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.
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.
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
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 own.
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.
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.
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
male'h Fadha Koi, after proclaiming
this Kingdom, declared that he was King