala Baduge, Peruma Baduge (Perumal meant Prince), Pincha Baduge, Ponnin Baduge, Tena Baduge, Vira Konda Baduge, Varunakulasuriya Boossa Baduge and Wanige Baduge .
Karáva family names with Vadugé / Waduge are:
Aranawatta (Arana Wattu - A Kshatriya who has given up war. Wattu is a name of a Kshatriya clan - see family names ) Vaduge, Aruma Vadu, Ambalangoda Vaduge, Alagiya Vaduge, Balappu Vaduge, Dodanduwa Vaduge, Gampala Vaduge, Gustigna Vaduge, Gustinna Vaduge, Juan Vadu, Kalamulla Vaduge, Loku (meaning Senior), Vadu, Lukku Vadu, Maha (meaning Great) Vadu, Malluwa Vadu (from Malima - Ship captain - see Marakkalage ), Manika Vaduge, Manikka Vaduge, Manniku Vaduge ( Manikka means Jewel as in jewelled crown. Karava commander Manikka Thalevan / Menik Otunu of the Mukkara Hatana was the Father of King Bhuvanekabahu VI), Manimel Vadu, Malliya Vadu (from Malima - Ship captain - see Marakkalage ), Kulappuwa (could be from Kula Appuva or Kurukula Appuva) Vaduge, Kaluappuva Vaduge (as there are no other names such as Sudu Appuva or Ratu Appuwa denoting colour, this could be from Kula Appuva or Kurukula Appuva), Lasada Vaduge, ManaVaduge, Miti Vaduge, Peduru Vaduge, Píniya Vaduge, Ratna Vaduge, Sampatha (see Sambanthar and Bandar explained above) Vaduge, Udiriappu Vaduge, Ulu (meaning Lunar -race) 'Vaduge, Uttama (meaning 'Lord', a great personage)Vadu, Vijesuriya Maha Vaduge, Wannakuwatta (Warnakula Wattu. Warnakula is one of the great Karava clans described in Suriya clans and Wattu is a name of a Kshatriya clan - see family names ) Vaduge, Yanthra Vaduge, and Yathra (see explanation below) Vaduge.
Left: an 18th century etching of the Vaduga King Kirti Sri Rajasinghe (1747-1781) of the Kshatriya Surya Vamsa with his courtiers paying obeisance to him.
This king was only 13 years old when he ascended the throne. Therefore his father, Nárenappa had ruled the kingdom with assistance from the Karava Mudaliar of Jaffna, Dom Andrado.
One of the many ancient Karava flags from Sri Lanka. Note the similarity of royal symbols with the etching above .
Approximate extent of the Thanjavur Nayak Kingdom, circa 1572 CE.
Extent of Vijayanagara Empire, 1446, 1520 CE
Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (AD 1798 - 1815) the last king of this Vaduga dynasty and the last king of Sri Lanka
A sheet gold Kandyan crown in a Sri Lankan museum. The real symbol of royalty, the golden forehead plates (Nalal pata) used by Sri Lankan kings and Karava chiefs (patabendas) is not even mentioned by official Sri Lankan sources anymore. The gold forehead plates of the Kandyan kings have been auctioned in England in 1820.
The Throne of the Vaduga kings of Kandy
Above: The formerly sacred Digge Netuma of the Kohomba Kankariya of the Goddess Pattini ritual. It was callously called Kandyan dancing and degraded in the 20th century by British appointed Kandyan Nilames who threw the dance out onto the streets to please their British masters. In royal times this dance was a sacred dance and was only performed in the inner sanctum of the Pattini shrine in honour of the Goddess.
Pattini worship is closely connected to the Karavas and Karava king Gajabahu. See migrations from India. The annual water cutting rituals performed at the end of all Sri Lankan pageants - although now not mentioned much- is a commemoration of Karava king Gajabahu's Indian invasion. According to legend king Gajabahu struck the ocean with his royal mace and parted the ocean for his warriors to crossover.
There are also a few other Karáva names with ‘Vadu’, such as Vadu Maistri and Vadu Tantri.
To a casual observer the two names Yáthrá Vadugé and Vadu Maistrigé may respectively indicate ‘a ship builder’ and ‘a master carpenter’. However a Yáthrá Vadugé could also have been a Vaduga who arrived in a Yáthrá (a very large sailing vessel) or one who owned such a vessel. Such a derivation appears to be more probable as it also corresponds with the general pattern of the above listed other Vadugé names, where none of the prefixes denote wooden products such as ships or furniture. As Karáva families do not have names denoting ‘cart builders’ , ‘roof builders’ or ‘cabinet makers’ it is illogical to assume that Yáthrá Vadugé indicates a ship builder.
And the name Vadu Maistrigé which can be misconceived to mean a master carpenter, appears in Portuguese Tombos together with other Karáva names such as Patabendiges. Interestingly the Portuguese Tombo of A. D. 1613, refers to a Master carpenter not as a Vadu Maistri but as a Mitudu guruny which does not even remotely resemble Vadu Maistri. More interestingly the same source refers to a respected teacher of the Sinhalese school as Vatear Mestre (Vadu Maistri?) of the Escola of the Chingallas (The Ceylon Littoral 49, 75 ). Other Portuguese period records such as Prince Vijayapala’s letter of 1st May 1643 to The Viceroy uses the word Mestre to mean a respected teacher.
Therefore it clear that Vadu Maistris and Vadugés were not the Vaduvas (carpenters) of Sri Lanka's past, but another proud royal clan of the Karávas.
However it cannot be concluded that all present day bearers of the Vaduge name are from the ancient Karava Vaduga clan. It is quite possible that families from other clans who worked as carpenters during the British period (and were in fact called Vaduvas at that time) also became known as Vaduges later. The insistence of some families, particularly in Moratuwa, that their ancestors were indeed carpenters, suggests that such a possibility exists.
The name of the previously predominantly Karava village of Wadduva is probably derived from Vadu Duwa.
Kshatriya Maha Sabha, Sri Lanka