Maldives Minicoy Mahl Dhivehi
Legend of Koimala Kalou


According to Idrisi Queen Damahaar's capital was called Ambeira. This is the district of Malé now known as Henveyru originally called En-beyru literally meaning "out where fishermen got their bait".

The other districts of Malé are Maafannu meaning main village, Galu-olhu (now Galolhu) meaning stone mangrove and Mathi-angolhi (now Macchangolhi) meaning windward junction.

 



 

 

The Bamiyan Tragedy

A colossal statue of the Buddha vandalised by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan before the country was liberated with the help of the United States of America, Great Britain, New Zealand and other countries of the civilised world.

The Ameerul Momineen (Commander of the Faithful) of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mullah Muhammad Omar, issued an edict on 26 February 2001, ordering the demolition of all statues in the country since they were and still are believed to be repugnant to the laws of Islam. The edict was based on the fetwa of the "learned" ulema and the "Supreme Court".

Justifying this act of vandalism, Mullah Omar's decree proclaimed, "Only Allah, the Almighty, deserves to be worshipped, not anyone or anything else."

On Monday March 12, 2001, the Director General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura said in a statement released at the UN cultural organization's Paris headquarters that the UN Envoy to Afghanistan has confirmed that the ancient Buddha statues at Bamiyan have been destroyed by the ruling Islamic Emirate (Taliban) militia.

"I was distressed to learn from my special envoy, Pierre Lafrance, that the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas has been confirmed," Matsuura called the demolition of the over 2,000-year-old figures "a crime against culture." "It is abominable to witness the cold and calculated destruction of cultural properties which were the heritage of the Afghan people, and, indeed, of the whole of humanity," the statement said. "This loss is irreversible. Everything possible must be done to stop further destruction. I have asked my special envoy to continue his mission and explore all avenues that may allow for the safeguarding of other treasures of Afghanistan's pre-Islamic heritage," it continued.

To be fair, it must be pointed out that opiate production in Afghanistan has exploded since the new regime took power in Kabul in the wake of the Islamic Emirate. On 26 October 2002 Reuters reported that the production of opium in Afghanistan would top 3400 tonnes by year's end.

The Islamic Emirate cracked down on opium production in 2001 when output was peaking at 185 tonnes per annum.

 

Koimala Kalou (Lord Koimala) was the first king of the Homa (Lunar) Dynasty, which some historians call Theemuge.

an ancient head in Malé museumThis legendary nobleman of the Lion Race from Ceylon, sailed to Rasgetheemu island (literally King's Town) in North Maalhosmadulu Atoll and from there to Malé and established a kingdom there. By then, the Aadeetta (Sun) Dynasty had for sometime ceased to rule in Malé, possibly due to invasions by the Cholas of Southern India in the Tenth Century. The indigenous people in Malé Atoll, the Giraavaru invited Koimala to Malé and permitted him to be proclaimed king. Koimala Kalou (Lord Koimala) reigned as King Maanaabarana and was succeeded by his nephew Dhovemi. Koimala was a Buddhist.

Since Koimala's reign, the Maldive throne was also known as the Singaasana (Lion Throne). Before then and in some situations since, it was also known as the Saridhaaleys (Ivory Throne).


There was a Maldives before the saint of Tabriz
Who in history was lavishly praised.

There was a Maldives before the time of any kateeb
Off the coast of Serendeeb.

Several foreign travellers, mainly Arabs, had written about a kingdom over the Maldives ruled by a queen. This kingdom pre-dated Koimala's reign. Idrisi (1099 - 1186) referring to the writings of earlier writers mentions the name of one of the queens. Her name was Damahaar. She was a member of the Aadeetta (Sun) dynasty. The Homa (Lunar) dynasty soveriegns inter-married with the Aaditta (Sun) Dynasty. This was why the formal titles of Maldive kings until 1968 contained references to "kula sudha ira" which meant "descended from the Moon and the Sun".

No official records exist of the Aadeetta Dynasty reigns.

The following is a translation of the legend of Koimala Kalou as narrated by Buraara Koi

In very ancient times there was a king who ruled in Serendib (now Sri Lanka). Whenever the cattle herds of the townsfolk became small the king would send able bodied men into the jungle to muster wild cattle. The men whipped the wild herds into submission and drove them close to the city.Sigiriya painting Serendib

At that time there lived a very poor couple outside the city of the king of Serendib. After enduring a long time in poverty the poor woman's husband died. At the time of his death, the woman was three months pregnant. About six months later the woman gave birth to a baby boy. When the boy was just a toddler, his mother died too. Having lost his mother and father, the little boy crawled out into the jungle and found himself in the midst a huge herd of cattle. The boy was adopted by a suckling cow and he began running around on all fours like the little calves in the herd.

One day the cows and bulls suddenly raised the alarm and the calves were driven in front of the herd. The little boy was with the calves. A very loud noise was heard and a huge serpent crawled out of the jungle into a clearing and disappeared into a cave in the woods on the other side. The little boy marked where this cave was.

Meanwhile in the city the king of Serendib again ordered his men to go out into the jungle to round up cattle. These people saw the boy living with the cattle. They returned to the city and with the king's command captured the boy and brought him back to the city. After a year of treatment by physicians the boy was able to walk upright. The king then ordered the boy to be taught the language of human beings. After he was able to speak he was brought before the king.

The king asked the boy if he had parents and the boy replied, "Sir, you brought me here when I was living with my parents". The king then asked him of the most extra-ordinary wonder he had seen in the jungle. The boy then related the story of the huge serpent he saw when he was living with the cattle. Having heard this the king remarked that the the boy was like a flower in the jungle. This was why people started calling the boy Koimala, which meant "Flower Lad".

The king of Serendib comanded Koimala to show him the cave he saw in the jungle. Koimala led the king and a huge retinue of people to the cave. There was no one among the king's men who dared enter the cave because they had heard that Koimala had seen a huge serpent enter it. Koimala then suggested that a fire be lit at the entrance of the cave in order to smoke the serpent out. The serpent did not emerge and no one was willing to enter the cave. Koimala then entered it and returned to tell the king that the bottom of the cave was full of sand. Koimala brought back a sample of what he called sand. The king and his men were dumbfounded with what they saw because what Koimala called sand was all manner of gems. When the king's men saw this there was no one left who did not volunteer to go down the cave.

Maldive Buddha
Maldive image of the Buddha in a buried temple excavated on Thoddu island in Ari Atoll. Such finds of pre-Islamic relics are systematically vandalised and destroyed. Ordinary people are not encouraged to find out that Maldivians could ever worship a deity other than Allah. Among the artifacts excavated from the same temple included a Roman republican coin that went out of circulation circa AD 100.

The king ordered the treasure to be carried back to the city. This work went on for days and eventually had to be stopped because there was no more storage left to store the treasure.

The king then summoned the learned men and the nobles of the city and asked them if the treasure from the cave belonged to him. They replied that the treasure belonged to Koimala, the Flower Lad of the Forest. The king then asked the nobles and wise men how this treasure could become the property of the king. They replied that if there was no one to inherit it then it would become the property of the state and some of them suggested that Koimala be put to death. Others suggested that if the king's daughter were given to Koimala in marriage then the property would pass on to the king.

Feedback

From: "arm" <arm2000@hotmail.com>
To: <majid@maldivesroyalfamily.com>
Sent: Sunday, 6 October 2002 05:01
Subject: When you were offline...(via Bravenet HumanClick)

i'm bit shocked by the expression: "Such finds of pre-Islamic relics are systematically vandalised and destroyed, because ordinary people are not encouraged to find out that Maldivians could ever worship a deity other than Allah." when u have written so im left to assume u knew it all and there is no possibilty of any another reason other than that! could not there another reason for that which u are not aware of? do ask urself. i wish u would try to be unbiased n try to be more optimistic towards ur own ppl. will i be correct to assume that u sort of don't like islam n arabic culture?

don't be mistaken as u did b4. im not in the maldives n working for the govt, but i just wanted to let u know where i disagree with u. i've read a lot from ur pages n found most of them to be tremendously interesting but now ive sort of lost the credibilty n reliabity in them.

Majid replies

Hello again "Arm"

I am glad to see that you are keeping up-to-date with what I write in my site. You refer to my statement on the systematic destruction of pre-Islamic relics in the Maldives. Several other writers concur with what I have written. Even a cursory skim through what authors such as Thor Heyerdahl have written would confirm the attitude. If you know of any other reason for such vandalism you are welcome to tell me what it is instead of asking me a rhetorical question. You have told me, "try to be unbiased n try to be more optimistic towards ur own ppl". I sincerely feel I have treated my own people with dignity and the respect they deserve. Most of what is in my site is about my people, the Houses of Hilaaly and Huraagey on my father's side and the House of Diyamigily on my mother's side. What I have written about my people such as both my grandfathers and my wife's grandfather (who was my father's first cousin) is complimentary as much as it is factual. Writing about eight centuries of one's own family could hardly be described as being biased AGAINST one's own people.

At least I have the courage of my conviction to write under my own name. I make no secret of who I am. On the other hand, it would seem that you are writing to me under a pseudonym or a nickname. I have never assumed that you are working for a government and I have not suggested that you are writing on behalf of a government. There are electronic means of ascertaining that you are not writing from the Maldives and I know that you are not. The fact that you are writing from outside the Maldives tells me nothing about your affiliation, if any.

So "Arm", instead of telling me who you are not, it may be worth telling me who you are and properly introduce yourself.

In a subsequent mail, the individual identified himself as "A. R. Mubarique". The email he wrote passed through several identifiable computers before it reached me.

Enquiries by the Maldives Royal Family website indicate that the individual is an activist in the Maldive Students' Association (MSA) in Britain, which is a body set up with the active backing of the Maldive regime

The name "Abdul Rahman Mubarique featured in the website of the MSA as a "Volunteer Selected for Website Improvement" on 3 March 2002.

Mr Mubaarique has asked that his feedback be removed from this page saying that he "hates fame". He calls his feedback "negative".

He is "not interested in politics which is all about empty promises" and is of the opinion that his feedback is being linked to the Maldive regime.

The following is a quote from the website of the London (England) based organisation of which he is an active member.

"Number 9 Rosemont Avenue is a three bed room house in north London that Maldivian students can use under certain conditions courtesy of the Government of Maldives.............This house is currently managed by the Maldivian High Commission and the MSA(UK)."

The king's daughter was then married to Koimala, but Koimala was not allowed to meet his new bride. She was kept in a palace far away from an estate where Koimala was made to live. The king sent for the wisemen and nobles again for a ruling on the ownership of the treasure. They advised him that the nature of the domestic arrangement of Koimala and his new bride meant that the king was still not legally the owner of the treasure.

The king then brought Koimala and asked him how the king could claim ownership of the treasures. Koimala suggested that two huge ships be built and loaded with treasures and manned with a crew of slaves. If the king permitted his daughter to sail from the country, the remainder of the treasure would be his, Koimala suggested.

The king of Serendib agreed with Koimala's terms and let his daughter and Koimala sail into exile.

They sighted two tiny islands and came ashore on one of them. Koimala and his entourage put up tents and settled down on that island. Koimala ordered his slaves to settle on the other island. The Flower Lad of the Forest Koimala then named his island Rasgetheem which meant King's Town and the other island Alhugetheem, which meant Slave Town. Alhugetheem is now pronounced Agolhitheem.

When Koimala settled on Rasgetheem there were still a few indigenous people on the neighbouring islands. Koimala invited them all to Rasgetheem for a feast and killed them. After that Koimala became the Lord of these islands.

Lord Koimala put the slaves from Agolhitheem to work on building a bath on his island. While the lord watched the men dig the bath, he saw seven birds fly towards Rasgetheem. The birds called out as they came overhead and turned back and flew off in the direction from which they came. Koimala ordered the slaves to stop work immediately and return to Agolhitheem.

A long time later the slaves were brought back to dig the same bath. As they dug, five birds came overhead like the last time, called out and flew off to were they came.

As before the slaves were ordered to stop work and return. Several days later they were brought back again to dig the bath. This time it was just one bird that came and flew off only to return a second time to call out and fly away in the direction it came.

Koimala ordered the slaves to launch the lifeboat of the main ship. When the boat was ready, Koimala, his wife, the nobles and slaves sailed in the lifeboat and travelled in the direction the bird flew. The bird led the way ahead and the lifeboat followed. Several days and nights later the bird landed on an island in Malé Atoll which was promptly named Doonidu, which meant Bird Island.

As the boat moored off Doonidu the bird flew off and landed on a desert island called Malé. Koimala ordered his crew to sail to Malé where they found a group of rough fisherman in makeshift huts. These fishermen spoke the language of the Fureytha demons.

Koimala asked the fishermen for permission to settle in Malé and they said that Malé was not worth living on. They also said that there were other islands that were better suited for living. Koimala was not interested in settling on any other island and the amused fishermen willingly consented for this group of odd foreigners to settle on their desert island.


There was a Maldives that was known for the demons of old
In ancient South Indian folklore.

But there was one thing strange with those times
And thatís how they lived with no judges, jails or crimes!

ancient statue in Malé museumKoimala then sent the slaves back to Rasgetheem to bring the two ships to Malé. A missive was then sent to Koimala's father-in-law the king of Serendib asking him to send the material and people necessary to establish a new kingdom. The king of Serendib sent a group of people of the Lion race who wore very little clothing only around their loins.

Koimala worshipped idols as did the people of Serendib. Soon many buildings were constructed in Malé including two colossal idol temples. The entrance to the town of Malé was flanked by two towering idols.

When the new capital was built, Koimala was proclaimed king over all of the Maldives.


There was a Maldives with sea shells and ocean breeze
Before the creed of the Buddha was preached.

Buddhan Saranan Gaddaami
Dharuman Saranan Gaddaami
Sangan Saranan Gaddaami
- ancient Divehi creed of the Buddha


                  
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