Where are the Sri Lankan Royalty stamps?


It just occurred to me that I have never seen a local king on a postage stamp. This dude was likely well on the way to commissioning his own but thank goodness for democracy eh?

I digress. We have so many local stamps featuring British monarchs but not a single one with our own. Yes okay, I know the British royalty stamps were due to the occupation or what have you, but STILL.

Any fan of philately would have seen those lovely stamp sets on the various royal houses issued by Great Britain. In case you haven’t seen them, take a gander because they are GLORIOUS.

So without further ado, here is my list of the top 5 royals of ancient Sri Lanka I would like to see featured on a future stamp.

1# – Ravana

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's holy shit what is his majesty doing up there?

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s holy shit what is his majesty doing up there? (image via srilankapoems.com)

Likely my favourite but unfortunately not recognised formally as a monarch. He moved a mountain, built the first flying machine (Wright who?), invented venomous missiles, tore off his own arm to create a musical instrument AND had ten heads! Beat that I dare you.

Read more about Ravana here.

#2 – Vijaya

Ok this one was technically a moron who just got washed up on our shores by accident but the man is still considered our proud nation’s first official monarch (at least if you go by the all knowing Mahavamsa). However, he DID get it on with a local sexpot witch queen and that raises him a little in our regard.

Vijaya meeting Kuveni

Vijaya meeting Kuveni – the male fantasy version (image via exploresrilanka.lk)

Read more about Vijaya here.

#3 – Pandukhabaya

I like this dude because his story is so full of drama. From being spirited away as a baby because his mother feared for his life to surviving a mass execution (Herod’s search of Jesus anyone?) this guy was so awesome that they even made a movie about him. A movie that I actually went to see and liked mind, so extra points for him. His mother’s story also has some interesting Rapunzel connotations. She was imprisoned in an “Ektam Gey” (our equivalent of the “ivory tower”) to ensure that she never got pregnant because her brothers believed a prophecy which claimed that her son would kill them all some day. Needless to say, he did grow up and kill most of them.

Pandukabhaya's mother Unmadachitra in her tower (image via observer.lk)

Pandukabhaya’s mother Unmadachitra in her tower (image via observer.lk)

Read more about Pandukhabaya here.

 #4 – Dutugemunu

Probably best known for getting rid of the Indian invader Elara, I like this guy because his nickname Dutthagamani stands for “disobedient”. Snigge. Anyway, he also had a kickass war elephant called Kandula, the loyalty of the Ten Giant Warriors AND he commissioned the awesome Ruwanweliseya among other things. Yes, they made a movie about him too!

The dude's war elephant has his own shrine - what more can you ask for? (image via kandulatea.com)

The dude’s war elephant has his own shrine in Kataragama – what more can you ask for? (image via kandulatea.com)

Read more about Dutugemunu here.

#5 Kashyapa

Look the dude built a motherfucking rock FORTRESS and had 500 concubines. If you can’t give him a stamp for that I don’t know what will convince you. Oh and don’t think I didn’t notice that you gave those same concubines not one but TWO stamps (bare boobies and all) but chose to ignore the man himself. If that ain’t rampant sexism I don’t know what is.


The rock fortress at Sigiriya is also a UNESCO World Heritage site (image via slideshare.net)

Read more about Kashyapa here.

Now it’s over to you Philatelic Bureau!

PS: I am not an expert in Sri Lankan history so I have likely sacrificed perfect historical accuracy in the name of entertainment. Too bad.

PPS: I’m sure there are many more arguably worthy personages but I have purposely left out the boring (read: overbearingly religious) ones. However, if you do know of any genuinely interesting royal peeps, do drop me a note and I’d consider adding them to my list.

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