The Mukkara Hatana is an old palm leaf (ola) manuscript from Sri Lanka now in the British Museum. It is in the Hugh Neville collection of the British Museum and is catalogued as Or. 6606 (53). It is in the style of other local histories such as Kadaim-poth, Vitti-poth etc.
The story in the Mukkara Hatana is also found in Rajasimha Kale Pravrti and Vanni Upatha in much the same form. These are also in the British Museum and catalogued as Or. 6606 (54) and Or. 6606 (139). These palm leaf manuscripts had been preserved with much care by the descendants of the Karava chiefs of Negombo.
Hugh Neville had also discovered another version of this manuscript preserved with great care by the Karavas of Tamankaduwa in the Polonnaruwa district. Their copy additionally says that their ancestors betrayed the Karava leaders and the Portuguese, and commanded King Rajasinghe II 's army and helped him to capture the port of Negombo in 1646 and were rewarded with Egoda Pattu and several villages in the Matale district as fiefs.
The Mukkara Hatana is an account of the defeat of the Mukkuvar (According to Hobson-Jobson, the name Mukkuva is derived from the Tamil and Malayalam word for pearl divers. They appear to be a community that prospered thru the lucrative pearl trade) by the Karavas in the Saka Era 1159 and the taking of the fort of Puttalam after a three month siege. They are said to have proceeded to Nagapattinam and taken over the Nagapattinam fort. However that was at a loss of 1,500 troops and the royal leader Manikka Thalavan was killed.
Manikka Thalevan's two Sons were adopted by king Parakramabahu VI as his own. One of them, Xemba Perumal alias Prince Sapumal ascended the throne as Bhuvanekabahu VI -1470-1480, following Parakramabahu's demise. The other, Prince Ambulugala, ascended the throne in 1490 as Vira Parakramabahu VII ( Sirisangabo Vira Parakramabahu)
The leaders in this operation were:
The Alakeshvara (Alagakkonara as in Koon Karava) rulers of Kotte too claim to have hailed from Kanchipuram. Their 'Vaniya Kula' (Varna Kula, as in the Karava Warnakulasuriya clan ; the Vanni Kula Kshatriyas of that part of India and the Vaniya Kula rulers of the vanni region of Sri Lanka ) ancestry is misinterpreted by some modern historians as a 'trade' (Vanija kula) ancestry. Such a trade ancestry is unsubstantiated.
The year of their arrival Saka 1159 poses some problems as it takes us back to the Dambadeniya period of Sri Lanka’s history and Parâkkamabâhu II 1234-1267. Although the events are said to have occurred during the reign of Parakramabâhu VI 1412-1467 of Kotte. However as the date appears in three versions it is difficult to dismiss it as a copyist error. It may well be a mix up of the kings when recording a centuries old tradition. But since the manuscript gives the exact astrological time of the arrival as: the 15th Meena Rivi, Panchami lat Rivi dina, Rehena Nakatha, Simha Lagna, Guru Horava , a scholar with knowledge of the old calendar could easily unravel this issue.
An Indian invasion
P. M. P. Abhayasinghe, on page 145 of his Udarata Viththi, quotes a purpoted old document from the Historical Manuscripts Commission. It dscribes the same Mudaliars returning from a succesful invasion of Kanchipuram. In addition it names a Wijesekara Ratna Kul;asekera Mudali of Sea Street, Sebba AriyathuraKuratha Adappan, Weerasinghe Arachchi, Weeratunga Arachchi, Ilangasingha Arachchi and Jayasuriya Arachchi.
On page 131, the same book also quotes purported grants by King Parakramabahu VI to Prince Sapumal and others In it Prince Sapumal is described as belonging to he Garageya Gothra.
King Parakramabâhu VI (1412-1467) was from the Kurukule (referred to as Rukule) and reveals in his Padakada Sannasa that he is from the Bharatha kula, which is the classical origin of the Kuru race. His chief queen was from The Karava Keravelle family from the Hatara Korale.
Other related manuscripts in the British Museum are :
A Varunakullattan is referred to as a king of the Karavas by the Portuguese historian Queyroz (pages 466 & 468) and and by O. M. da Silva in Fidalgos of Jaffna (page 26).
The Alakeshvara rulers of Kotte, of the Alagakkonara dynasty (as in Koon Karava) were also ffrom the Warnakulasuriya clan. They too hailed from Kanchipuram, just like the Karava Warnakulasuriya Mudali of the above noted Mukkara Hatana. . The 'Vaniya Kula' (Varna Kula) ancestry of the Alakeshvara rulers is misinterpreted by some modern historians as a 'trade' ancestry. There still are Vanni Kula Kshatriyas living in that part of India.
The region known as Vanni in Sri Lanka became known as such because it was ruled by Vanni Kula (Varna Kula) kings. Paranavithana's assetion that Vanni is derived from 'Vana' (jungle) cannot be accepted because Vanni Kula Kshatriyas exist in South India where such etymology has no meaning.
The Vanni Rajavaliya quotes a Sannas granted evidently By King Parakramabahu VI (in BE 1959 which corresponds with AD 1416) to his Prime Minister, the Karava prince, Chandra Wansa Karagothra Kuruvendervedhi Arasa Navaratnyarani Sinha Surya Nattu Devarir.
The Karava race is referred to in the sannas as bearing the ten names Kuruvara, Karavara, Pauravara, Puruvara, Kauntheiya, Karavara, Pandavara, Paravara, Kuntavara and Kauravara.
The Karava prince has been appointed 'prince regent' and confirmed with the gold forehead plate (Raja sri nalalpata) and granted 64 royal ornaments, a silver palanquin and a gold throne, 100 male and 100 female slaves, 900 battle troops , 900 service troops and 8 slave castes of cultivators (govi karu) etc
For a list of some of the known migrations of Karavas from India from pre-historic times up to the 18th century see Migrations.
King Rajasinghe II (1634 – 1686 ) Son of Karava queen Dona Catherina and King Senerath (a cousin of Karava prince Koon-Appu Bandara (who was crowned as Wimaladharmasuriya I -1591-1604)
The territory where the events took place and in which the Dambadeniya Kindgon was also located. This region was called the Aluth Kuru Rata meaning 'New Kuru Country' and is to date known as Aluth Kuru Korale.
Above: The ports of migration on Kuru-Mandal coast. (click for larger image )
and belw: Note the difference between the 'fishery coast' which is in the proximity of Mannar and Jaffna and the 'Coromandel Coast' with its Kanchi, Kilakarai and Kaveripattanams which are further north up the coast
Click for larger image
A copy of King Parakramabahu's Sannasa referred to aboveClick for larger image
Kshatriya Maha Sabha, Sri Lanka