Timeline of the Kurukulam

The following is a chronological overview of the history of the Karavas and Karaiyars caste of Sri Lanka and India. Both communities were historically also known as Kurukulam, meaning Kuru clan.[1]

Medieval period

Independent period

  • The British establishment of Burma as a separate unit from its Indian empire in the 1930s, harmed the flourishing trade that was accomplished by the Karaiyars. The Karaiyars traditionally traded and shipped pearls, chanks, rice and other goods to India, Myanmar and Indonesia which was heavily restricted and controlled under the British government.[10]
  • Karavas formed the elites under colonial era. Several Karavas, such as James Peiris, fought for the Sri Lankan independence movement
  • The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, was founded by Rohana Wijeweera. Wijeweera and many other Karavas, formed the leadership of this organization.[11]
  • Chief Karava families such as the de Mels, the Peiris and the Soysas were heavily involved in estate-owning sector, mainly in coconut and rubber. Entrepreneuring Karavas controlled important commercial groups such as Mackwoods Ltd, Brown's Group Ltd, Richard Pieris Ltd andJ. L. M. Fernando's group.[12]


  1. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka, Volume 36-37. University of Michigan: Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka. 1993. p. 137.
  2. Ceylon (1960). History of Ceylon. Ceylon University Press. p. 425.
  3. Tamil Culture. Academy of Tamil Culture. 1953. p. 307.
  4. Raghavan, M. D. (1971). Tamil culture in Ceylon: a general introduction. Kalai Nilayam. pp. 53, 138.
  5. Society, Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic (1969). Journal of the Sri Lanka Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Royal Asiatic Society, Sri Lanka Branch. p. 2.
  6. McGilvray, Dennis B. (2008-05-07). Crucible of Conflict: Tamil and Muslim Society on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. Duke University Press. ISBN 978-0822341611.
  7. Vriddhagirisan, V. (1995). Nayaks of Tanjore. Asian Educational Services. p. 91. ISBN 9788120609969.
  8. Hellmann-Rajanayagam, Dagmar (2007). Von Jaffna nach Kilinocchi: Wandel des politischen Bewusstseins der Tamilen in Sri Lanka (in German). Ergon. pp. 104, 134. ISBN 9783899135442.
  9. DeSilva, Chandra Richard (1972). The Portuguese in Ceylon, 1617-1638. University of London: School of Oriental and African Studies. pp. 59–66, 83–84.
  10. Wilson, A. Jeyaratnam (2000). Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalism: Its Origins and Development in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. UBC Press. pp. 18–24. ISBN 9780774807593.
  11. Richardson, John Martin (2005). Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism, and Development from Sri Lanka's Civil Wars. International Center for Ethnic Studies. p. 342. ISBN 9789555800945.
  12. Jiggins, Janice (1979-06-07). Caste and Family Politics Sinhalese 1947-1976. Cambridge University Press. p. 27. ISBN 9780521220699.


  • BITC, The Bulletin of the Institute of Traditional Culture I, Madras University 1961
  • Habib Irfan, The Agrarian system of Mughal India, 1999 Oxford
  • S. Paranavitana, Inscriptions of Ceylon, Volume I
  • Perniola Fr. S. J., The History of the Catholic Church – Portuguese period
  • Queyroz Fr. S. J., 1688 The Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylaö
  • Sastri Nilakanta K. A., Pandyan Kingdom
  • Sastri Nilakanta K. A. The Cholas
  • Raghavan, M. D., The Karava of Ceylon: Society and Culture, K. V. G. de Silva, 1961