MALE' The Capital
Once upon a time in Serendip (Sri Lanka)
there lived a king whose favourite pastime
was to bring cows from the jungle when
there was a decline in their population
in town. He sent strong people to the jungle
who brought the cows under their control
and took the animals back to town.
Meanwhile, in the countryside of Serendip,
there lived a poor couple. The husband died
while his wife was into the third month of
her pregnancy. Six months later, she gave
birth to a boy. The child was barely able
to crawl when his mother passed away. The
poor orphan got lost and ended up in jungle
while crawling. He found himself amid a herd
of cows. He was fortunate enough to encounter
nursing cow from which he suckled milk. Quite
soon, the boy adopted cow's gait and started
moving about on his four limbs.
One day the elderly cows instructed the
herd to pace forward. The child also ran
as fast as could along with the cows. He
heard a loud noise and saw a huge serpent
moving from one part of the jungle to another.
Male' sea side
While the boy was growing among the cows,
the king of Serendip sent some people to
the jungle as the number of cows in the town
decreased. The people were amazed to see
the boy living with the cows and took the
boy back with them. It took a year for the
doctors to straighten his limbs. The king
then ordered to teach the boy to converse
in the language that the people used. After
another year, the boy was taken to the court
of the king.
The king asked him whether the boy's parents
were alive or not. The boy replied that the
king had brought him while he was living
with his parents. The king then asked if
the boy saw any surprises while in jungle.
The boy told the king about the serpent he
had seen. The king, after listening to the
story, said that the boy was like a flower
in the jungle. The king then asked the boy
to guide them to the cave into which the
serpent had gone.
The king of Serendip went with many of his
subjects to the mountain that the boy showed
him. However, no one dared to enter the cave,
as they feared the serpent. The boy instructed
to fill the cave with wood and to burn it.
Even after setting fire to the wood, no one
dared to go into the cave. The boy went inside
the cow and returned with the sand and stones
inside the cave. To everyone's surprise,
the boy had returned with precious gems and
stones. When he told that the cave was filled
with them, there was no one who felt reluctant
to venture into the cave.
Soon the whole town was full of those gems
and they stopped to bring the stones into
the town. The king ordered his ministers
and priests to the court and asked whether
the treasure belonged to him. They replied
that the gems were the property of the young
adolescent Jangayyah Male'h Fadha Koi (the
boy like a flower in the jungle). The king
sought their advice on the possibilities
of making the treasure his own. Some people
advised that if there were no inheritor the
state would receive the property when one
died. Hence, they advised to kill the young
man. Others suggested that if the king offer
his daughter's hand for marriage to the koi
(young man) then the goods would be the kings
Male' - the Capital
protected with a sea wall
Hence, the king's daughter was married off
to the koi. But the young man and the princess
lived separately in two orchards. The priests
were concerned about this and told the king
that he did not have any rights over the
treasure because of the existing circumstances.
The king brought the koi and asked him how
he could make the precious collection his
own. The young man asked the king to build
two ships from the riches of the collection
and fill the ships with the treasure and
assign slaves to the ships. The koi said
that if the king do so then the rest of the
collection could belong to the king.
The king of Serendip agreed to the idea
and built two ships. The ships sailed away
with the koi and the princess. They sighted
two little islands and after mooring at one
island a tent was put up and the the royal
couple stayed in the tent. The koi ordered
the slaves to go to the next island. The
koi named the island he and his wife stayed
as Rasgetheemu. He dubbed the next island
where the crew of the ships and the slaves
lived as Alhugetheemu.
When the koi had arrived to the island,
people lived scarcely in the neighbouring
islands. He invited them to a feast and killed
them all. Thereafter, the ruler of the area
was the Jangayyah Male'h Fadha Koi.
Sometime later, the koi started digging
the earth to make a pool in Rasgetheemu.
The slaves who lived in Alhugetheemu did
the work following the instructions of the
koi. Oneday while the work was going on,
the koi saw seven black-naped terns. The
birds cried while flying over the island
and then disappeared. The koi asked to stop
the work immediately and told the slaves
to go back to Alhugetheemu. After some days,
the work of making the pool was resumed.
This time five black-naped terns cried while
flying over the island and then went away.
When the birds disappeared, the work was
halted again. After a brief interval of a
few days the digging started again. Soon
one tern appeared over the island, cried
and then went away. The bird returned, circled
the island, and cried.
The koi took this as an omen and ordered
to stop the work and to prepare the small
batheli (a smaller vessel) of the ship for
sail. Hurriedly, the royal couple and their
slaves left the island following the tern.
After several days and nights, the bird landed
on the island of Dhoonidhoo in Malé Atoll.
When the batheliWent near the island, the
tern set off again and landed in the sandbank
of Malé. At that time, Malé was
a small island, which could be more appropriately
called a sandbank. There were some people
in this island who were about to go fishing.
The koi asked for their permission to settle
in the sandbank. They were surprised that
he wished to live in the small island, which
they believed was not suitable for settlement.
The fishermen, who were also from another
island, told that they used to dump the waste
of fish to this island. They said that there
were more suitable islands in the vicinity
that could be ideal for settling.
However, the koi did not agree to settle
in any island accept Malé. He and
his companions set foot on the island with
the permission of the fishermen. He then
sent the crew to fetch the two ships in Rasgetheemu.
Then he sent a letter to the king of Serendip
requesting to send some people and goods
to start a kingdom. The king of Serendip
sent few people who were of the lion race.
The koi had seen the king of Serendip practicing
Buddhism. Hence, he and his subjects also
adopted Buddhism as their religion and set
up idol temples.
Jangayyah male'h Fadha Koi, after proclaiming
this Kingdom, declared that he was King Koimala.