The Karava Maha Kodiya or main flag of the Karava Community. It depicts several traditional royal symbols. The original flag is illustrated under Karava Heraldry
|Regions with significant populations|
|Sinhala, Tamil, Marathi, Telugu|
|Buddhism, Roman Catholicism, Hinduism, Protestantism|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Sinhalese, Tamils, Kshatriyas, Kurukulams, Kauravas|
- 1 General
- 2 Traditional status
- 3 Royal insignia
- 4 Origin with the Kuru
- 5 Timeline
- 6 Flags and insignia
- 7 Social position
- 8 Political influence
- 9 Ancestral names
- 10 Notables
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The origins of the term Karave also Kaurava or Kurukula are still debated. The first recorded instance is the Abhayagiri vihara terrace inscription dating from the 1st century BC denoting a 'Karava navika'. One school of thought maintains that the Karava are the traditional coastal folk citing the similarity between the terms for sea-water (Kara Diya in Sinhalese) and Tamil Karaiyar denoting 'coast men'. Another contends that it was the traditional military or warrior caste of Sri Lanka. Although no specific mention of such a caste is extant in pre-colonial literature, there is mention of Kshatriya, foreign warriors and mercenaries throughout history. A third opinion is that it stems from the Kauravas of Indian Folklore, which is also the commomon origin theory of the coastal Kavara and Gavara folk of Andhra Pradesh. The 'Vesmuhunu' (mask), Devil Dance/Sanni Yakuma (exorcism) and Kolam tradition (masked drama/comedy) of the southern coast, while indicating a strong indigenous and a unique tradition, also indicate some affinity with the Karavali of Kerala and Karnataka and Topeng of South-East Asia. Also, an ancient north Indian ship owning and navigating caste was known as Kharva The Mahabarta epic recognized the coastal districts as a distinct community with their chiefs who took part in the epic war (Mahabharata, Book 3, Chapter 51. Karava communities are scattered throughout Sri Lanka including the interior but are predominantly resident on the southern, western and northern coastal districts of Sri Lanka.
Karava myth as well as historical manuscripts such as the Mukkara Hatana, and royal grants indicate that there was also several migrations from Kuru Mandalam Coromandal coast of South India. The Aluth (new) and Parana (old) Kuru korales (provinces) denote such cultural acknowledgement and royal patronage. Related communities in India are found north of Tanjore in Tamil Nadu well into the Andhra Pradesh coastal areas. Many Karava communities throughout Sri Lanka claim an ultimate origin from the Kuru (kingdom) and the epic Kauravas of the Mahabharata. In modern Sri Lanka, occupationally its members include the foremost professionals, capitalists and politicians of Sri Lanka as well as large numbers of wage earners, carpenters, fishermen and farmers. The Karavas came into contact with the (Portuguese, Dutch and English) colonial powers before the rural interiors and assimilated (through choice or force) with regards to education, dress, religion and customs and exploited the new opportunities in commercial enterprise earlier than other communities. The Karavas were the most successful at this as all communities strove to modernize and still do. An often overlooked fact is that it was primarily the coastal population that lost part of their ancient culture and heritage whilst gaining what is new. It is also overlooked that they feature prominently in the struggle against colonialism at great risk to their families. Also, after the 1764 conspiracy to exclude minority castes from Buddhist monkhood ordination and other factors there was less of an incentive for change, though they spent a fortune renovating ancient Temples and playing a prominent role reviving Buddhism in the past two centuries. Today, many Karava are mixed/married with all other communities and castes, particularly the Govigama and Durava.
The Karavas were the traditional fisher-folk, naval warriors seafaring merchants coastal chieftains and regional kings as well as craftsmen and even some farmers of the Sri Lankan coast, including the producers of salt, which is a foundation of civilization. They were also among the pioneering planters and industrialists of the colonial period. It is a misconception to say that the Karavas rose in prominence allying themselves to the colonial rulers when most natives serving the British and Dutch administration were from the newly elevated farmer caste. However it may be that they remained loyal to the king of their region after the Wijayaba Kollaya. Also, it was our kings who were among the first to convert to Christianity; Prince Jugo Bandara, Don Manoel Jayaweera Astana, Don João Karalliyadde Bandãra, Don Juan Dharmapala Peria Bandara, Don Phillip Yamasingha Bandar, Mahapatabandige Donna Catherina Kusumasanadevi, Don John Wimaladharmasurya, Prince Dom Afonso, Dom João, Dom Luis and Dom Philip Nikapitiye Bandara. The clan has also claimed to be the naval and military caste of Sri Lanka and were also mercenaries to kings in India and Sri Lanka. Their chiefs were referred to as Patabenda in Sinhala and Patangatim in Tamil, lived in the coast and ports of Sri Lanka. Although conclusive evidence is lacking that they were the ruling class of the medieval era, there are historical records including Brahmi rock inscriptions, sword appointments and documents such as the 'Pujavaliya', 'Rajavaliya', 'Mukara Hatana' and Portuguese state records that suggest their importance to the rulers
It is also interesting to remind that Arya Chakravarti's invasions were repulsed in Panadura (naval battle), Dematagoda, Negambo and Chilaw, Matale being the only exception. The successful naval raids and battles that resulted in the capture of six ships and the destruction of twenty others, one of the earliest of its kind against a European colonial navy in the South Asian waters, (yet stands as a feat extremely rare unlike land victories) was carried out by King(sub) Antonio Baretto Kuruwita Rala (Prince of Uva), the Regent of King Senerat and relative of Queen Mahapatabendige Donna Catherina Kusumasena Devi of the royal lineage. This ultimate warrior's land victories include the expulsion of the Portuguese from the Sabaragamuwa province and the Batticaloa fort. He also fought the Portuguese-Senarat alliance when the king refused to liberate the coastal districts and for three years liberated/controlled a vast area There is ample evidence to show that the Island's kings not only had a keen interest in shipbuilding, naval and trading activities, but also made sacrifices to the sea and the Island's shipbuilders built some of the largest ships of their day. Several nautical researchers have obsrverd a boatbuilding tradition unique to the Sinhalese community Evidence also show that from prehistoric previjayan times that there had been cultural interaction with neighbouring communities from across the seas and in some instances even an extent of a shared common culture
All major Karava settlements traditionally had service castes such as barbers, drummers, potters, dhobies, etc. settled in satellite communities around them. The presence of such settlements is still evident despite the social changes and inter-caste migrations of the past century. The Karavas were one of the few Sri Lankan communities traditionally entitled to use flags. British Government Agents studying Sri Lankan flags have noted that not a single flag could be found even in the residences of Kandyan chiefs as even they were not entitled to use flags. These observations, made in the 19th Century (after 1815), do take into account that the Kandyans were living under a Sinhala Royal dominion that reserved the right to bear flags to the Palace. At the same time, clans and families of most other caste groups in the lowlands did not bear flags, whilst the Karava of the Kandyan province such as in Thamankaduwa were entitled to it. It is also certain that these flags depicting royal emblems existed before the archaeological excavations of Anuradhapura began in the latter part of the British and post British era, substantiating many of the depictions.  A large number of these Karava flags have survived the ravages of time and many are illustrated in E. W. Perera’s book Sinhalese Banners and Standards. However, despite the extent of the collection, they are scattered throughout the book and not in a special chapter. As such, their significance is missed by most readers. The sun, moon, stars, elephant, fish, white shield, pearl umbrella, swords, lotuses, and ship all of which were royal symbols in Sri Lanka’s past.
The Karava community describes the usage of royal insignia, whilst some have argued to the contrary, texts such as the 'Rajavaliya' do mention its use. Though the origin of the term 'Royal Insignia' is hotly debated subject and passed off as a modern affectation of gentility, it is certain that these insignia of royal emblems existed before the archaeological excavations of Anuradhapura began in the latter part of the British and post British era and that even the Kandyan kings made an exception to allow the Karavas its use, substantiating them. The symbolic use of the conch shell in all things sacred and regal cannot be denied, so too was the tying of the royal forehead plate; Nalapata because they are mentioned in the 'Rajavaliya'. Ancient rock inscriptions, copper plates & coin engravings are now available trough archaeological excavations depicting the emblems of the ruling dynasty. These customs are common to all regions of South Asia and beyond, not just Sri Lanka (whose royal dynasties, language and religions originate mostly from India in any case) and scientifically valid. Likewise the sun and the moon, pearl umbrella are traditional royal items in Sri Lanka's past and throughout the region.
For the past 1,700 years the sacred Tooth Relic of Gautama Buddha was a possession of the ruling king/dynasty of that period, whosoever possessed this was acknowledged as the rightful ruler of Lanka and whoever won the throne usually came to possess it. Upon each change of capital, a new palace was built to enshrine the Relic. Finally, in 1591 it was brought to Kandy where it is at present, in the Temple of the Tooth. Contrary to the current practice, the tooth relic is not exclusive to a few privileged persons or the male gender as that tarnishes the doctrine of Buddhism and becomes a tool of oppression. Even if we overlook that some royalty stemmed from this Suryawamsa warrior/mercenary community, what is certain is that the Abhayagiri vihāra was the early custodian of the Tooth Relic and the Karava Navika, Kuvera (merchant) Sujatha, Illa (Hela) Bharta and Thissa (King/Prince) held positions of distinction & privilege in that Viharaya. Their patronage of the Sanga, monastires and facilitating the propagation of the Dharma, pilgrimage, relics, mercantile and military activity in ancient times is well documented in caves, monastires and family traditions Again during the Polonaruwa period, the custodians of the relic was the Veleikkara regiment, its one time leader was Vijayabahu the Great's commander Kurukulattaraiya; 'the prince with the golden anklet'. Also, the Island's last north Indian (Aryan) king Nissankamalla disliked the Govi aspirations, Maha Parakramabahu too, taxed them heavily Therefore, it is clear that the present ideology and situation surrounding the relic was different in the past.
The possession of the tooth relic alone was however not sufficient for the general turned king; Don John Wimaladharmasurya, but the 'royalty' of Mahapatabandige Donna Catherina Kusumasanadevi. Additionally, there had been many instances in history where there had been several simultaneous kingdoms, the 'rightful' not possessing the 'Tooth', while many not so 'rightful' had ruled, e.g., Rajarata-Ruhuna-Dakkhinadesa, Kashyapa-Mogallana, Alakeshwara-Buwanekabahu V, Kotte-Sitawaka-Kandy, colonial. Even in the land-locked Kandyan kingdom 'Unambuwe' a son of a concubine of some considerable background from the vicinity of the 'Tooth' was deemed not of 'royalty', hence a Tamil of royalty was imported from Madurai. This last Kandyan royal dynasty (four kings) of Nayake origin was from the Balija caste.
The oldest Buddhist sect in Sri Lanka, the Siam Nikaya (estd. 19 July 1753) are the current custodians of the Tooth Relic. As of 1764, the Siyam Nikaya controversially restricted higher ordination only to the Radala and Govigama castes, Sitinamaluwe Dhammajoti (Durava) being the last nongovigama monk receive its Higher ordination. This conspiracy festered within the Siyam nikaya itself, where Moratota Dhammakkandha, Mahaayaka of Kandy, with the help of the last two Kandyan Tamil kings took possession of the Siri Paadha shrine and the retinue villages from the low country Mahanayaka Karatota Dhammaranma and appointed a rival. After the 1764 conspiracy and other factors there was less of an incentive for change, though the Karava and other minority communities of the Island spent a fortune renovating ancient Temples and playing a prominent role reviving Buddhism in the past two centuries. It was Ven. Dodanduwe Piyaratana Tissa Thera who was conferred the Honorary membership of the Theosophical Society in 1878 that encouraged Colonel Henry Steel Olcott to visit Ceylon in 1880. The famous Panadura debate was held between Buddhist and Christian establishments of related (Karava) families of Panadura.
Apart from flags, the Karavas were the only community in Sri Lanka entitled to the use of the said 'royal insignia'. Insignia such as the pearl umbrella, flags, swords, trident, yak tail whisks, lighted flame torches and drums were previously widely used by the Karavas at their weddings and funerals. Such usage is now greatly reduced but even now it is not unusual to see these royal symbols used even at funerals of extremely impoverished Karavas. See Karava Heraldry
Across the Palk Strait, the kinsmen of the Karavas too have used similar insignia in the past. H. R. Pate describes a wedding as follows: "A peculiar feature of the wedding is the procession to the bride’s house with virudus or banners supposed to be the insignia of the Kingly ancestors of the race. The emblems consist of 21 flags embroidered with representations of various objects, animate and inanimate, such as a Snake, a Peacock, a Palmyra, a Chank, the Sun and Moon an Elephant. A Fish and so on. In addition to these a large Umbrella, a Shield and other trappings are carried. The bridegroom wears a costume called KAPA resembling the state robes of Jathi Thalavi More and white cloths are spread before hi in his path". (Madras District Gazetteer 123 & 124)
With the fall of Sri Lankan kingdoms under Dutch and British colonialism the Karavas kept to their occupations such as deep sea fishing, cultivation, and trading for survival.
Origin with the Kuru
In Sri Lanka, some Karave claim Kuru ancestry, thus assimilating with the Sinhalese people. Karavas, north of Negambo, along with all other Sinhalese communities are mostly Catholics, the Karavas south of Colombo along with other Sinhala speakers and are mostly Buddhists. With Salagama and Durave, they make a sizable number of people among the coastal Sinhalese sub group. The Karaiyars are an ancient seafaring, warrior caste native to the North Eastern parts of Sri Lanka and the Coromandel Coast, India. They are of mostly Hindu or Christian.
Flags and insignia
See Karava Heraldry
The Karave community of today is made up of many Clans as indicated by their hereditary ancestral names also known as "Ge" names and Clan names. In Sri Lanka they are an influential and prominent caste among the majority Sinhalese. They are now said to be behind the majority Govigama. Most Karave were converted to the Catholic religion during the Portuguese period. (See Patabendige for Portuguese conversion strategies). During the British period several Karava families, along with families from other communities achieved elite status by participating in the colonial economic activities. Although the strides made thus far by a few families are impressive, and many members of the community are leading professionals and businessmen, a great many of them now languish at the bottom of the economic order, deprived of opportunities for progress.
The democratic system of Sri Lanka, where the main political parties are run as family organizations, dominated by the majority Govigama and a few from the elite Radala caste has prevented Karava and other minority community politicians from ever reaching the top or gaining political influence. In 1911 they even went to Tamil Nadu to convince a person who was in retirement there inorder to prevent the highly educated Karava Sinhalese Sir Marcus Fernando from getting elected to the State Council. However, they unanimously supported the election of Sir James Peiris a decade later. Young leaders rising up against the system have been continually eliminated by the Sri Lankan state since the 1970s. Non–Govigama representation in Parliament has steadily declined since independence and representation of non-Govigama castes are well below their population percentages. . Caste representation in the Cabinet is limited to a few very visible, but unconcerned and disconnected members from a few leading castes. However none of these representatives are known to have ever spoken on behalf of their respective communities or done anything constructive for the progress of these communities. However, this primitive ideology has a diminished impact on the educated younger generation who are in touch with the wider global community. It is also unconstitutional, though it may be practiced by some religious establishments with dubious intentions. For instance, in the presidential election of 2010, the common opposition backed Gen. Sarath Fonseka.
Gé names among the Sinhala speaking population are traditional hereditary family names. They denote a person's ancestry, caste, social status of an illustrious ancestor or the village of origin. The Karava traditionally used the title or clan name before the 18th century emergence of the govi. Hence, 'Patabandi' became 'Patabadige'. These names predate the 16th century European colonisation of Sri Lanka. Gé names precede an individual’s personal name unlike a surname which follows one’s personal name. As such it is important to understand the historical significance of these ancient Ge’ names vis-à-vis the 20th century British period acquired surnames. The Karavas Ge’ names overwhelmingly show a traditional military, royal or marine heritage. Some of the more frequently encountered Karava Ge names are given below. Some members of the Karava caste descend from an Iberian ancestor, dating back to the 16th century, as it is known that the Portuguese, mostly men, were ordered to marry local women everywhere in the Portuguese empire. In those cases they also use, apart from Ge names, their Iberian-derived surnames such as De Silva, De Mel, Fernando, Perera, Mendis, Almeida, De La Salle, De Mazenod, Peris. In many instances the use of a Portuguese surname also resulted from conversion along with many kings and aristocrats of the period. In later periods even some interior rural folk adopted these names for upliftment similar to the adoption of English first names by the many urban folk during the British period.
Ge names based on Leadership or Military activity (nobility)
- Aditya: Suryawamsa king/chief/noble
- Arachchige : house of the local administrative officer.
- Arasanilayitta: Regent (possessing royal authority)
- Arasa Marakkalage : house of the Royal Mariners.
- Egodage : house of great warriors.
- Galappaththige : house of naval commanders.
- Hennedige (also Senadige) : house of the commanding officers.
- Hewage : house of soldiers.
- Kodituvakkuge : house of gunners
- Patabendige: house of the local headmen. 'Pata' in this name refers to a golden plate that this clan was wearing to denote their royal status
- Thantrige (also Thanthrige, Tantulage, Thanthulage) : house of experts in warfare as in Veditantrige.
Ge names based on profession
- Acharige : house of blacksmiths.
- Badalge : house of silversmiths.
- Berawage : house of drummers.
- Gamage (gamuladenige) : house of the village chief
- Guruge (also Gurunnanselage) : house of teachers.
- Hettige : house of people of commerce.
- Ilandarige : house of messengers.
- Kankanamage : house of supervisors of workmen (of military weapons production).
- Kodikarage (also Kodippilige) : house of custodians of the battle flags.
- Liyanage : house of clerks, writers.
- Manage : house of grain measurers.
- Manavige (also Malimige, Malavige) : house of ship captains (deriving from maha-navi).
- Mandadige : house the officers in the fishing industry and town markets.
- Marakkalage : house of the ship/boat owners or sailors (see illustration of Marakkalam vessel on right). Arab Muslim traders got this name due the ships being called Marakkar in India and (Sri Lanka). As such Hindu mariners of Karnataka are also referred the same. Arabs did not call themselves Marakkar.
- Mestrige : house of the Master craftsman and artisans.
- Paindakarage : house of messengers.
- Palliyaguruge : house of school masters.
- Pathirage : house of accountants.
- Sattambige : house of teachers.
- Thantrige : house of educated men in a particular field or profession as in Mututantrige (pearl), also Priests,.
- Tuppahige : house of interpreters.
- Vaduge (also Baduge) : house of carpenters, ship & boat builders, also descendant of Vadugar as in Bala-Appu Vaduga.
- Vedage : house of expert in the Vedas or Ayurveda (More likely the latter as 'Veda' in Sinhalese is grammatically aligned to the root denoting Ayurveda and not the Broader Indian Veda learnings. Hence 'Vedage' probably refers to the local herbal healer / medicine man in the Ayurveda tradition.
- Vidanage : house of civil officers.
- Vitharanage : house of inquirers (judicial settle minor disputes).
Other names based on tribe or clan
Other than Karavas having Ge names, most of the Karavas in Sri Lanka belong to one or more of the Suriya clans Weerasuriya, Jayasuriya, Balasuriya, Wickramasuriya, Kurukulasuriya, Warnakulasuriya, Mihindukulasuriya, Bharathakulasuriya, Manukulasuriya, Vijayakulasuriya or Arasakulasuriya which appear to indicate distinct streams of migrations or clans loyal to distinct Kings. Other clans are Vadugas, Koon Karavas (such as Samarakoon, Weerakoon etc.), Konda Karavas (such as WeeraKonda, Konda Perumal Árachchigé etc.) and rarer names such as Olupathage - house of the Lotus flower (etymology: Olu-Pathi-ge). The 'Olu' Lotus flower is for instance also found on the Royal Seat exposed at the Colombo National Museum and on the mural depicting the Dahamsonda Story. Some examples of clan names are:
- Aditya: Denotes a suryawamsa king found throughout India, but exclusive to the Karavas in Sri Lanka, recorded as Ditta or Adicca in some ancient texts. (The first royal dynasty of the similar linguistic culture to the Sinhalese, from the thousand cluster islands; the Maldives, was Aditya)
- Arasanilayitta: Possessing kingly status
- Kurukula (Suriya): Descending from the Kuru clan
- Varnakula Suriya: God Varuna Sea God (alternately Colour-Caste)
- Agga Maha Pandita Polwatte Buddhadatta Mahanayake Thera: Sri Lanka's first Scholar Monk to receive 'Agga Maha Pandita'
- Amaradeva, Pandit: The Legend of 'Sinhala Classical' music (vocalist/composer/instrumentalist), the creator of the Sinhala Art Song, Padma Shri, Deshamanya and Ramon Magsaysay Award recipient
- Aravinda De Silva: Legendary Batsman (Cricketer)
- C T Fernando: Legendary musician/singer/composer
- Camillus Perera, cartoonist
- Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith: 11th Archbishop of Colombo, current Sri Lankan Cardinal
- Celestina Dias: Premier lady entrepreneur and philanthropist
- Chaminda Vaas: Legendary Bowler (Cricketer)
- Charles Henry de Soysa: Pre-eminent entrepreneur and philanthropist
- Clancy Fernando - Admiral: Ex- Commander of the Navy
- Chinthaka De Soyza: Former SAARC 100 meters record holder
- Dombagasare Sri Sumedankara Thera: Discoverer and restorer of the ancient Seruvila Mangala Raja Maha Viharaya
- Dodanduwe Piyaratana Tissa Nayaka Thera: the founder of the first Buddhist school in Sri Lanka and the initiator of Olcott's Buddhist revival through Buddhist schools 
- Ediriweera Sarachchandra: Ramon Magsaysay Award winning playwright, poet and social commentator
- Frank Marcus Fernando, 3rd Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chilaw
- G. L. Peiris - Prof.: Former Cabinet Minister of External Affairs.
- Gratien Fernando - Bombardier : Anti-colonial agitator
- Harold de Soysa, first indigenous Anglican Bishop of Colombo
- Henry Woodward Amarasuriya: Pioneer entrepreneur, philanthropist and politician
- Indra De Silva: Ex- Inspector General of Police
- James Peiris : National Hero (Independence), First elected leader (Vice President) of the Legislative Council of Ceylon & the World's First non-European President of the Cambridge (or even Oxford) Union.
- Jaliya Wickramasuriya Former Ambassador to the United States and Mexico.
- Jayalath Weerakkody - Air Marshal : Ex- Air Force Commander
- Joe Abeywickrama: Legendary Actor
- Lakdasa De Mel: Archbishop of India, Pakistan, Burma and Ceylon
- Latha Walpola: Hela Gee Rejina / Nightingale of Sri Lanka
- Leslie Goonewardena: Independence Activist and Co-Founder of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party
- Lester James Peiris: Father of Sinhala Cinema (Sri Lankabhimanya recipient)
- Malini Fonseka: The Queen of Sinhala Cinema
- Marcelline Jayakody - Fr. : Catholic priest, musician, lyricist, author & Ramon Magsaysay Award & Kalasuri recipient
- Martin Wickramasinghe: The father of modern Sinhala literature / Island's Favorite Novelist
- Patrick de Silva Kularatne: Legendary educationist
- Rohana Wijeweera: Founding leader of the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna.
- Ronnie De Mel: Ceylon Civil Service (CCS),Cabinet Minister and current Senior Presidential adviser.
- Royce de Mel, 1st native Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy
- Sajith Egodage: Last Trinity College boxing Lion & All Island Boxing Champion in 1983
- Sanath Jayasuriya: Legendary All-Rounder (Cricketer)
- Sarath Fonseka : Former Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and former candidate for President of Sri Lanka
- Susantha de Fonseka: Pioneer diplomat and independence activist
- Tissa Balasuriya, Catholic priest
- Tyronne Fernando: Cabinet Minister,Presidential adviser and Former Governor of the North Eastern Province
- Veera Puran Appu: Sinhala Hero who fought against the British.
- Waduge Mahinda Deshaprya: Commissioner General of Election
- Warnakulasurya Wadumestrige Devasritha Valence Mendis, 4th Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Chilaw
- Weligama Sri Sumangala: Scholar Monk, Buddhist Revivalist & educationalist
- Kotte Kingdom's principal imports: A history of Sri Lanka by K. M. De Silva, p.90
- Vaduga: Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands, By Chandra Richard De Silva, p.111 & 137
- Pre-Christian era coins depict the ruling dynastic fish symbol of the Kataragama Ksatriya kings
- Other royal emblems/coins from 250BC (depicting Bo tree, fish, conch) & king MUTU-SIVA
- THE ROYAL EMBLEM OF ANCIENT SINHALA KINGS (king Sadhathissa & queen Viharamahadevi)
- King Bhatiyatissa: The Chieftains of Ceylon, J. C. Van Sanden, p.32
- The descendants of king Bhatiyatissa
- Kurukulattaraiya, the prince with the golden anklet: Epigraphica Indica – Vol. 21, part 5, No.38, p.220-50
- Prince Kurukulattaraiya, Vijayabahu the Great's commander: The Karava of Ceylon, M.D.Raghavan, p.9-10
- Some warriors of the past
- A collection of traditional masks
- Exorcism rituals of the South coast
- Gunasekara, Naomi (2002-09-22). "Unmasking a craft". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
- Lankan influences on 'Bhuta kola' tradition, under heading: 'Not native to Tulu..'
- Bailey, Mark S; de Silva; H Janaka (2006-12-23). "Sri Lankan sanni masks: an ancient classification of disease". BMJ. Retrieved 2009-09-21.
- Essays In Goan History edited by Teotónio R. de Souza, p.4&5
- Descendants of the Mukara-Hatana (& the Nadagam tradition of the north-west coast)
- Weerasuriya, A. S. F.; Venthar, Kurukula. "Kurukula Charithaya—Part II". Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- Sri Lankan Mudaliyars
- "Sri Lankan Sinhalese Family Gene". Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Renee. "Family #1001 Bandaranaike". Rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Bolawalana church, Historical Background; Bolawalana is mentioned in verse 175 of Kokila Sandeshaya written in 1440 – 1446 CE., originally a Pattini Devalaya
- The destruction of the most luxurious and popular Temple complex at Devinuwara in 1587 - The Buddhist Visnu: Religious Transformation, Politics, and Culture By John C. Holt, p.99
- 112th death anniversary of C. H. de Soysa, patriot and philanthropist unequaled - Dr. K. N. M. D. Cooray (Infolanka)
- Most Lascarins betrayed and joined the Sinhalese: Colonial Voyage by Marco Ramerini
- In 1574 the Mahapatabenda of Colombo is beheaded and quartered by the Portuguese for treasonable communication with Mayadunne, the sannas grants of king Mayadenne to Sitavaka Tantula and Rajapakse Tantula of Ambalangoda for serving the interests of Sitawaka kings, Thamankaduwa, Diddeniya, Galagamuwa and Matale Karavas and their regalia The Karāva of Ceylon: Society and Culture, M. D. Raghavan pp.33-6,43,66,71-5 (K.V.G. De Sīlva ) ASIN: B0006CKOV2
- Kuruwita Rala appointed guardian of the heirs to the throne: An historical, political, and statistical account of Ceylon..., Volume 1, By Charles Pridham , p. 109-11
- The Patabenda of Koggala collaborates with Rajasinghe II in 1656 Ceylon: The Portuguese Era, Being the History of the Island for the Period 1505-1658, Volume 2, Paulus Edward Pieris p.454 (Colombo Apothecaries) ISBN 9788120613447
- Born in the coastal town of Moratuwa, Puran Appu led the Matale rebellion along with other prominent figures like Gongale Goda Banda Matale rebellion memorial abandoned, Gagani Weerakoon (The Nation) Retrieved 04-10-2015
- Jesus chose Fishermen to lead his mission
- Was the Son of the Carpenter an entrepreneur?
- Life of Jesus of Nazareth: born in Bethlalem, grew up in Egypt, (visited India?) & worked in the Middle East
- Joseph Vaz and Gonsalves lived, worked and died in this country - Blessed Joseph Vaz, a missionary model for all time, Rajtilak Naik (The Times of India)
- Colonel Henry Steele Olcott was invited to Ceylon by his friend Ven. Dodanduwe Piyaratana Tissa Thera: That controversial clash, by D. C. Ranatunga
- It was primarily due to the persuasion of Ven. Dodanduwe Piyarathana Thera that Colonel Henry Steele Olcott took an interest in the revival of Buddhist Education in Sri Lanka.: 'The first Buddhist School in Sri Lanka - Piyarathana Vidyalaya of Dodanduwa dilapidated, threatened with closure' by W. T. J. S. Kaviratne (Daily News)
- Lanka's Buddhist resurgence - Within a span of over a hundred years Archaeological restorations of several Buddhist sites took place; Stupas at Tissamaharamaya (1908), Seruvila (1922) and others followed Fragrance of a Buddha Jayanthi - Upali SALGADO (Daily News)
- Swarnamali Maha Seya and the forgotten monk - Upali K Salgado (The Island)
- Poson Day Historic Reflections and Buddhist Activity in the Colonial Time - Upali K Salgado (The Island)
- 113th Birth Anniversary : Sir Bennet and Lady Sarah Soysa - the philanthropists of the hills by M. B. Dassanayake (Daily News)
- Mrs. Jeremias Dias: A visionary of the 20th Century - Dr. Ganga de Silva (The Island)
- "Karava of Sri Lanka - Marriage proposals". Karava.org. 1935-04-17. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- World's fastest traditional sailing canoe: The Bala (power) Oruwa
- The iconic stilt-fishermen of the southern coast, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: The World in Photographs (cover)
- PEARL: Queen of gems
- Beyond Price: Pearls and Pearl-fishing : Origins to the Age of Discoveries, Volume 224 By R. A. Donkin, p.60-5..
- FISHERMEN FINANCING RUWANWELISEYA
- Kaurwaki (the fisher queen); Emperor Ashoka's Queen Consort
- Prehistoric fisherman and the shark tooth talisman (deep sea): Exploring Pre-history, Dr. Arjuna Thantilage and Gamini Adikari
- ADITYA AND THE BURMESE CAMPAIGN (Geiger on the Singhalese raid of Lower Burma 1164-5)
- Parakramabahu's Adigar-Admiral
- Nayek of Tanjore sends an army of Vadugas with King Varuna Gulata (Varnakula Aditya/Nilayitta) of the Karieas to assist; The temporal and spiritual conquest of Ceylon, Fernão de Queyroz, p. 468
- The naval encounters of Prince of Ouva, Kuruwita Rala (under nephew Pedro Baretto)
- A brief study of the 'Outrigger-Ship'; MAHA ORUWA
- Now extinct trading & pilgrim vessel: Maha-Oruwa/Yatra-Oruwa
- Another form of the extinct MAHA ORUVA
- The craftsmanship of the vessel (under heading: 'Design and Purpose..')
- Structural Details of the Vessel (Ships and the Development of Maritime Technology on the Indian Ocean By Ruth Barnes, David Parkin, p. 162)
- Shipping Merchant Don Bastian (Mudaliyar) & the Saddharma Yuktika Nikaya
- The Perera Abeywardena Family and P&O Shipping
- Last voyage of the Maha-Oruwa
- The extinct medieval ship: Marakkar
- 'Patangatin chiefs'; Re-Exploring the Links: History and Constructed Histories Between Portugal, Jorge Manuel Flores, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, p. 76
- Patangatin/Headmen of Chilaw baptised in 1606 at Malwana; Ceylon and the Portuguese 1505-1658, by Paulus Edward Pieris
- Royal grant to a port Patangatin, Kingdom of Jaffanapatam, P.E. Pieris, p. 25-28
- Young Bhuvenaka Bahu & Raigam Bandara under the care of the Patabenda (of Yapapatuna); Rajavaliya, Or, a Historical Narrative of Sinhalese Kings, by B. Guṇasēkara, p. 75
- Buvanekabahu VI and Parakramabahu VIII: Portuguese encounter with King of Kotte in 1517by A. Denis N. Fernando (The Island 2006/Lankalibrary web)
- Lanka's salt can enrich country's coffers, Dr. Prashan Francis (Daily News)
- "Catholic Church in Sri Lanka - A History in Outline by W.L.A.Don Peter - The Portuguese Period". Xoomer.virgilio.it. 1999-08-23. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Chronological list of Sri Lankan kings
- "Don Phillip, Don John and Dona Catherina of Sri Lanka". Lankalibrary.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Midwee05". Infolanka.com. 2002-03-06. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Sri Lankan Politics in Foucs". www.manthree.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- History of Trincomalee
- Dr. K. D. Paranavitana (2007-07-22). "A church in Lisbon and the Black Prince of Lanka". Sundaytimes.lk. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "RANK STRUCTURE OF OFFICERS IN SINHALA ARMIES. « Ancient Sri Lankan coins". Sirimunasiha.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "The Karave Flag - Piv". Defonseka.com. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Kaurava Princes and Princesses of the Past". Defonseka.com. 1932-08-15. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Karava of Sri Lanka - Marakkalage (Naval)". Karava.org. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- The 'DISK-HILT' Swords of the Karava subkings
- Similar 'DISK-HILT' elite sword of Anuradhapura
- DISK-HILT swords of the Kotte Kingdom
- The sword of Mahanaga Rajasinghe Kuruvira Adithya Arsanilaishta (1416 AD) - the oldest representation of the Makara knuckle-guard: Ancient Swords, Daggers and Knives in Sri Lankan Museums, P.H.D.H. De Silva and S. Wickramasinghe, pp.82,90,101-5 (National Museums of Sri Lanka) ISBN 9789555780216
- Karava Dissavas of the Kandyan Kingdom; Tri Sinhala: The Last Phase, 1796-1815, P. E. Pieris, p.77 (Asian Educational Services) ISBN 9788120615588
- Description of the Great and Most Famous Isle of Ceylon, Philip Baldaeus, p. 693-7
- Ceylon of the Early Travellers, by H. A. J. Hulugalle (1965); 'Kuruwita Rala, a relative of our last royal Queen'
- Legend of Queen Viharamaha Devi (Lankalirary)
- Re-evaluating the Viharamaha Devi story by Thilaka Randeniya (Divaina)
- Queen Vihara Maha Devi
- Ship building in ancient Sri Lanka
- Sailing craft in ancient Sri Lanka
- International relations in ancient and medieval Sri Lanka
- Sri Lanka and South-East Asia: Political, Religious and Cultural Relations, W. M. Sirisena, p. 32 (Ships: 200 feet, 700 crew)
- Records of Traditional Watercraft from South and West Sri Lanka, Gerhard Kapitan (G. Grainge & S. Devendra), pp. 22-46
- Boats of South Asia By Sean Mcgrail, Lucy Blue, Eric Kentley, Colin Palmer, pp. 178-9
- Boats of the World: From the Stone Age to Medieval Times by Seán McGrail, pp. 266, 272
- Fa-Hsien's account, Mesolithic & Iron Age Culture...; Pre-Vijayan Agriculture in Sri Lanka, Prof. T. W. Wikramanayake
- The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia, by Himanshu Prabha Ray, pp. 30, 38-40, 117-9, 340
- Excavations Prove Spread of Buddhism in Tamil Nadu & Andhra Pradesh: Archaeological Survey of India
- Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the Island and with the Indian subcontinental populations, L Ranaweera, et al.; Journal of Human Genetics (2014)
- Genetic affinities of Sri Lankan populations, by Kshatriya G.K. (1995)
- "The Bodhi Tree Symbol on Coins of Sri Lanka « Ancient Sri Lankan coins". Sirimunasiha.wordpress.com. 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- "Karava of Sri Lanka - karava flags". Karava.org. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
- Royal emblems/coins from 250BC (depicting Bo tree, fish, conch)
- Shades of the Royal Umbrella
- Traditional Royal Insignia & Ceremonies
- Royal emblems and Lord Buddha
- Mutukuda (Pearl-Umbrella) from local sources
- Chank/Conch on ancient coins
- Sapumal Kumaraya/Bhuvanekabahu VI
- The Splendor of Sri Lanka - Abayagiriya
- Abode of the Sacred Tooth Relic
- The ancient 'Kaurava Pavilion' at Anuradhapura & grants the Sanga
- The Archaeology of Seafaring in Ancient South Asia, by Himanshu Prabha Ray, pp. 15, 118-9, 132, 141, 148, 233, 254, 258, 267, 287 & 340
- Temple of the Tooth in Polonnaruwa
- Sacred Island
- Polonnaruwa Galpotha Inscription, CONCISE MAHAVAMSA: p. 107, by Mahānāma Thero and Dhammakitti Thero, edited by Wihelm Greiger (Publisher: Ruwan Rajapakse), ISBN 9780972865708
- Economic Policies Of Parakramabahu, The Great: What Lessons Are There For Today? by W.A. Wijewardena
- Buddhism in Sinhalese Society, 1750-1900: A Study of Religious Revival and.... By Kitsiri Malalgoda, p. 84-87 & 91
- 'Traditional chiefs of Moratuwa', Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon, by Arnold Wright, pp.667-9 (Lloyd's Greater Britain Publishing Company) ISBN 978-8120613355
- Traditional chiefs of Panadura
- The case of Manuel Dias Andrady: Kandy's 1st Maha Adigar
- Description of the Great and Most Famous Isle of Ceylon, by Philip Baldaeus, pp.678-9
- The chieftains of Ceylon, by J. C. Van Sanden, pp.9, 31 & 78
- The Varnakula Addittya Arasanilaitta De Fonseka family of Kalutara
- website describing the etymology of Patabendige and their heraldry
- Native flowers of Sri Lanka including the white lotus flower 'Olu' (Nymphea Lotus)
- Mural depicting the Dahamsonda Story (Valalgoda Rajamaha Vihara, 18th Century AC)
- Maritime Archaeology: Australian Approaches edited by Mark Staniforth, Michael Nash, p. 100 Maldives settled by Lankans
- ADITYAVAMSA (SOLAR) DYNASTY
- God Varuna/Upuluvan: An original guardian deity of the Island (A history of Sri Lanka by K. M. De Silva, pp.51,54,92,93)
- Heaven, Heroes, and Happiness: The Indo-European Roots of Western Ideology By Shan M. M. Winn, p.83
- Indra replaces Varuna as Chief of the Vedic pantheon Ancient Indian History and Civilization By Sailendra Nath Sen, pp.48-9
- Varuna faded away with the ascendancy of Shiva and Vishnu, Encyclopedia Mythica by Stephen T. Naylor
- The saga of the first Buddhist school by Prof. W. M. Karunadasa
- Nightingale of Sri Lanka, by T.K.Premadasa (Asian Tribune)
- Fonseka, the political arriviste–a historical irony
- ^ RAGHAVAN, M. D., The Karava of Ceylon: Society and Culture, K. V. G. de Silva, 1961.
- ^ Caste Conflict and Elite Formation, The Rise of the Karava Elite in Sri Lanka 1500–1931. Michael Roberts 1982, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 81-7013-139-1
- Madras District Gazetteer—Tinnevelly Volume I 1917 H. R. Pate
- ^ Social Change in Nineteenth Century Ceylon. Patrick Peebles. 1995, Navrang ISBN 81-7013-141-3.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Karava.|
- Karava history
- Karava web site - Kshatriya Maha Sabha Sri Lanka
- Karava - the blue-blooded Kshatriyas
- The Maha Oruwa (The Last in the tradition of the Indigenous Sailing Ships): plate 5
- The Bala (Power) Oruwa: world's fastest traditional sailing canoe
- The Devil Dancers of Sri Lanka, les stroud beyond survival
- Rhythms of Ruhuna