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ACADEMICIA: An International Multidisciplinary Research Journal
Year : 2020, Volume : 10, Issue : 11
First page : ( 2212) Last page : ( 2219)
Online ISSN : 2249-7137.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2249-7137.2020.01660.2

A historical view regarding the elephant trade in Jaffna (Sri Lanka) prior to the arrival of the british (13 century B.C -1796)

Dr. Arunthavarajah K.

Senior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Jaffna, Email id: arunn.msu@gmail.com


Sri Lanka is a country with very long historical traditions. Particularly in Northern Sri Lanka, as one of the main sources of revenue, elephant trade occupied a dominant place, right from very ancient times up to the arrival of the British. Through this trade not only the kings of Jaffna, but also the Europeans who came later including the Portuguese and the Dutch were immensely benefited. This trade which was one of the chief sources of income to the Northern Sri Lanka, was so profitable that apart from local purchasers, even, South India and Bengal were induced to buy Jaffna elephants willingly for their various purposes. Though the elephant trade had been so flourishing, in the past, no individual scholar appears to have gone into this aspect in detail. This study therefore aims primarily in filling such a gap, and also pioneering such scholars as may be taken up by future scholars into this aspect. This study is based on a historical approach. It uses primary and secondary data. Primary data mostly include stone inscriptions, reports of Europeans and various other documents. As secondary data are used, subsequent books, articles, website data and interviews based on primary data. When the elephant trade carried on in Jaffna prior to the arrival of the British, is studied, the results bring one to the conclusion that elephant trade had been one of the main source of income of Jaffna.



Monopoly, Perl trade, Elephant trade, Aryan kings, Europeans.


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