Sinhala Kingdom

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Sinhala was a kingdom in the island Lanka, modern day Sri Lanka, mentioned in the epic Mahabharata. From 'Sinhala Diva' (Island of Sinhala) are derived the Tamil 'Eelam', Persian/Arabic Serendipor Sarandib, and the European 'Ceilao', 'Zeylan' and 'Ceylon'.

References in Mahabharata

The myth about the origin of the Sinhala Tribe

  • Mahabharata, Book 1, Chapter 177


When the sage Vasistha was attacked by king Viswamitra's army, Vasistha's cow, Kamadehnu, brought forth from her tail, an army of Pallavas, and from her udders, an army of Dravidas and Sakas; and from her womb, an army of Yavanas, and from her dung, an army of Savaras; and from her urine, an army of Kanchis; and from her sides, an army of Savaras. And from the froth of her mouth came out hosts of Paundras and Kiratas, Yavanas and Sinhalas, and the barbarous tribes of Khasas and Chivukas and Pulindas and Chinas and Hunas with Keralas,and numerous other Mlechchhas.

In the ancient Indian literature, cow is a symbol of earth or land. Thus the myth mentioned above simply means that, these tribes gathered for the protection of sage Vasistha's land, against the army of king Viswamitra.

Kings present in Yudhisthira's Rajasuya Sacrifice

  • Mahabharata, Book 2, Chapter 33


King Bhagadatta of Pragjyotisha accompanied by all Mlechcha tribes inhabiting the marshy regions on the sea-shore; and many mountain kings, and king Vrihadvala; and Vasudeva the king of the Paundrayas, and the kings of Vanga and Kalinga; and...
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