Know the Etymology: 215
Place Name of the Day: Saturday, 16 June 2012

Vara地i, Maavilangkan-thu池ai

வரணி, மாவிலங்கன்துறை
Varaṇi, Māvilaṅkaṉtuṟai

Vara地i, Maavilangkan+thu池ai

The (place of) Vara地i trees
The port of Maavilangkai trees
(Crataeva religiosa roxburghii)

Vara地i Also Vara地am, Maavilangkai: round-berried cuspidate-leaved lingam tree, Crataeva religiosa roxburghii (Tamil, MTL, Naamatheepa Lexicon); Vara地am: Surrounding, rampart, surrounding wall, covering, screening (Tamil MTL, Jaffna Dictionary); Vara地a: Rampart, mound, the tree Crataeva roxburghii (Sanskrit); Vara地aka: Covering, covering over, concealing (Sanskrit); Varu地a, Varu地aka: Crataeva roxburgii (Sanskrit); Vara地o: A surrounding wall, rampart, the tree Crataeva roxburghii (Prakrit/ Pali); Vara地a, Lu地u-vara地a: Crataeva roxburghii (Sinhala); W誡a地iya: Shrub, small sticks used instead of laths, Hedyotis fruticosa (Sinhala);
Maavilangkai Also Maavilingakam, Maavilingku, Ilingku, Vara地i, Vara地am: Round-berried cuspidate-leaved lingam tree, Crataeva religiosa roxburghii (Tamil, MTL); Periya-Maavilingkam: Ovoid berried acuminate-leaved lingam tree, Crataeva religiosa-nurvala (Tamil MTL); Maavi値am: Periya-Maavilingkam, Crataeva religiosa nurvala (Tamil, MTL); Vilvam, i.e., Aegle marmelos (Tamil, MTL, Pingkalam Lexicon 9:75); Koo-va値am: Crataeva religiosa, Aegle marmelos (Malayalam, DED 1910); Koo-vi値am: Aegle marmelos (Tamil, DED 1910); Aegle marmelos, Gralic pear, i.e Crataeva religiosa (Tamil, MTL); Vilangku: Obstruction, what is across (Tamil, DED 5423); Vi値aa, Ve値値il, Ve値値iyam, Vi値am, Vi値ari, Vi値avu, Vi値aaththi: wood-apple (from its white fruit) Feronia elephantum (Tamil, 5509); Vi値ar, Vi値arppu: Whiteness (Tamil, DED 5496)
Thu池ai Port, coastal place (Tamil, DED 3370). See column on Ooraath-thu池ai.

Maavilangkai/ Vara'ni/ Crataeva religiosa roxburghii: foliage, photographed in Jaffna

Vara地i and Maavilangkai in Tamil stand for a tree that is widely used for medicinal purposes. The botanical term of the tree is Crataeva religiosa roxburghii or simply Crataeva roxburghii.

Crataeva religiosa roxburghii
Vara'ni/ Maavilangkai, Crataeva religiosa roxburghii: flower [Image courtesy: Wikipedia]
Maavilangkai/ Vara'ni/ Crataeva religiosa roxburghii, photographed in Jaffna
Maavilangkai/ Vara'ni/ Crataeva religiosa roxburghii: branches of a matured tree photographed in Jaffna
Maavilangkai/ Vara'ni/ Crataeva religiosa roxburghii: foliage, note the three-pronged leaves.
While the term Vara地i is of Sanskrit origins and has cognates in Sinhala and in many Indo-Aryan languages, Maavilangkai found used only in Tamil seems to be a term of Dravidian origins.

There are two varieties: Maavilangkai (Crataeva religiosa roxburghii) and Periya-Maavilangkai (the big variety, Crataeva religiosa nurvala).

In Sinhala, Vara地i/ Maavilangkai is commonly known as Lu地u-vara地a, to differentiate it from other Vara地a trees such as Ra地a-wara地a and W詬i-Wara地a; a plant W跏-wara地a and a shrub W誡a地iya.

In Eezham Tamil there is also a timber tree Yaa-vara地ai (the Yaa variety of Vara地ai).

In Malayalam and in some Tamil usages the term Koo-va値am/ Koo-vi値am means both the Vilvam tree (Aegle marmelos) as well as Maavilangkai.

While the Sanskrit term Vara地i may have connections to the meanings shade, screen etc., the Tamil term Maa-vilangkai has probably come from the conspicuous white flowers of the tree.

Vi値aa is connected to whiteness (DED 5496)

Wood apple (Vi値aa; Feronia elephantum), Aegle marmelos (Vilvam, Koo-vi値aa, Karu-vi値aa) and Maa-vilangkai are placed under one category in Tamil usages, because of their three-pronged leaves considered sacred in the worship of Siva. Maavilangkai leaves are a substitute for Vilvam in the worship of Siva.

Maavilangkai/ Vara地i is found throughout South Asia. All parts of the tree are widely used in the native medicinal systems for a variety of ailments.

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Vara地i is a major village in the Thenmaraadchi division of Jaffna district.

Maavilangkan-thu池ai is a coastal village in the Ma地munaippattu division of Batticaloa district

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Some related place names:


Maavilangkaith-thoaddam: The garden or grove of Maavilangkai trees; Pachchilaippa値値i division Ki値inochchi district (Balasundaram p429)

Maavilan-kea地i: The constructed pond in the locality of Maavilangkai trees; Naanaaddaan division, Mannaar district

Maavilankan-ve値i: The expanse of Maavilangkai trees; Puthukkudiyiruppu division, Mullaiththeevu district

Ilangkai-thu池ai: The port of Maavilangkai trees or the port having an islet; Verukal division, Trincomalee district (Ilangkai: islet. There is an islet at this place)

Vara地i/ Wara地a:

Lu地u- wera地iya wewa: The tank in the locality of Lu地u-Wara地a trees; South of Tanamalvila, Moneragala district

Lu地u-wera地iya-gala: The hill or rocky place of Lu地u-wara地a trees; South of Tanamalvila, Moneragala district

Waruna-gama: The village of Wara地a (Lu地u-wara地a) trees; Wellawaya division, Moneragala district

Rana-warana-wewa: The tank in the locality of Ra地a-wara地a trees; south of Tanamalvila, Moneragala district

Rana-warnawa: Probably, Ranawara地awa or Ra地awara地a-wewa: The place of Rana-wara地a trees or the tank in the locality of Ra地a-wara地a trees; Lunugam Vehera division, Hambantota district

W詬i-wara地a-golla: The grove of W詬i-wara地a trees; Laggala-Pallegama division, Matale district

W跏wara地a-w誥iya: The enclosure or surroundings having W跏-wara地a (Persea semecarpifolia or Persea augustifolia) plants; Galgamuwa division, Kurunegala district

First published: Saturday, 16 June 2012, 11:01

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