Know the Etymology: 125
Place Name of the Day: Thursday, 14 September 2017


Muntal/ Mundalama

முந்தல்/ முந்த₃லம
Muntal/ Mundalama

Muntal
Mundalama


The promontory

Muntal projection, promontory, "Muṉai" (Tamil, MTL, Winslow); Muntu: (verb) to come in front, be prior in time or place (Tamil, DED 5020a, Naṟṟiṇai, 22: 2); Muṉai: front, cape, headland (Tamil, DED 5020a); from the root Muṉ: in front, sign of the locative (Tamil, DED 5020a, Kuṟuntokai, 173: 5; Naṟṟiṇai, 2: 7; cognates in 18 Dravidian languages including Brahui). See column 165
Mundalama Sinhalicized form of Muntal appearing in official records (official list of places in Sinhala); Mundal, Mundel: Anglicized form of Muntal seen in maps (Puttalam One-Inch Sheet, Battaluoya Metric Sheet); Mundal in the meaning of promontory is not seen in Sinhala diction, but cognates of Muṉai in Tamil are present in Sinhala, such as, Muna: end, top, extremity, tip, point (Sinhala, Clough); Munē: tip, point, front (Sinhala, Clough). See box on Muntal in Tamil and also see column 165


Muntal in Tamil means a projection or promontory. The term, listed by MTL and Winslow, comes from the verb Muntu in Tamil/ Dravidian, meaning to come in front. The term also corresponds to the root Muṉ in Tamil/ Dravidian, meaning in front, and to Muṉai meaning front, cape or headland.

The toponymic usage of Muntal is mostly seen in Puttalam district, but one example could be seen in Trincomalee district too.

Muntal has been Anglicized as Mundal or Mundel in maps and Sinhalicized as Mundalama in official records.

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Muntal is a coastal place and headquarters of a division by its name in Puttalam district.

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Some related place names:

Kīri-muntal: name of the projecting tip of Kaṟpiṭṭi Peninsula, Puttalam (Kalpitiya OIS). Kīri: a shrub seen in coastal areas. See box on Kīri 1 in column 19

Paccaik-kāṭṭu-muntal: a land projecting into lagoon near Pālāvi, Puttalam, Puttalam (noted as Pachchakadumundal in Puttalam OIS). Paccai: seaside Indian saltwort, a saltmarsh plant, Nīr-umari, Suaeda maritima (Tamil, MTL); Kāṭu: thicket

Vaṉṉi-muntal: a land projecting into Puttalam lagoon, south of Kaṛpiṭṭi town, Kalpitiya, Puttalam (Kalpitiya OIS). Vaṉṉi: a small tree, Prosopia spicegera (Tamil, DED 5330)

Vellai-muntal: a projecting ground lying between Pomparippu Āṟu estuary and Dutch Bay, Ilavankulam, Puttalam (noted as Vellamundal in Kalpitiya OIS). Vellai: sandy beach

Malai-muntal: a hillock promontory projecting into Indian Ocean; north of Uppūṟal, Moothoor, Trincomalee. Malai: hillock in this context

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Munthal
Munthal and Munthal Lake in the Puththa'lam district. [Satellite image courtesy:Google Earth]
Munthal
The projecting landscape of Munthal (Mundalama). Seen at the tip are saltpans. [Satellite image courtesy:Google Earth]
Munthal
The projecting landscape of Keeri Munthal and Vanni Munthal (Wanni Mundalama) in the Katpiddi (Sinhala: Kalpitiya) peninsula of Puththa'lam district [Satellite image courtesy:Google Earth]
Munthal
Close-up of Vanni Munthal (Wanni Mundalama), south of Katpiddi town. [Satellite image courtesy:Google Earth]
Munthal
The rock and cliff protruding landscape of Malai Munthal in the Moothoor division of Trincomalee district [Satellite image courtesy:Google Earth]
Keeri Maram
Keeri shrub, a coastal vegetaion (Lythrum pemphis or Pemphis acidula) [Courtesy: Société Botanique de France]


Munthal
The projecting landscape of Munthal (Mundalama). Seen at the tip are saltpans. [Satellite image courtesy:Google Earth]
Munthal
The rock and cliff protruding landscape of Malai Munthal in the Moothoor division of Trincomalee district [Satellite image courtesy:Google Earth]


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Revised: Thursday, 14 September 2017, 18:30

First published: Friday, 13 March 2009, 14:28

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