Tracking Down My (Possible) Ancestry in Kalinga, India by a Motorbike



Isn’t it ironic that within 24 hours of me deciding to travel in Kalinga (present day Odissa) extensively for a month on a motorbike in November this year that this article appeared out of the blue? I have a great friend from Kalinga and he will find me a bike for my tour. He is Prakash Nayak and the only reason for me to be a friends with   him , was that we both share similar surnames. Me, Wanni Nayaka and him, Praksh Nayak. He says there are a lot of Nayakas in Kalinga.

I am not a historian nor  a social anthropologist. But ever since I heard this story of us, the Sinhalese, are descendants of a lion and a princess (see more here, I was both intrigued and ashamed (to find we are also descendants of incestuous sex between a brother and sister (Sinhabahu and Sinhaseevali) to dig into this within my limited capacity. I won’t be able to compose a scholarly work after my travel but at least I will chronicle what I see and hear on a daily updating my blog throughout the tour. This will be my fourth trip to India.

I don’t look for luxuries during my trip as I can digest anything edible and sleep even under a tree for that matter. I am quite used to rough roads as I keep riding my bike almost anywhere in Sri Lanka without much hassle. So, hardships will not dampen my spirits at all. Traveling with Meer Ali from India throughout Sri Lanka for 5 consecutive days was fun and hope I can find someone like that who can also sing Bollywood songs with me. Well, since I was an 11 year old boy, I could sing more than 500 Hindi songs. So I would love to add some more to the list.

Back to the incest story, the legend is that no royal family in Sinhapur, Kalinga was happy to let their daughter or son to marry a lion’s son or the daughter and the only option the lion’s son and daughter had was to marry each other and produce a notorious prince called Wijaya who had to end up in Sri Lanka and my friends, the rest, is both history and legend. (The more sensible take in this lion’s story would be to take the lion as a leader of a lion tribe or a very strong and powerful and unruly man I guess.)

I will not have the luxury of taking a high quality still or video camera for this tour and would appreciate if someone can lend me one. If something happens to it, I will buy a brand new one of the same make and model. Since I have to pay for airfare and other sundry expenses, the last thing I can afford is a professional camera.

Odisha Map







4 thoughts on “Tracking Down My (Possible) Ancestry in Kalinga, India by a Motorbike

  1. Pingback: Tracking Down My (Possible) Ancestry in Kalinga, India by a Motorbike | සතුටු වැස්ස බ්ලොග් කියවනය

  2. Dear wanni,
    There is no reason for you to be ashamed of historical facts and fiction. Bestiality and incest were mentioned. Though it is highly improbable that we are defendants of an animal, it is less so in the case of incest. And there is also the patricide aspect of it.
    What are we to do, are we to glorify our past and find an alternative history? Well it is good if you can, but on the other hand we can not be pure descendants of one couple. Vijaya came here with his set of people. At the time this was not an island full of people with no culture at all. People must have got themselves mixed with the locals. As a result local language may have changed, the culture and everything forms a nation. It is a known fact that the Sinhala people were not pure descendants of Indians. There is enough reference from Buddha’s time that there were local rulers.
    WE have studies our history form Codrington’ s stand point. Many rock inscriptions from pre- vijaya times are neglected purposely even by Senarath paranavithana. Even though we may have kalinga influence and people from kalinga it may be a result of invasion by kalinga magha. That was a brutal affair.

    Many instances of incest like situations are reported through out history there is nothing to be ashamed of or to be proud of .


  3. Every country has legends and stories that seem a little strange today. Irish mythology has some strange characters too. Fionn McCuhaill is one such brave but strange warrior and his stories are often narrated by his son Oisín. Yeah I know Irish names are difficult to pronounce but for example Fionn just means fair-haired so it’s not really that complicated. Nice read and I like reading about India for example, because I have never been in that part of the world. Continued success!


  4. Pingback: Nanda Wanninayaka - Profile - Horizon Lanka Foundation

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