In the ‘Cyclopaedia: Or, Universal Dictionary of Arts, Sciences and Literature’ (1819), Abraham Rees, the author states, “We cannot refrain from briefly alluding, in this place, to some supposed co-incidences in Indian and Irish mythology….. and we allude to them here in view of the opportunity of saying that poetical traditions existed, and perhaps still exist in Ireland, of a mythological origin and junction of three rivers, reminding us strongly of the Indian Triveni.”

Killkenny, the ‘Triveni‘ of the rivers Barrow, Nore & Suir.

Referring to the three rivers of Killkenny in his book ‘Oriental Fragments’, Edward Moore says, “We accordingly find the sangam or the prayag or the union of the rivers… the Barrow, Nore and Suir – the “three sisters”, the “Triveni“, the “three plaited locks” of Hibernia, near Killkenny, her Devi-prayaga , is duly celebrated in Hibernian poetics.”  Hibernia is the classical Latin name for Ireland.

A round tower has been identified as the oldest surviving structure in the town of Kilkenny. The town of Kilcullen (in Kildare county) hosts another ancient round tower. Edward Moore makes an observation. He states, “At Kilcullen and Kilkenny are two of those very curious round towers, the origin and uses of which have so baffled the researches of antiquaries……. If, on farther inquiry, they should all, or mostly, be found, like these two, connected with towns or hills, bearing KaLic names, it would be a somewhat curious clue for a farther line of investigation. Such things in India would be deemed Lingaic or Sivaic.”

Edward Moore had put forth the view that many names of towns (including Kilkenny, Kilmoor, Kilcummin, Kilcullen and Kildare etc.) in Ireland have originated from the Sanskrit word ‘kala’ (काल), ‘kala’  meaning both ‘black’ and ‘time’. 

The ‘Stone of Destiny’ atop the 
‘Hill of Tara’ located between Navan and Dunshaughlin
 in County Meath.  

Interestingly, the ‘Stone of Destiny located at the Hill of Tara close to ‘Dunshauglin’ has been equated with the ‘shivalingas’ of India. Dunshaughlin is an interesting name. Ireland abounds in ‘dun’, or ‘don’ or ‘down’ as the initial, final, or sole names of places. British scholars, with some knowledge of Sanskrit, made the observation that the names ‘dun’, ‘don’ or ‘down’ were extensively connected to ‘hilly’ or ‘mountainous’ regions,  however were unable to pin-point the source of these words to any Sanskrit root word. It is likely though that these words have more to do with the Sanskrit word for ‘valley’ which is either ‘dari’ (दरी) or ‘droni’ (द्रोणि) rather than any Sanskrit word for ‘hill’ or ‘mountain’.

Gap of Dunloe, Black valley, Ireland.
The word ‘Dun’ probably derived from Sanskrit ‘droni’.
The Sanskrit ‘droni‘ (द्रोणि) appears as ‘dun’ in the name
Dehradun, meaning the ‘Valley of Dehra’ in India.

The Sanskrit ‘dari’ (दरी ) also means ‘valley’.

Suggested Links:

1. The Cyclopaedia: Or Universal Dictionary of Arts, Science and Literature, Vol 36
2. The Round Towers of Ireland by Henry O’Brien


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