Nallur Rajadhani: City Layout
V.N.Giritharan B.Sc (Built Environment in Architecture)
Publisher: Sneha Pathippagam (Madras)
Translation By: Latha Ramakrishnan

[Preface][Forward][Chapter 1][Chapter 2][Chapter 3][Chapter4][Chapter5]
[Chapter 6][Chapter 7] [Chapter 8][Chapter 9][Chapter 10][Chapter 11]

Forward: Nallurt Rajadhani City Layout

logo.gif (31909 bytes)None seems to have evinced any interest so far in the ancient city layout of Srilankan Tamil. It is unfortunate that those who are engaged in the research and investigation work about the historical facts pertaining to the kings and kingdoms have turned a blind eye to the architectural style and expertise of Tamil. Because of this indifference and black-out when research work about cities like Anuradhapuram, Yaappahuva that were capitals hundreds of years prior to the time when Nallur was Rajdhani, or,were to be, it proves a herculean task together information about Nallur Rajdhani city layout. In such a situation I have undertaken the research work on Nallur city layout to the best of my ability. My desire to study the city layout of Nallur Rajdhani was not something accidental. In my young age when I would be reading the novels of Kalki, Jagasirpian and such others I used to always wonder why it always remained a rarity to come across historical evidences about Nallur which was as famous a city as Tanjore, Madurai and Kanchipuram. When I grew in age and knowledge I could realize that the foreign rule and our people’s bent of mind which spends its time and energy in singing the past glory but remains indifferent to the need for preserving our rare historical symbols and monuments are reasons for this blackout.

As proofs for the disinterestedness of our people we can cite the following. At the initial stage of this century Swami Gnanaprakasar had written a brief essay on Kopai fort. But today see the condition of the place and space where the fort was said to be once? When I was studying architecture in Moratuwa University in such a dismal atmosphere the wish to do research on Nallur City layout was renewed by several factors listed below.

Sinhalese professor Nimal De Silva who was teaching us a lesson in
connection with traditional architectural style briefed us about the
investigation and research- work on the City layout of ancient Anuradhapuram and it was then that the wish to study the Nallur Rajdhani city layout sprang in me. When my friend and my senior by one year, Thanapalasingam told me that once he had intended to study about Nallur but then abandoned the idea as something impossible, my interest in the City of Nallur grew further. Right from my childhood it had been my nature to undertake those attempts that others claimed ‘not possible’. This resulted in my choosing ‘Nallur Rajdhani’ City layout as the topic for thesis work to be and undertaken for the study of ‘The history of Architecture’ From that day
onwards, till date, whenever I get the opportunity I make it a point to
mention without fail about the Nallur city layout. Several articles on
Nallur City were published in the weekly supplement of Elanadu which was
being brought out from Ceylon and which encouraged me a lot in the literary

A write-up on Kopai fort appeared in VeEra Kesari. In recent times I am
writing about Nallur in Thayagam Magazine too. It is my wish that as like
Nallur Rajdhani the layouts of Singainager (Vallipuram), Kandharodai and
such other cities too should be studied. I fully agree with the claim that
Vallipuram and Singai Nagar are one and the same. The ancient symbols that can be seen on the sand banks of that region and the coinage ‘Puram’ in Vallipuram are the principal reasons for this conclusion of mine.In
Tamilnadu we can come across a lot of cities that have this Suffix ‘Puram’
in their names such as the capitals of Chola empire ‘Jayankonda Cholapuram’, ‘Ulagamahadevipuram’ and also the cities Kanchipuram, Nandhipuram which were famous in Pallava period.) As Vallipuram too ends with ‘Puram’ in the same way as Maavittapuram, undoubtedly it would've also been a city having royal and religious significance. (The name Nallur too is of this nature. In Tamil Nadu we an come across a lot of royally and religiously significant places having names ending with the word ‘Nallur’).

Persons like Dr.C.K..Sitrambalam are of the opinion that Nallur is also the
residue of Cholas. The names of places such as Chembian Patru, Nallur,
Vallavar Kone Pallam in Maavittapuram, Gangaikondan in Navindil are residues o Cholas here. (Sindhanai, July 84). Not only in the northern region but even in the east there are very many places and aspects that call for extensive study and research work. And, I sincerely wish that investigation is undertaken about these too. And I firmly hope that my wish would be realized one day or other.

 V.N.Giritharan ©2000-2003