The selection of the Name of Prince Siddhattha

Eight Brahmin scholars to read the future of Baby born to Queen Mayadevi . All gave a dual prediction that the baby would either become a great king or a great holy man. Kaundinya(Pali: Kondañña), the youngest, and later to be the first arahat other than the Buddha, was reputed to be the only one who unequivocally predicted that Siddhartha would become a Buddha. The infant was given the name Siddhartha (Pāli: Siddhattha), meaning “he who achieves his aim”.


Part I – Ancient Sinhala names.

Part II- Mediveal Sinhalese Names

Part III- Sinhalese names of Kotte Period onwards.

                                                                                     Part III.

This is to share a wonderful  information of the names of the Sinhalese written by Dr KD Paranavitane, the Former President of the Royal  Asiatic Society Sri Lanka . Dr Paranavitane wrting will enlighten most of us Sinhalese on how and why we were named.

The Sinhalese personal names appearing in the tombos  or land deeds of the Dutch were researched by Dr Paranavitane . He states that they are generally derived  from the name of the father or ancestors. They generally  consisted of three distinct parts,

1.It has been a  tradition of Sinhalese to be named after Initials selected from the Sinhala alphabet after reading the Horoscope. After referring to the place to planets ,the sun and moon etc at the time of birth. The initials are selected  and the pparent of the child select a name with these initails. At the time I was born, the letter Ba was most appropriate and I was named Bandhusiri.The name be given  when the child was fed with rice for the first time, referred to as bat-kavapu nama or indul katageme nonut [ Nekath] which corresponds to the name given at the baptism that was inherited from the colonial European administrators.

Few names mentioned by Dr Paranavitane are given below

Males ……………………………………………. Females

Aderaya (loving one) ………………..  Aloka (bright one)

Baliya (quiet one) ……………………   Amandoe (sweet one)

Batama– (babyish one) .                            Batiya(babyish one)Baba

Bayya (timid one) …..                                Belindu (babyish one)

Kaloe (black one) ……………………….. Ehelemalie (esala flower)

Kekkula (buddy) ……………………Inderie (goddess)

Kiria (milky one) …………………..Kekkulie (buddy)

Lamittera (childish one) ………….Kirimalie (milky flower)

Oongiya (youngest one) ………….Lamie(childish one)

Nandoea (pleasing one) ……………..Nilloe(blue one)

Pina (meritorious one) ……………Pin-kella (fortunate girl)

Samattuwa (clever one) ………..  Poospie (flower like one)

Setuwa (lucky one) …………………     Rannie (goldish one)

Sielinda (smooth one) ……………..    Sedara (energetic one)

Sobena (beautiful one) ………….    Seka (intelligent one)

Teyya (god’s one) ………………..    Setoo (lucky one)

Tikira(little one) ……………………..    Silindu (smooth one)

Wastuwa (wealth) …………………….   Sirimalie (little flower).

Ran[Golden colour]

Dingiri   Bala  Ukku Hiralu  Kombi-hami, Lat-etana,  Mutu-Menike., Lasandu Menika,

Some names of the Kandyan provinces taken from the Gazetteer of the Central Province of Ceylon Volume I. The list of witnesses of Uda walave Adikaram Nilame of Aluvihare‘s deed to his eldest son in 1817 AD- Kiribanda Duggane Rala were Aluvihare Gangala  Rala, Halgahawatte Rala, Silippu Punchirala, Kalu Banda, Ved Naide, Kirei Henaya, Harasgama Vedarala, Agalawatte  Ella Duraya, Tantrige Kaluwajja, and Seyiyadu Gurunneha.

The lands at Ampitiya was transferred to the Godammune family by  Wekoadega Kiri naidu in 1806  . Few who acted as witness were Godamunne Sakalasuri Mudiyansalage,Kawrala,Hewaduraya, Ran Hawadiya, Lathawadiya Duraya, Sinduwa Duraya.

What Dr Paranavitane states under is still been practiced. Some names off a Thombu of a paddy field giving to me by Mr Wijesinghe on a Paddy field at Udugamploa now belonging to Munasin Ahchi Lekamlage  family at Weediyawatte.

“Another remarkable factor is that the Sinhalese names of the Goigama caste preferred to use the names combining with Loku(eldest), Madduma (middle) and Kuda (small) or Poentje ( Punchi or small) with personal name such as Appoe (gentleman) and Hamie.Females frequently used Ettena in combination with particular complexion such as KaIu and Ran with the name Hamie. The distinction between class and caste is one of the barriers which divided the nobleman from the ordinary people. The people of Goi-vanse or Goigama or Handuruwodescended down from long line of ancestry constituted the native nobility.

The ancient tradition of addressing ladies of distinction as himiba, Himibi or Himobi and Gentleman or Lords  or Sir as Himi, Himiya seems to be  modified here.

56 Dr Paranvitane  states that  ‘The honorific term deva swamin wahanse usually applied to the King at a later period it has been modified to address the nobility as Hamie which was added to the personal name. The term Swami or Himiya also means ‘Lord’. This is being used as Hamuduruwo which is a derivation of Sanskrit word ‘Swami‘ .

Male …………………………………………………..Female

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Age ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Age

1 -20,,,,,,,,,, 21-40,,,,,,,,, 41-60 ,,,,,,,,,,,1-20 ,,,,,,,,,,,,20 -40 ,,,,,,41-60

lokoe + ,,,Appoe ,,,,,+Hamie ,,,,,,,,,Kaloe ,,,,,,+ Ettena ,,,,+ Hamie

Madduma + Appoe+Hamie……. Natjera ..+ Hamie

Poentje ..+ Appoe,+Hamie ……..Guna ….+ Hamie

Dingie + Appoe…+Hamie ………Anagi .    + Hamie

Kirie ..+ Appoe.. +Hamie………. Kirie       + Ettana….. +Hamie

Bindoe + Appoe + Hamie……….Poentje   +Ettena

Nainde + Appoe + Hamie………Meniek     +Hamie

Siriwadie + Appoe + Hamie ,,,,,,Loku         + Ettena

Kaloe + Appoe ,,,,+ Hamie ,,,,,,,,,Ran          + Ettena.

Dr Paranvitane writes.

There were certain terms used by the Sinhalese to address ladies of distinction such as Hamuduruwa, Hamu,Mahatmayo, Ettani, Ettana and Inmateni. The ladies who enjoyed a little inferior social status were addressed by the words Hamie and Hamine. These two terms were also used to address the wives of Mohandirams or Appuhamis and to the unmarried daughters of Mudaliyars. Arachchy’s wife was addressed as lamahami whereas the word Mahage was used to address Kangafl!’s, Vidane’s or Mayoraal wife. The suffix Hamie was an honorary designation to a female of a respectable family of Govi caste. It was sometimes assumed that the females of the same standing in the society as the males in the case of the last mentioned, particularly in the southern coastal region. Apart from the above terms of addresses, the other castes too had similar addresses to females such as Natjre or Natie found in the tombos. The prefixes including loku, madduma, and poentie very often conveyed the respective ages of children. The word baba (baby) was a preferable alternative to poentje or ‘little one'[ Punchi]. All these pre and suffixes were meaningfully used to distinguish the correct individual. The application or termination of additional names depended very much on the individuals social status especially the honorific ending with vowels subject to change, like

Corneli s>Kornelisa, Janis>Janisa.

Male ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,                       ,Female

Nainde ,,,,,,,,,,,,                          Natjere

Hattan + Nainde …..              .Aroema + Natjere

Dingie + Nainde ……             .Kiri + Natjere

Dentre + Nainde …….          Aloka + Nadere

Nainde + Hamie …….          Dinapele + Nadere

Nainde + Appoe…….           Seke + Natjere
Baba + Nainde ………          Seele + Nadere
Lokoe + Nainde ……          .Natto + Natjer
Lama + Natjere                     Anada + Natjere

A mixture of Portuguese Dutch and native names occasionally come across in the Dutch tombos such as,Kannagere Koralage Don Joan (male)

Dona Ettena Hamie

Dona Marie Hamie

Dona Anna Hamie

Dona Estra Hamie.

Certain names given at the baptism by the Portuguese disappeared in the Dutch tombo and some recorded as Dutch version of the name



Dom Juan

Jan, Jaan

Dom Jeronimo




The following names given by the Portuguese to Sinhala were hardly used in the Dutch tombos.

Alahendra                               Cabral

Almeida                                   Caldera

Amadoru                                 Dabarera

Andradi                                  Kurera

Britto                                       Pigera

According To Dr Paranavitane The  names of the Portuguese origin have been in vogue at the time of the compilation of tombos.These as he states are

Alwis                                                       Mendis

Boteju                                                    Pasquel

Cooray                                                  Perera

Corea                                                     Pieris

Pinto                                                     Costa

Salgado                                                Dabare

Silva                                                      Fonseka

Mel                                                        Soysa

The simplification of the Portuguese or Dutch names was common among the so called lower castes of inhabitants

Adriana (Dutch: Aadriana)

Anika (Dutch: Annake)

Anthona (Poturguese: Anthonao)

Bastiano (Dutch: Bastiaan)

Doeminga (Porruguese: Domingu)

Ederia (Dutch: Aadriaan)

Jantje (Dutch: Jan)

Raphia (Portuguese:Raphael)

Sendirikkuwa (Dutch: Hendrik)

Thomenikkoewa (Pornrguese:Dominik)

Thomisa (Dutch: Thomas)

The officer or the men of higher stature specialty of Karawe and Salagamo castes acquired European name as they were closer to the administrators.

Male                                                 Female

Cornelis                                           Anna

Dines                                               Aadrianna

Jacob                                             Cathirina

Mighiei                                          Christina

Pedro                                             Disiana

Pieter                                             Soesanna

There are a considerable number of names recorded in the tombos due to ignorance of the proper pronunciation of native names. viz.

Johanpatatchige Naijnda Hamie

Karokoranage Wrje Appu Nainda

Muntje Nekege Toonan Nainda

2- Wasgama,Varige nama, or Ge-nama, which is the family name which corresponds to Christian name or Surname, used and written before the Christian name.This is a tradition perhaps from the Anuradhapura period where donors of caves identified them selves to a Villages or district or to a trade etc. This practice was followed in the Sigiriya poets who identified them self in a similar manner. Example ‘Vanije Kiyula Gi‘ [ Poem No 24] the Poem of Kitula  the trader or ‘Ledaru Budal Mi’ – I am Budal the   Writer herein the 14 Cent AD, it is Liyanage or Lekam.[Dhammika Parakrama Waidiyaratne].

The list of Dr Paranavitane is shown below dividing the ge names into differ3nt trades.




Service Performed


Of Blacksmith

-must make the agricultural and other iron utensils for the villagers and for the Company


Of the head of security

-Must Look after the security of the village


Of Potters

must supply earthernware to the



Of Silversmith

-must make the gold and silver articles the Company requires


Of the Drummers

-apart from drumming they have to Attend the elephant hunt where extensive drumming is required

– House of the Village chief


-House of the Teacher

Teaching in the school and maintaining the school tombo


House of the Soldier

Carry letters from one post to other


House of the Lime Burner

-must supply lime to the Company


House of the Messenger

-carry messages and serve as cooly


House of the MatWeaver

supply necessary mats for the Company


House of the writer

To keep the records


House of the Sailor

help to navigate ships ,recover lost anchors


House of the Grain-Measurer

-measuring grain in the harvest


House of the Grain-Measurer

-as above


House of the Sailor

-must supply fish to the Governor’s table and to the Company




House of the Messenger

-must carry messages


School Master

-teaching and keeping school tombo


The Barber


House of the Accountant

-must keep grain accounts


House of the Washerman

Must wash company’s caocoes.


House of the Inquirer

judicial inquiries settle minor disputes


House of the Chief Carpenter

-similar to carpenter


House of the carpenter

work for the carpentry and the wharf

3- Patabendi nama, or honour-giving name awarded when the head of the family advanced in official status in the Sinhala kingdom or subsequently by the Portuguese and the Dutch regimes.

The third part of the name Patabendi nama, literally ‘frontlet  ‘was conferred to a person either by the Sinhalese King or by or Portuguese or the Dutch Governor in appreciation of the recipient’s remarkable service or brave deed. The term patabendi was very often used by the Sinhala Kings when they awarded honorific title to native chief along with an head

Ornament or Front-let. Award of these titles was taxed and contributed considerably to the revenue of the State.

Abayakoon (fearless chief) .             Jayasekara(highest of the victorious)

Abayaratna( Gem of the fearless)    Manamperi (Great hearted)

Ekanayaka (un-rivelled chief)         Navaratna (nine gems)

Illangakoon (King of the Island)    Rajapakse (loyal to .king)

Jayasingha(victorious lion)           Seneviratna(victorious commander)

Jayawardhana (victory increaser) Wijeratna (victorious gem)

Jayasuriya (sun of victory)             Wikramasinghe (victorious lion)

Guna ratne ( Good?      Gems)


 This was during the period when Aturugiriya Korale was in existence before the Battle of Mulleriyava.

16 cent sinlala

During the Dutch period this land had to be registered in Tomboos. and there was a requirement for a Christian name for this purpose.They would not register land unless there was a Christian name. The Jayasinghe[ the present Village of Godagama is full of jayasinghe’s] took the name Alvis, and now my grand father was a Aranolis Alvis jayasinghe. Aronolis is German name.

A comment by a reader

I’m sorry, but many Portuguese names here are misspelled: Dom João (not Dom Juan); Dom Jerônimo; Simão; Alexandre (?) (Alahendra), Caldeira; Amador; D’Abreu (Dabarera); Andrade; Correia (Kurera); Figueira (Pigera); Alves. Adriana is a Portuguese female name; Anic(k)a can be diminutive for Ana; Antonio (Anthonao); Sebastião, Bastião or Bastiano are Portuguese; Domingas or Dominga (Doeminga); Rafael (Raphael); Domingos or Domingo (Dominik); Thomas or Tomás is also portuguese.




Personal Names of ancient sinhalese 


This is an attempt to list out ancient names and what the name means, Suggestion from readers , addition and meanings are welome.

Javas ca vak-sudha- sutir mani-sutis ca Rohana Nanyatra Simhala-dvipan mukta- sutis ca sagarah

‘People who  produce the Nectar of speech, Rohana Mountains  which produce Gems and the Ocean that produces Pearls- these are nowhere found together, but in the Island of the Sinhalas’- Balaramayanaya-Act X verse 49.

Hundered of inscriptions naming the donars of cave is found scattered through the Island where ever  there is natural rock caves. These were donated to the Buddhist Sanga[ Monks] from the very ancient times.  The Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka has most of those inscription on there web- www.Royal Asiatic . The Inscriptions of Ceylon Vol I , II Pt I & II.

Similar names is on lead inscribed coins of the same period found at Ruhana. These were published by Osmund Bopearachchi and Raja Wickremasinghe.

Thr names of the  great  Bhikkhunis of the  Buddhist order was Maha Prajapati Gotami, Khema, Uppalavanna  which means the one with Ee like blue Lillies, Patachara, Dhammadinna, Rupananda, Sona, Sakula, Bhaddha  Kundalakesi,, Bhaddha  Kapilani, Yasodara, Kisogotami  and  Singalaka Matha.

The majority of the donors’ names, when they are of a religious character, are suggestive of faiths other than Buddhism. The following are the Buddhistic names borne by some of the personages figuring in our records.

1. Dama (m.f.), Damaguta. Damati, Damadina, Damarajha, Damarakita, Damaruci, Damasena, Damika, Damutara, Dhamarajha, Dhamika, Butadata (f,), Budarakita, Budasa, Mitiya (m.f.), Sga, ,Sagamita, Sagarakita.

Dhamma (Skt. Dharma)and Samgha are not exclusive to Buddhism; but, in the present context, names formed with one of them as the first member of a compound may be taken, without much doubt, as current among Buddhists.’ ‘Mitiya ‘ can be equated also with a name current in Brahmanical circles, and  ‘Saga ‘ can also be taken as a name which, is not particularly Buddhist in application.

                      Sanga-mitta the daughter of King Asoka who brought the Bo-sapling.

Buddhistic names are not borne exclusively by bhikkhus, the majority of whom bear names like Tisa. Pusa, etc., -which were also in vogue among laymen.  Dama-rakita (Dhammarakkhita) a name which would today proclaim its bearer as a Bhikkhu, is that of a layman in No.811,and in No.435, Buta-data[ Gift] (Buddhadatta) was the wife of a prince. Names like the last are of importance for the study of the development of Buddhological concepts.

II. The name of a god itself is often used as a personal name, but in many instances, it forms a compound with another word like data (given). buti (one who has  being in), guta [protected), rakita (protected), etc. The following names are formed from those of Vedic gods Agni, Aryaman, Bhaga, Dahatr (Synonym of Agni), Indra, Mahendra, Mitra, Nasatya, Pitrs, Pnrusa, Soma, Surya, Varuna Vasus, Viavedevah, Visnu, Yaga (Sacrifice) :—

Agi, Agidata, Agibuti, Ayibara, Ayimara, Baga-deva, Bagu-tisa, Baka, Duhatara, Dhututaya, Ida, Idabuti, Idaguta, Idarakita, Mahida, Mita (male.female.), Mitadeva, Mitaguta, Mitapala, Mitasena, Mtiya (m.f.), Nasata, Pita-maharajha, Purushadata (f.), Soma, Soma-data, Somrrdeva, Somali (f.),Suri, Suriguta, Varupnda (f.), Varuaguta, Vasu, Vasudata, Vinu, Yagadata, Yakadata.

Ill, The names of Pauranic gods, Baladeva, Brahma, Gopali, Kala (Yama), Kali (goddess), Krishna,Kumara,[Skanda), Kuvera, Lakshmi,Mahasen, Narayana, Rama, Reva, Samudra, Sarvari, Siva, Sagara, Sri, Samana (Yama), Svami (Mahaseia) and Vaisravana are found in the following personal names:

Balaguta, Bama, Bamadata, Bamali, Gopala, Hagara, Hamuda, Kada (Kala), Kadaka, Kada-li, Kadiya, Kana (m.f.), Kanadata, Kanadasika (f.), Kanaguta, Kanatisa, Kubira, Kumara, Kumaradata, Kumaratiha, Laci (f.- LUCKY}, Maha~Samuda, Mahasiva, Mahasena, Naguli, Narayaguta, Ramajhata, Ramadata (f.), Rama (m.f.), Rasumiliya, Reva (f.), Sagara. Samidata (f.), Samuda (m.f.), Samudaguta, Savera (f.), Siriguta, Siripali (f), Siva (m.f.), Sivabuti, Sivaguta, Sivala (f.), Sivanabuti (f.), Sivarakita, Sukada, Surida, Sumanndevi (f.), Suvisaka, Visaka (m.f.), Vihaka, Vesmapa.

Many of the Vedic gods are also found among the Purarnic gods. Visaka, Suvisaka and Vihaka may also be included in the next category of names, as Visakha in the name of a Naksatra as well as that of the god Skanda.

IV. The following names are those of lunar asterisms, or based on them. The Naksatras represented, in the order beginning with Asvini, are :-Bharani, Krttika, Rohini, Panarvasu, Pusya (Tisya), Aslesa, Magha, Uttara (Phalguna), Hasta, Citra, Svati, Visaklia, Anuradha, Mula, Aaadha (Purva), Uttrasadha (Vaisva), Abhijit, Sravana, Sra-vistha (Dhanistha), Revati.

Abijhi (m.f.), Abijliguta, Ahali, Anurada, Anuradi (f.), Anuridi (f.), Anula (f,), Asadaguta, Asali, Aselaya, Ata, Barani (f.), Baraniguta, Cita (m.f.), Citaka, Citadevi (f.), Citaguta, Devanakata, Kati (f.), Kitaka (f.), Kituka (f.), Maka, Maki (f.), Maga, Magha (f.), Mahapusa, Mahareta, Mahatisa, Mula, Mulaguta, Mulasoma, Panasaguta, Pnnasuguta, Pura, Pusa {m.f.)) Pusabuti, Pusadeva, Pusaguta, Pusamita, Pusamala, Pusali, Reta, Revata, Revati (f.), Rita.( f), Rohini (f.), Rona, Roni (f.), Roniguta. Samana (m.f.), Samanaka, Sata, Sataka, Savitadata, Sona (m.f.), Sonadeva, Sonutare, Suna.kata, Suvati, Suvisaka, Tisa (m.f.), Tisabuti, Tisadata, Tisedevi (f.), Tisamita, Tisaraka, Tisarakita, Tisi (f.), Tisiha (f.), Tihali, Upatisa, Utara, Utaraguta, Visaka, Vihaka, Vesa.

The Rasavahini an ancient text  states that Phussadeva., one of the paladins of Dutthugemunu, received that name because he was born when the Pusya-naksatra was in conjunction with the Moon. The naming of children after a Naksatra is also recommended in the Grahasutras. But the predominance of one Naksatra among the names of this type found in our inscriptions, makes it very unlikely that in the period of our inscriptions, Sinhalese parents named their children strictly according to the Naksatras under which they were born. The name  ‘Tisya ‘ and its synonym ‘ Pusya ‘, together with the names formed by their compounds, far outnumber in their occurrence all the other Naksatra names put together.

It is very doubtful whether in those days, birth control was so highly developed as to ensure that children were born when the Tisya (Pusya)-nakasatra was in conjunction with the Moon, or that the vast majority of the children born in this Island at that time had, in their previous births, performed just those acts of religious merit, which ensured their being born under this auspicious Naksatra. We know that in those days, as it is today, it was considered fortunate to be born under certain Naksatras, while others boded ill-luck to those born under them. The parents certainly did not wish their offspring to face the hardships of life with such a disadvantage as the fact of birth under a bad Naksatra being widely known. So, in such cases where a child was born under a Naksatra with a bad reputation, care must have been taken to hide that fact, by giving the child a name formed of the designation of the most favoured Naksatra, i.e. Pusya or Tisya. Hence the large number of Tisa’s figuring in our records. This attempt of parents to cheat the stars must have, in course of time, made people lose faith in the practice, and its being gradually given up in Ceylon, whereas it is still prevalent in certain parts of the neighboring continent.

The following names refer to gods in general: Amara, Deva (m.f.), Devaguta, Devanakata, Devanapiya, Devarakita, Devi (f.), Maha-Sumana, Nabatika, Sudeva, Sumana (m.f.), Sumanaka, Sumanabuti, Sumanadata, Sumanadeva, Sumansdevi (f.), Sumanamala,

The names’ Isignta ‘ and’ Isirakita ‘ may be referring to Rsis in general or a particular Rsi.. Buddhist Bhikkhus also referred to as Isi ; the names can therefore be included under Buddhist names also.

VI. Names referring to demi-gods and sacred animals :-Asa, Cuda-naga, Cudi-naga, Gobuti, Godata, Gopala Kojhara, Kumadata, Mahanaga (m.f.), Mahanakala, Naga (m.f.), Nagadat~, Nagadina (m.f.), Nagamita, Nagasena, Naka, Nakala, Nakali, Paduguta,” Paduma, Padumagnta,,Pigala,” Pigala-Anudi, Pigalaguta, Pigala-Majhima, Pigala-sumana, Uba, Vase, Vahaba, Vahali, Vega, Veli, Velu (m.f.), VeluSumana, Sadila, Siha.

Names after those of trees and plants :-Asoka, Cadana, Nuga, Nugaya, Paduma[ Padma- Lotus], Palikada, Pamatisa, Talatise.Upala (f.)- [ Water Lily].

VII , Names occurring in Sanskrit epics, Pali literature, etc :-Balika, Baraya,Kacaka, Kacili, Kabojha, Ka,bojhiya, Minamata, Nacita, Nada, Pacala, Pada, Paduguta, Paduvasa, Pila, Pulaya, Saba, Sabili, Sagara, Sala, Salika, Suma (m.f.), Upali.

VII . Names indicative of good qualities, wealth, fame, birth, etc :-

Aba , Abaya and Abhaya/ Apa- Fearless,

       The name  Abaya was used by our ancient Kings , The third king was an Abaya and he was succeeded by Pandukabaya. The most famous was  Dutu- Gemunu[ 101-77 BC] who was known on inscriptions as Jetaka Gamini Abaya in an inscription in Ruhuna and in a 4 Cent AD inscription at Kalkulam as  Dutaka Gamini Abaya. Many other kings used this name and Vatta-gamini Abaya built the Abayagiri Dagaba.

 Agabala- Foremost in strength ,

 Anodi – Faultless 

Anudi -Growing or Increasing

Oldest name recorded in writing 6 Cent BC

Anuradha -An Asterism

                    The name of founder of the city of Anuradhapura[ Mahawansa] , The earliest known sinhala inscription

[ 600-500 BC] reads  biya anuradhaThis was found during an archeological excavations at the citadel of Anuradhapura.

Anula, Aunlaya, –After the asterism of Anuradha.

  The name of the queen of King Mahanaga a sub ruler[ Mhv XIV verse 56], who was the first with 500  ladies  to listen to Arahat Mahinda  sermons and receive first and second stages of  sanctification and requested to be ordained. This led to Thera  Sangamitta  coming to the Island.

This Queen Anula was perhaps the great grand mother of  king Dutugemunu. The family tree on inscriptions – see sirimunasihna Pandukabaya and Mutusiva on inscriptions?

Also the name of the first Queen of  the Sinhalese Queen Anula[12-17 AD], the widow of King Cora- Naga[3 BC-9 AD]had four husbands during her reign of 4 years named Siva, Vatuka, Dura-Bathika -Tissa and Niliya.


 Arita/ Arittha, – Best, Noblest.

      Maha- arittha was the name if a nephew of King Devanampiyatissa, his envoy to King Asoka Court, leader of both delegations, the second one that brought back Theri Sangamitta and the Bo-sapling. He was given an honorary rank of Senpathi by Asoka.He Later became a monk.[ Mahawansa]

Asamana,- Un – Common

Asoka, – One who has no sorrow/ A flower.

     Asoka-mali  was the name of theChandala maiden who married Prince Saliya. The sculpture at Issurumuniya, Anuradhapura may be the ccouple or that of Siva and Parvati.

Avirada,One who has no opponant.

 Bada (f.)Elu Bamba- Brahmana caste

 Baginiya, Bakiniya– Sister,


Batiya– Of a Lady,

Buti– Prosperity, Might and Power, Buti-Sumana,

Cema- Khema- Secure,

Cita-kassna– Attracting ones mind,

Cuda- Smaller or Younger,

Cerece– ?

Dahaka/ Dasaka– One who sees,

Danamita– A wealthy-Mitra ,

Daniya– Fortunate,

Daya– Donation or Gift

Dasaka- One who sees,

Dhata/ Data – Gift,

       Rama-datta and Varuna- Data were two sisters princesses , Rama data was the consort of Devanampiyatissa[ IC nos 2 and 31- S Paranavitane]

 Digati– Tall  -Examples Diga-Data-, Diga-Guta, Diga-Kasaba[ Name of previous Buddha], Diga-Naguli, Diga-Sumana– etc

        1  Cent AD die-makers impression of a Tall lady [ Perhaps Mahamaya devi on an Sinhala coin is shown below with a normal coin.


Dipani (f.)- She who inflames



Duga -Durga,

Dataka, A gift

 Duta (f.)- Dutaka , Bold  Daring

Gamini– Dynastic title of early kings placed  on their inscriptions in addition to their personal name suh as Tissa, Abaya, Naga etc. There are few Royal seals with the Royal emblem the railed swastika at the centre with this epithet inscribed in ancient sinhala script.

The above sealing is believed to be of King Sadhatissa[77-59 BC] found at Tissamaharama, which reads De Va Na Ma Ha Ra Jha Ga Ma Ni Ti Sa Ha.The railed swastika is also found on inscriptions of sinhala royalty- Incsriptions of Ceylon- Volume I-Paranavitana. This sealed an important document as traces of the impressions old palm  leaf was discovered by the German excavation team.


Guta (m.f.), Gutaka–  Protected,

Hadaka,Hadana-Efficient & Skillfull,

Hajaya– -Name of a Bard in Mahabaratha.,

 Halana- Auspicious / Good,

 Hamika– Owner

 Hona[ Sona] An Asterism

 Hujata (f.) Sughata-,

Huma (m.f.), Humana (m.f.)- Sumana-

Idika- Ittiya -a Monk in the retinue of Rev Mahinda.,

 Ijhu- Upright,

Isa– Name of a Risi,

                A similar sounding name was -Isigira was the Governer of Nagadipa during the reign of  King Vasaba [126-170 AD]- Villipuram Gold Plate

Jita- Devi- On inscription no 54  Kadigala Ins IC Volume II, the Queen of Vasaba and mother of King Vankanasika Tissa.

Jhita– Daughter,

 Jhotiya, Jhotisena– Light,

Kamacuda– One who has a desired Crest,

Kamina (f.),- Loving One.


                A Queen of  King Sadhatissa[Lakshman.S. PereraAppendix V]

Kubara, Kubili (f.),- God of wealth

Kujha, Kujhika– Personal name,

Lajhaka– Pre-emminant,

Macaka (f.)- Fished eyed one,

Macudi – Diadem wearing king,

Madana (f.) – Adorning,

Mahabi (f.)- Personal name,

 Maha– Great /Famous-Maha-butiya, Mahacudika, Mahadata, Mahaguta, Maha-Haruma, Maharaka, Mahavebeli, Mahavita,

Majhima- Middle , Majhima-Tisa,Majhi-maya,

Mala– Champion,

Mali – Wearing a garland of flowers,



Manalikaci (f),

Manel- The national flower of Sri Lanka.

Nadika– personal name,

Nada/ Nanda– Delight and Happiness

Namali/ Nirmala/Nimmala– Venerable,

Namara– Humble,

 Nila–  Dark Complexioned ,

Nelum – The type of Lotus flower of the Island.

Olu – A lotus flower.

Padita– A learned man,

Pala– Protector,

Parijaya (f.),

Pavita– One who caused rain

Pola/Pabulu– Coral,


Pussa-deva- A General of King Dutugemunu, few inscriptions has been identified with him. The one at Sankapala Temple on the Embilipitiya Rd,. A Conch in engraved by his inscription. A small brick mount beside the road is believed to  be his grave.

Ramani– A princess of a Royal line perhaps of King Vahaba as  described by S Paranavitana-No 52 IC Volume II.


    The chief queen of Dutugemunu[ Rev Ellawala Methnanda 2000 May 29]from an avcient Insription

Sculpture of perhaps 8 Cent AD .the theme suggested  as  King Dutugemunu ,his queen and Prince Saliya

Raka, Raki, Rakita, Rakiya (m.f.], Rakha (f.)- Protected,

Rohaka, Roka– Mounted One/ Cavalry,

Ruga (f.), Rula (f.), Ruvala (f.)- Shapely,

Sadana– Wealthy,

Sadatuta, Sadoya, Sagata,


Samika (f.)- The little dark one,

                           Queen of King Lanjatissa[59-50 BC], a son of King Sadatissa. He had another brother Maha Aya Siva whose wife was Lasani.[Lakshman.S. PereraAppendix V]


Sankha.- Chank , the name of General who was Killed by Parakramabahu the Great.Recently an Intaglio was found inscribed in Sinhala nagari writing. 

Sugula- A Warrior  Queen who ruled the south[ Ruhuna] an aunt of Parakaramabahu the Great, and was reluctant to hand over the Sacred Tooth relic and Bowl. Many a battle was fought before she was defeated and taken prisoner.

Sasirika/ Sasiri-Possesing Speldour,

 Savina (f.)- Learned,

Savi- Moon.

Savera- A personal name –

      The name of Dutugemunu mother Vihara -maha devi as  identified on ancient Inscriptions by Dr S Paranavitane.

                                 A square Sinhala  Coin of lady on a Boat perhaps Vihare Maha Devi[ 1 Cent BC]

Sena– One who posses an Army,

              The most famous Sena was King Mahasena [334-361 AD], he built the tallest stupa Jetvanarama and many tanks. His statue is a Kirivehera ,Kataragama is shown below


Sidata/ Siduhat –  One whose purpose has been achived,

Sigara– Strong One, Sigara-Malu, Sigara-Tisa,

Siri– Goddess of fortune


Sobana– Brilliant,

Sobika– Ornamentle One.

Suba, Subaga (f.)- Good/Aupicious,


Sujhata– High born,

                A coin like object in lead from Akurugoda Tissamaharama inscribed  ‘Sujhata puta tissaha ‘ .  Of Tissa son of Sujhata. Suhata may mean high born or the Chief Queen.

Sulasi (f.),

Sumana– Good Minded,

Sura– Heroic, Surajha, Sura-kita, Sura-tisa,

Sala– Name of a Tree.

Tejhe– Fire /Brilliance,


Tosa (f.)- Pleasure/Satisfaction,

   Very appropriately named Vesi[Courtesan or Nagara Sobini] appears on an ancient cave Inscription at Sigiriya

Tilaka- a Light, a Gem


Thisa-rakitha. A queen of King Asoka who attempted to poison the Bo-tree.[ Mahwansa]- a silver coin[ Kahapana} perhaps depicting this incident is found in fair numbers in the Island, is shown below.

Talata Laci- was a daughter of a Prince Sanga the  Lord of Mahagama,who donated her share of land and the flesh of Peacocks, deer and balck antelope t a Monastery[ Kok-eba Rock Inscription No 81 IC Volume II.

Suka– Happiness

Sumitta– Good friend

Sona– Name of asterism- A deciple of Buddha

Uba-Clever/ Skilfull,

Udaya– Rising,




Uti, Utiya– Sower,

                              A Name of King

Vada, Vadiya,

Vasaba- Bull, Noble.

                          The name of a king

Vajira (f.), Varali,

Vebeliya,Vepali– Abundance,

Yahasaya, Yahasini (f.),She who has a good name.

                     Yahasini the wife of Heir apparent Devanampiya Gamini-Tisa [ Page     xlvii, IC- S Paranavitane]

Yase– Fame, -Yasada, Yasopala.


Gonavatte Inscription is in Gandahaya Korale of Patha Hevatta in Kandy District near 5 1/2 mile post on Kandy- Haguranketa Road. – Views of Rev Ellawala Metananda- 29 May 2000 &

Leelandra Amerasinghe SanasgamaRivira- 20 Jul 2008.


Transalation ‘The son of king Mahacudika was king Abhaya ; the son of king Abhaya was king Naga; the son of king Naga was king Abhaya. The cave named Mahasudassana, caused to be fashioned bv Gamani Tissa, the son of [that] king Abhaya, has been established for the Sangha of the four quarters past and present‘.

This inscription is of the oldest type script in which Sinhalese was written in the ancient period, and may be dated to the 2 CentBC. The Gamini Tissa is believed to be Kavantissa. Gamini was a title adopted by those who ruled the Southern region of Ruhuna, however this title was adopted by the same rulers rulers who later ruled atAnuradhapura. This inscription gives the ancestry of King Kakavantissa for five generations. His father is Abhaya[Jnr} was King Gotabhaya. Gotabhaya father was Naga, known as King Mahanaga. Mahanaga father is an Abaya{snr] , whose father was Mahacudika.

But according to Mahwansa and Dipawansa- King Mahanaga was one of the 10 brothers which included Devanampiyatisa and Uttiya who ruled at Anuradhapura. Mahanaga made hasty retreat to Ruhuna when Devanampiyatisa’s Queen attempted to Kill him[ Mahanaga] with poisoned Mango ,Her [ Queen’s]own son who was with Mahanaga ate the mango and died.[ Mahawansa ].

According to the Mahawansa, Dipawansa , the Rajavaliya states that YatalaTissa was the son of Mahanaga and was grand son of Gotabhaya. But the inscription at Deyangekema near Situlpavu confirms the relationship between Mahanaga and YatalaTissa..

Uparaja Mahanaka puta yatalaka tissa Maharagha.’

There is no inscription yet found that states the Gotabhaya was Yatala Tissa son.

Kusalakande inscription gives the relationship between Mahanaga, Gotabhaya and Kavantissa.

‘Upa ragha Naga pute ragha Abhaya nama tase puta Gamini Tisa nama sudasane sagasa….’

Gamini Tisa the son of King Abhaya the son of King Naga,,,,,,,,,,,,

Few historians now think that Gotabhaya and Yatala Tissa was brothers and sons of Mahanaga., they all reigned in Ruhuna. While Devanampitisa , Uttiya, ruled inAnuradhapura.

According to Chronicles Mahawansa King Devanampiyatisa, Uttiya and Mahanaga were the Ten Sons of Mutusiva. Rev Mettananda states that Mutisiva was known in Vamskatha as Dasbathika or Dasabhathuka.The evidence of this in stone is at Mottayakallu Stone inscription

Mottayakallu (Ref. A CA R. 1950, p. 28),

This inscription is of a Gamini Tissa who is the grandson [marumakanake] of king Naga[ Mahanaga] whose Grand-Father was Pasasadika Abaya, the father of 10 brother kings [Dasa-bhatika-rana].

(1) ~Dasa-bhatika-rana, [ ]vakas-naya Uparajha-Naga Uparajha-Nagaha marumakanake

maha-[pa]sadhikes Abhaya-rajhaha pute

(2) Gamani-Tisaha vihare

(3) agata-anagata-bhiku-sagasa Niyate

The monastery of Gamani Tissa, the grandson of Uparaja Naga, the ?vaka leader of the ten brother kings, and son of king Maha[pa]sadhika Abhaya, is dedicated to the Bhikkhu-Sangha,present and absent.’- S Paranavitane.

The father of these according to inscription above the father of Kings- Devanampiyatisa, Uttiya and Mahanaga is King Abaya. He is called Mutusiva in the Mahawansa. In Dipawansa Mutusiva and in Rajavaliya[ List of Kings] as Ganatissa .

King Abhaya father is King Mahakudika in Gonavatte Inscription and name in according to Mahawansa King Pandu- Abhaya and Dipawansa is King Pakundaka and Rajavaliya is Pandukabhaya.

So the Islands History can now be traced to Kings two generations earlier than King Devanampiyatissa from rock inscriptions. I personally feel that this rock inscription must be made a land mark for all Sri Lankan to visit and it is so close to Kandy.

Rev Ellawala Methananda states that the lady Chitra at Buddhangala Inscriptions reminds him of Ummaga- Chitra. the mother of King Pandukabaya.