Know the Etymology: 9
Place Name of the Day: Thursday, 21 June 2007


Koava'lam

கோவளம்
kōvaḷam

koa + a'lam
koavu + a'lam


The curving coastline.

Koa Also koavu(adj.):curving.
a'lam Coastal stretch of land.


One shade of meaning for the words koadu (n., adj), koadal (n.), koaddam (n.), etc., in the Changkam diction is curvature. The later lexicons also endorse this meaning. The root of these words, koa itself, seems to give the same meaning in the context of Koava'lam. The case is the same in the Dhivehi language of Maldives.

The words a'lam and a'lakkar stand for coastal stretch of land in the Changkam diction and in the lexicons. Even today, it can be found used in the word uppa'lam: uppu + a'lam (the salt pans).

There are two places found with the name Koava'lam in the Jaffna peninsula; one at Karainakar and the other is Kat koava'lam (curving coastline of rocks) at Point Pedro. Both of them are unique geographical locations of curvature. They also serve as locations for lighthouses.

Koava'lam is also found in the place names of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Two of them are famous beach sites, one near Chennai and the other near Thiruvananthapuram.

Compare Koava'lam with Koddiyaaram (the bay curving inside) of Trincomalee and A'lampil (the coastal stretch) near Mullaiththeevu.

Location of Koava'lam and Kat Koava'lam in Jaffna
Location of Koava'lam and Kat Koava'lam in Jaffna


First published: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 01:00

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