This is only a brief overview for easy comprehension. Please see Timeline of the Karava for referenced details
Beginning of time
Development of agriculture and Trade. Urbanization . Stratification of society into rulers, priest, traders and workers through natural and circumstantial factors
Mythical king Ravana of Ramayana
The Maha Janapada of India (including Kuru kingdom of the Kauravas) thrive in India. This period is generally considered the beginning of the historical period of the region.
The ancient Kuru kingdom of India - , the original kingdom of the Kauravas. Click map to zoom
According to chronicles written many centuries later, prince Vijay sets sail from NE India, lands on NW coast of Sri Lanka. His putative port of landing Tammanna is in Kuru Rata near Puttalm of today
Vijay, obtains royal maidens from the Pandyan kingdom as queens and sets up a royal dynasty
According to the Janavamsaya, prince Vijaya was accompanied by the Karava price Karavanti and his retinue. They all land at a port on the north-west coast of Sri Lanka a region contiguous with the region later known as Kuru Rata named after the legendary kingdom of the Kauravas
This early migration of Karava royalty explains the prevalence of the 'Pandu' prefix in the names of Panduvasdeva, Pandukhabaya and other early Sri Lankan kings
During the reign of king Devanampiyatisa more Kauravas arrive with Theri Sanghamitta. See arrival of the Bodhi tree.
Karavas are well established throughout Sri Lanka as shown by their Barata , Kuruvira, Karava inscriptions, grants and bequests etc. from this period
Karava kings (known now as Kataragama Kshatriyas) rule the Ruhuna kingdom in the south. Their royal symbols were a Ship and a fish, both Karava symbols and found on ancient Karava flags These Kataragama Kshatriya kings describe themselves in their pre Christian inscriptions as " Gamini puta dasa kathikana Kedhate ..." (Bovattegala inscription Inscr of Ceylon part I p 41 # 549) Kedhate was the early form of Kevatta meaning 'mastery over water'. Over a thousand years later, when Kevatta also meant a fisherman, chroniclers have used prefixes to distinguish Dunu-kevatta vamsa warrior royalty (Ariyapala p 113) from Vedi-kevatta tribal fishermen.
The word Dheega meaning water is frequently used by these kings in their personal names such as Dheegha-Gamini, Dheega-Jantu etc. and in place names such as Dhiga-Vapi, Dhiga-Mandala etc. The word Kataragama too in its original form was Kachara (Ka +Chara) where Ka meant water and Chara meant 'travelling on', meaning sailing and naval power. (Yatala Vehera p 19)
.2nd century AD
According to Rajavaliya, Janavamsa, Kadaim-Poth and other old texts, Karava King Gajabahu brought back 24,000 Karavas and settled them in Kuru Rata. (Although Govigama historians with other motives have attempted to misidentify the king as Gajabahu I and place the event in the 2nd century, the king in reality is Gajabahu II who ruled Sri Lanka in the 12th century. The story which has been displaced and thereby discredited by these historians makes much sense when it is placed in it's rightful context in the 12th century)
10th century AD
King Mahinda IV (956-972) marries Indian princess Sundari of the Kalinga dynasty. This opens the door for Kalinga and Pandya dynastic skirmishes for the Sri Lankan throne over the next several centuries.
Rajendra Chola invades Sri Lanka
in 993. Chola armies led by Generals such as Aditya Karikalan
11th century AD
The Kurus from the Kurumandal region gain power on the east coast of India . According to evidence from inscriptions, there are many Kurukularajas all over the Tamil country
Jagatipala, a Kshatriya from Ayottipattanam on the Kurumandal coast rules Sri Lanka from 1043 to 1046
The commander of Sri Lankan king Vijayabahu I was Kurukulattarayan
Chola inscriptions too refer to several Kurukulattarayans and Kurukularayans
11 - 13th centuries AD
Continuous internecine wars between the Kalinga and Pandya dynasties for the throne of Sri Lanka destabilizes the country and powerful Army commanders select and place kings and queens of their choice on the throne
According to Rajavaliya, Janavamsa, Kadaim-Poth and other old texts, Karava King Gajabahu brought back 24,000 Karavas and settled them in Kuru Rata.(See Karava migrations.) Both Gajabahu and his father seem to have been Hindus because the Mahavamsa blames them for bringing troops from India and settling them on temple lands- Mv 61:48-62 (Although Govigama historians with other motives have attempted to misidentify the king as Gajabahu I and place the event in the 2nd century, the king in reality is Gajabahu II (1131 -1153), son of Wikramabahu I who ruled Sri Lanka from 1111 to 1132. The story which has been displaced and thereby discredited by these historians makes much sense when it is placed in it's rightful context in the 12th century)
Commencement of the Karava 'Siri Sangabo' dynasty by princes from Karava families that arrived with the sacred Bodhi tree. This dynasty is from 'Sangha-Bodhi', 'Sangabo' in light Sinhalese. Not from the mythical king who gave away his head to a wayfarer as some try to say. See Karava migrations for Bodhi tree connections.
Although now removed from history books, this Karava ‘Sri Sangha Bodhi’ dynasty appears to have been recognized as the rightful heirs to the Sri Lankan throne right up to the time of the kandyan kingdom. The Asgiri Thalpatha, an ola book from the kandyan period says that “ a prince from the Sri Sanghabodi family went to Colombo and then to Goa during the reign of King Rajasinghe and returned with a large army; defeated the king of Kotte and king Rajasinghe and became as the king of Sri Lanka in BE 2135( Rohanadeera 1997 pg 15 n)
Kaurava Adittya ( meaning Kurukula suriya) Arasa Nila Yitta (bearing kingly position) Elenaga, Mahanaga and other Patabenda Karava kings ruled regional kingdoms of Sri Lanka during this period. See Karava kings
14th century AD
Nissanka Alakeshvara and the Alagakkonara family (a Koon Karava clan) rule of Kotte. They too are from Kanchipuram as the Karava Generals of the Mukkara Hatana. The 'Vaniya Kula' (Varna Kula, as in the Karava Warnakulasuriya clan and the Vanni Kula Kshatriyas of that part of India) ancestry of the Alagakkonaras is misinterpreted by modern historians as a 'trade' ancestry. See Mukkara Hatanafor copy of king Parakramabahu's Sannasa
The Karava Singhe dynasty kings take over Jaffna kingdom
Virabahu / Weerasuriya II (1391 – 1397) ascends the throne and rules from Raigama near Panadura
15th century AD
A Chinese expedition attacks Kotte and takes king Alakeshvara and his family to China
A Karava Kurukule prince ascends the throne as Parakramabahu VI (1412-1467) - See timeline of Karava for references
Parakrama Bahu VI seeks assistance from his Karava kinsmen and invites several Suriya clans of the Karavas as documented in the Mukkara Hatana and settle them in Aluth Kuru Rata
King Parakramabahu adopts both sons of Karava General Manikka Thalevan. The elder prince known as Prince Sapumal ascends the throne of Sri Lanka as Bhuvanekabahu VI (1470 1480)
The second son, Prince Ambulugala ascended the throne as Vira Parakramabahu VII ( Sirisangabo Vira Parakramabahu)
The Kshatriya family of Keerawella resident in the Parana Kuru Rata (originaly from Keelakkare / Karikal, the home of some of the Karawas of Mukkara Hatana) is the only source of royal maidens for the rulers of this period.
Prince Nallurutun from the Karava Singhe dynasty of Nallur marries Ulakudai Devi (daughter of Parakramabahu VI). Their son Prince Jayabahu ( = Jayasuriya) ascended the Kotte throne as Vira Parakramabahu VII (1467-1470)
Vanni kula (Karava Varna Kula clan) princes rule the Vanni region and lend their name to the region
16th century AD
The Nayques of Tanjore, the kings of Sri Lanka and their naval and army commanders are all from the same Kuru, Karava Kshatriya Solar dynasty kin group.
Kotte, Kandy and Jaffna kingdoms are ruled by these Karava royal dynasties
Arrival of Portuguese. Many wars and conspiracies
The Kingdoms of Jaffna and Kotte pass from Karava royal dynasties to the Portuguese, respectively by the 'Nallur convention' and the 'Malwana convention' signed by Karawe nobles.- See timeline of Karava for references
17th century AD
Portuguese rule replaced by Dutch East India Company rule in the coastal provinces
Many Karawa chiefs killed in numerous wars. Traditional social structure subverted by the Dutch. Karawas weakened in the coastal provinces
18th century AD
The Karava Vaduge dynasty rules the Kandyan kingdom
19th century AD
The capture of the Kandyan kingdom by the British, deportation of all direct descendants and the end of Karava royal succession in Sri Lanka
The region bordered by Kurunegala , Colombo and Puttalam still has a high concentration of Karavas. It was the region usually administered by the Prince regent and was the base region of the Navies that protected Sri Lanka's coasts
Above: map of South India and Kuru-Mandala (Coromandal).Click on image to zoom. Note that the Coromandel coast is up the western coast of India and that the fishery coast is the part further down and closer to Sri Lanka.
Above and below: The ports of Karava (Kuru Kula) migration on Kuru-Mandal coast. : 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 Kaveri pattanams which are further north up the coast. (click image to zoom)
The extent of the Pandya kingdom in 1250
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.
Two inscribed swords of Karava kings from the Colombo Museum. The owners of these swords gifted them to the Colombo museum in the mid 20th century. The descriptive plaque with the translation of the inscriptions installed at the time of gifting disappeared soon after. The swords are still on display but without a translation plaque and as such viewers are kept unaware of their Karava connection.
Karava Queen Maha Patabendige Dona Catherina, the sole heiress of Sri Lanka (Illustration from Baldaeus 1672)
This king was only 13 years old when he ascended the throne. Therefore his father, Nárenappa had ruled the kingdom with assistance from the Karava Mudaliar of Jaffna, Dom Andrado.
Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe (AD 1798 - 1815) the last king of this Vaduga dynasty and the last king of Sri Lanka
A sheet gold Kandyan crown in a Sri Lankan museum. The real symbol of royalty, the golden forehead plates (Nalal pata) used by Sri Lankan kings and Karava chiefs (patabendas) is not even mentioned by official Sri Lankan sources anymore. The gold forehead plates of the Kandyan kings have been auctioned in England in 1820. See Karava kings.
The Throne of the Karava Vaduga kings of Kandy
Kshatriya Maha Sabha, Sri Lanka