History of Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port

by Admin

The name ‘Hambantota’ itself was derived from the two words ‘Hamban’, probably introduced by Muslim Seafarers, which describes a type of sailing craft, and ‘Thota’, which means the ‘port’. So Hambantota was really the port for Hambans. The Toen associated with thia port, as well as the administrative region around it eventually came to be known by this term. Ancient Magampura (present Hambantota) was a harbour on the southern sea route from the west to the east, aka spice Route. However there exists another school of thought. Historians argue that the name Hambantota is derived from ‘Sampan thota’- the harbour used by Chinese going sampans ,a kind of selling craft. This type of craft was commonly used for ocean navigation and was quite popular among the chinese, Malays and Moors who then inhabited the region.

This port ,which was built on a strip of land extending seawards offered protection from the raging sea waves and strong ocean currents. It was very spacious and popular among most sailors who were plying the ocean routes at that time. Settlements soon began to spring up around the port of Hambantota after it had established itself as an important port. The region of hambantota was the home of a great civilization in Sri Lankla ‘s ancient history for it formed part of the Kingdom of Ruhuna. However, detailed information regarding the history of Sri Lanka is available only after the arrival of vijaya, the way ward son of an Indian who eventually became the king ,which took place in 543BC.According to the conjectural history of Sri Lanka, It was from this time onwards that the Aryans, who were believed to be the founders of this region.

Ruins of ancient Buddhist religious edifices excavated from archaeological sites in the area, lends support to the existence of arich cultural heritage in the region. The prominent Muslim/Malay component of the population is believed to be partly Descending from seafarers from the Malay Archipelago, who traversed through the Magampura port and with the passage of time settled down there. The presence of a pre-existing Malay community, prompted the British rulers at that time to settle down, in Kirinda near Hambantota, the soldiers of the disbanded Malay Regiment that was brought down for kandyan wars.


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