The Chola dynasty was one of the longest-ruling dynasties in the history of southern India. The earliest references to this Tamil dynasty appear in the Mahabharata though during the times of the British rule in India a belief was spread that the history of Chola dynasty can only be traced to the Ashokan inscriptions from the 3rd century BCE.That erroneous belief has persisted.

But even mainstream historians accept that though the centre of their rule was the Kaveri River, the Cholas ruled a significantly larger area at the height of their power extending to South Asia and South-East Asia. The history of the expansion of the Chola empire in the western direction extending to Europe has been systematically obliterated.

Here is a look at the Chola dynasty connection to the name Kuala Lampur in Malaysia, Coromandel (coast) in India, and Cholmondeley in Scotland. 

In the book, ‘Ancient Hindu Society’ edited by Subodh Kapoor it is stated,”Take the name of Kuala Lumpur. The suffix ‘Pur‘ is a Sanskrit termination used to signify a township. The original Sanskrit was Cholanampuram, i.e. – the City of the Cholas…..”

In his book ‘World Vedic Heritage’, Prof P.N.Oak states, “The ‘Coromondal’ (coast of east India) is a corruption of ‘Chola Mandal Alaya’, the Sanskrit term
signifying ‘Chola Regal Enclave’.”

That makes logical sense – for every proper name whether of a person or a city should have a meaning. Coromandale makes no sense in any language be it Malay, any of the Indian languages or European languages – except when interpreted as ‘Chola Mandala Alaya’. 

The fact is that only in the ancient Indian literature do the city names have meanings and can be traced to their original roots. This is not true of the majority of the names of ancient European cities, mountains, lakes or rivers. 

It is not surprising that the name Kuala Lampur has its roots in Sanskrit. In its geographic vicinity lies Singapore. Jawahar Lal Nehru had this to say about the name Singapore in his works ‘Glimpses of World History – “The greatest of the states was the Sailendra Empire, or the empire of Shri Vijaya, which became the dominant power both on sea and land in the whole of Malaysia by the eighth century. The empire was also a sea power based on trade. Hence you find that it had ports wherever it could get the smallest footing. Indeed a remarkable feature of the settlements of the Sumatrian State was their strategic value – that is to say, they were carefully located at places where they could command the surrounding seas. Often they were in pairs to help each other in maintaining this command. Thus, Singapore, which is a great city now, was originally a settlement of the Sumatran colonists. The name, as you will notice, is a typical Indian name: Singhpur. The Sumatran people had another settlement just opposite the Straits, facing Singhpur. Sometimes they would stretch an iron chain right across the Strait and so stop all ships from passing till they paid heavy tolls“.

There are other cities in Malaysia that have Hindu names. Subodh Kapoor says, “A city in mountainous north Malaysia is called Sungei Pattani. Its ancient Sanskrit name was Shringa Pattan meaning ‘ a mountain city’. Another town Seramban is ‘Shree Ram Van‘ i.e. ‘the bower or forest of Lord Rama’

Now a look at the name Cholomandeley in Scotland which is a family name traced to the House of Cholomandeley. In the local languages the name has no meaning. Cholmondeley was first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 AD as ‘Calmundelei’.

So Prof P.N. Oak’s argument that the middle section of Calmundelei‘ – a cognate of ‘mandala‘ has support from the only European resource that records the history of the name Cholamandeley. 

The fact is that Sanskrit words such as ‘kal’ or ‘durgham’ routinely appear in the names of British towns. The suffix in the name of Britain’s oldest town called Camulodunon is originally said to have been ‘dunum’ which means ‘fortification’ in the ancient Celtic language, similar to the Sanskrit ‘durgham’ (दुर्गम) meaning ‘impassable’ or ‘inaccessible’. 

It was argued by scholars such as Edward Moor and Edward Pococke that towns in Europe that have the suffix ‘burg’ are ‘fort towns’ – ‘burg’ a distortion of the Sanskrit ‘durg’ (दुर्ग) meaning ‘fort’.

Another striking example is the ancient megalithic site of Callanish in Scotland which it is believed was an ancient observatory. And that is exactly what the interpretation of the name ‘Kala-Nisham’ will be – ‘Kala’ (काल) is ‘time’, ‘nisham’ (निशम्)  is ‘observaion’.

Suggested Links:

1.Ancient Hindu Society edited by Subodh Khanna

2.View of the Seats of Noblemen & Gentlemen of England & 3. Wales by John Preston Neale and Thomas Moule’

3. Surname/ Database


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