Know the Etymology: 45
Place Name of the Day: Monday, 05 June 2017


Kāṅkēyaṉ-tuṟai/ Kāṅkēcaṉ-tuṟai, Kantak-kāṭṭut-tuṟai, Vaṇṇāṉ-tuṟaik-kuḷam, Karai-tuṟaip-paṟṟu

காங்கேயன்துறை/ காங்கேசன்துறை, கந்தக்காட்டுத்துறை, வண்ணான்துறைக்குளம், கரைதுறைப்பற்று
Kāṅkēyaṉ-tuṟai/ Kāṅkēcaṉ-tuṟai, Kantak-kāṭṭut-tuṟai, Vaṇṇāṉ-tuṟaik-kuḷam, Karai-tuṟaip-paṟṟu

Kāṅkēyaṉ+tuṟai
Kanta+kāṭu+tuṟai
Vaṇṇāṉ+tuṟai+kuḷam
Karai+tuṟai+paṟṟu


The seaport of Kāṅkēyaṉ

The ferry point (to cross the river) at (the place) Kantak-kāṭu

The washerman-ghat pond

The coastal-place


Tuṟai1 seaport, harbour (Tamil, DED 3370, Kalittokai, 132: 6-7); sea, river, pond, shore, bank, spot to get into water (Tamil, DED 3370, Kuṟuntokai, 50: 3; Maturaikkāñci, 85; Patiṟṟuppattu, 33: 4-5); a place name suffix as in Paṉai-tuṟai (Tamil Brahmi inscription, ETE 50); coastal tract as in Tuṟaivaṉ: a person of the coastal tract (Tamil, Caṅkam diction, Kuṟuntokai, 9: 7-8); Tuṟai-mukam: seaport, harbour (Tamil, MTL, Mukam: face; Tuṟai means sea in this case); Tuṟa: harbour, natural pond (Malayalam, DED 3370); Tara: seaport, harbour, "Toṭupala" (Sinhala, Sorata brings out the place name examples, Mātara, Kaḷutara, Bentara etc.); Tura: seaport, harbour, as in Mā-tura for today's Matara (old Sinhala place names) Tūr: (verb) to enter (Tamil, DED 3399); Tūṟu: (verb) to enter (Kannada, Telugu, DED 3399); Tuṟu, Tuṟuku: (verb) to enter, reach (Tamil, MTL, Kampar, Pālakāṇṭam, 5: 127); Tuṟa: (verb) to leave (Tamil, DED 3365);
Turai 2 way, roadstead, way to cross water (Tamil, DED 3370, Iṉṉā Nāṟpatu, 37). See Tuṟai 1
Turai 3 bathing ghat, washing ghat etc. (Tamil, DED 3370, Ciṟupāṇāṟṟuppaṭai, 117, Kalittokai, 72: 13-14). See Tuṟai 1
Turai 4 place, space, location, position, situation, frequented place, place of meeting, branch, section, category, (Tamil, DED 3370); locational affix (Tamil, Kampar, Āraṇiya Kāṇṭam, 2: 5); Tuṟu: (verb) to spread (Tamil, Kampar, Ayōttiyā Kāṇṭam, 9: 15); (verb) to be crowded (Tamil, DED 3367). See Tuṟai 1
Kāṅkēyan also Kāṅkēcaṉ: a personal name, coming from God Murukaṉ, or from tracing origins to river Ganga, or from tracing origins to the Gaṅga country in Karnataka/ Tamil Nadu; God Murukaṉ, Bhiṣma of Mahabharata, as their birth was linked to river Ganga (Tamil, MTL); a personal name popular with the Kuru-kula (Karaiyār) community; Kāṅkeyar: people of the Gaṅga country, i.e., southern Mysore of Karnataka and northern Koṅku region of Tamil Nadu (Tamil, MTL cites the example of Poppaṇa Kāṅkeyar-kōṉ, name and title of a Gaṅga chief); Kāṅkēyam: a place in the Koṅku country of Tamil Nadu
Kantakkāṭu Kanta+kāṭu: a place name meaning mound-forest. See columns on Kanda and Kāṭu
Vaṇṇāṉ washerman (Tamil, Malayalam, DED 5241). See column 51 for etymology and related place names
Karaicoast (Tamil, DED 1293). See another column
Paṟṟu administrative division (Tamil, DED 4034). See another column


The Tamil/ Dravidian term Tuṟai is found used in four different shades of meanings in Eezham Tamil place names.

Depending on the context of the place name, it may mean a seaport or harbour; it may mean a ferry-point to go across a river or lagoon; it may mean a washing ghat or bating ghat and it may also simply mean a place or tract of land.

In all the shades of meanings the word is listed as Dravidian (DED 3370). See boxes above on Tuṟai for related verbs and see citations below coming from old Tamil literature and inscriptions for usage examples.

Tura/ Tara, as in Mātura/ Matara, Turē as in Palli-vāsal-turē and Dura as in Pāna-dura are cognates noticed in Sinhala place names, which are mostly used in the meaning, seaport or harbour. See another column for discussion on them.

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Tuṟai meaning harbour and Tuṟaiya as verb meaning to dock at a harbour:

"வினை வாய்த்து துறைய கலம்" (கலித்தொகை, 132: 6-7)

"Viṉai vāyttu tuṟaiya kalam" (Kalittokai, 132: 6-7)

The ship docked at the harbour after successfully fulfilling its mission


Tuṟai meaning way, caravan way, way to go across water etc:

"உமணர் வெரூ-உம் துறை" (புறநானூறு, 84: 6)

"Umaṇar verū-um tuṟai" (Puṟanāṉūṟu, 84: 6)

The way (track) feared by salt traders (as it is difficult for caravans to pass through)


"துறை அறியான் நீர் இழிந்து போகுதல் இன்னா" (இன்னா நாற்பது, 37)

"Tuṟai aṟiyāṉ nīr iḻintu pōkutal iṉṉā" (Iṉṉā Nāṟpatu, 37)

A person who doesn't know the way should not get into water to go across


Tuṟai meaning washing ghat, bathing ghat etc:

"நாடி நின் தூது ஆடி துறை செல்லாள் ஊரவர் ஆடை கொண்டு ஒலிக்கும் நின் புலைத்தி" (கலித்தொகை, 72: 13-14)

"Nāṭi niṉ tūtu āṭi tuṟai cellāḷ ūravar āṭai koṇṭu olikkum niṉ pulaitti" (Kalittokai, 72: 13-14)

The washerwoman, who washes the clothes of the villagers (and who is your hireling), will not go to the washing ghat for work, because she is on your mission to take wooing message to your woman


"துறை ஆடு மகளிர்" (சிறுபாணாற்றுப்படை, 117)

"Tuṟai āṭu makaḷir" (Ciṟupāṇāṟṟuppaṭai, 117)

The women who bathe at the ghat


Tuṟai meaning place:

"முன்னமே சொன்ன சொன்ன துறை தொறும்" (கலிங்கத்துப்பரணி, 6: 11)

"Muṉṉamē coṉṉa coṉṉa tuṟai toṟum" (Kaliṅkattupparaṇi, 6: 11)

In every aforesaid places


Usage of Tuṟai in Tamil Brahmi inscriptions:

"பனை-துறை வெஸன் அதிட்-அனம்" (ETE 50, dated to c. 1ct century BCE)

"Paṉai-tuṟai vesaṉ Atiṭ-aṉam" (ETE 50, dated to c. 1ct century BCE)

The seat (is the gift) of Vesaṉ of Paṉai-tuṟai (a place name)

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Kāṅkēyaṉ-turai/ Kāṅkēcaṉ-tuṟai is a harbour town in Valikamam North division of Jaffna district.

Kantak-kāṭṭut-tuṟai is a passenger-ferry point to cross the river Mahaweliganga near the village Kantak-kāṭu (Vakaneri OIS)

Vaṇṇāṉ-tuṟaik-kuḷam is a place near Mukamālai in Paccilaippalli division of Kilinochchi district (Point Pedro OIS)

Karai-turaip-paṟṟu is the Tamil name of the division called Maritime Paṟṟu in Mullaiththeevu district

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Some related place names:

Tuṟai meaning a harbour, seaport, fishing port or lagoon port:

Mayiliṭṭit-tuṟai: Valikamam North, Jaffna. Mayil+iṭṭi: the mound or high ground of Mayilai shrubs.

Uṭut-tuṟai: Vadamaradchi East, Jaffna. Uṭu: note the other place names, Uṭup-piṭṭi, Uṭu-vil etc. in Jaffna; 1. Uṭai: acacia (Tamil, DED 594); 2. Oṭu: a poisonous wild tree noted in Caṅkam literature, Cleistanthus collinus (Tamil, DED 951, Puṟanāṉūṟu, 325: 7-8; Maṇimēkalai, 6: 80); 3. Uṭu: boatman's pole, oar (Tamil, DED 4265)

Valveṭṭit-tuṟai: Vadamaradchi North, Jaffna. Val-veṭṭi: open jungle place

Koḻumput-tuṟai: Jaffna, Jaffna. Koḷumpu: 1. Point; 2. Port to go to Colombo. See column 130

Nāvān-tuṟai: Jaffna, Jaffna. Nāvāy: boat, ship

Campal-tuṟai: Mannar Town, Mannar

Cilāvat-tuṟai: Musali, Mannar. See column 79

Āyat-tuṟai: Musali, Mannar. Āyam: customs. See column 472

Kuṭāt-tuṟai: Karaithuraippattu, Mullaiththeevu Kuṭā: cove

Cammān-tuṟai: Sammanthurai, Amparai. Cammāṉ: a kind of vessel. See column 8

Mālin-tuṟai: Kinniya, Trincomalee

Ilaṅkait-tuṟai: Verukal, Trincomalee. Ilaṅkai: islet, sandbank-islet in a river (Tamil, Tivākaram, 5: 63); In the context of the place name, the port is located at a place that has an islet at the entrance channel of a lagoon. See column 144

Kappal-tuṟai: Trincomalee Town and Gravets, Trincomalee. Kappal: ship, sail ship. See column 205

Ūrāt-tuṟai: Kayts, Jaffna. Ūrā: a kind of vessel, large cargo boat, See column 205

Paṇṇait-tuṟai: Jaffna, Jaffna. Paṇṇai: a kind of large cargo boat. See column 205

Paruttit-tuṟai: Point Pedro, Jaffna. Parutti: cotton (Tamil, DED 3976, Akanāṉūṟu 129: 7-8)

Tuṟai-nīlāvaṇai: Kalmunai, Amparai. The port part of Nīlāvaṇai village

Tūṟaiyūr: Tuṟai+ūr: Vēlaṇai, Kayts, Jaffna (HAM temple records). Ūr: village.

Mātakal-tuṟai: Mātakal, Jaffna, Jaffna OIS. Mātakal: a coastal place

Arālit-tuṟai: Arāli, Jaffna. Arali: a lagoon-coast place

Campil-tuṟai: Mātakal, Jaffna. See columns 335 and 50

Vīramāṇikkat-tēvaṉ-tuṟai: Mayiliṭṭi, Jaffna, Jaffna OIS. The prefixes are name of a Maṟavar chief

Periyanāṭṭut-tēvan-turai: Mayilitti, Jaffna, Jaffna OIS. The prefixes are name of a Maṟavar chief who was in the service of the Periya-nāṭu guild. See column 136

Kaccāyt-tuṟai: Kaccāy, Jaffna. See column 22

Puḷiyaṭit-tuṟai: Puṅkuṭutīvu, Jaffna, Delft OIS. Puḷi: tamarind tree

Māvalit-tuṟai: Delft, Jaffna, Delft OIS

Tāḻait-tuṟai: Delft, Jaffna, Delft OIS. Tāḻai: screw pine

Periya-tuṟai: Delft, Jaffna, Delft OIS; Maṇmuṉai, Batticaloa OIS. Periya: big

Kommā-tuṟai: Eravurppattu, Batticaloa

Māvilaṅkaṉ-tuṟai: Manmunaippattu, Batticaloa. Māvilaṅkai: a tree

Ampilan-tuṟai: Manmunai South, Batticaloa. Ampalam: a hall for the public. See column 20

Puṭṭiyatit-tuṟai: Poratheevuppattu, Batticaloa. Puṭṭi: mound

Vellaik-kāṭṭu-tuṟaiyaṭi: Manmunai South, Batticaloa. Vellai: seashore

Vēppaṭit-tuṟai: Maṇmuṉai, Batticaloa OIS. Vēmpu: neem tree

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Tuṟai meaning river ferry:

Naṭukal-tuṟai: Kalkudah OIS. This is a ferry point to cross a river. Naṭu-kal: an erected stone pillar

Cuṅkat-tuṟai: Damana, Amparai. Cuṅkam: tax, toll

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Tuṟai meaning washing ghat:

Vaṇṇāṉ-tuṟai: Tallaiyapulam, Tuṉṉālai, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 259). Vaṇṇāṉ: washerman. See column 51

Tuṟaiyā-mūlai: also Tuṟai-mūlai: Pulōli, Jaffna (Balasundaram, p. 392-393). Mūlai: corner, locality; A/ Ā: genitive case affix seen in Tamil Brahmi inscriptions and in old Kannada. The place is a locality where washing clothes by washermen takes place

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Kaṅkēyaṉ:

Kāṅkayaṉōṭai: Kāṅkayaṉ-ōṭai: Āraippattai, Batticaloa OIS. Ōṭai: pond, stream. See column 2

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Revised: Monday, 05 June 2017, 18:30

First published: Tuesday, 31 July 2007, 01:00

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