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Sinhalese Unique Unit - Velakkara (Background History).

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Velakkara Mercenaries, also known as the 'Malabar Mercenaries', were a group of soldiers who originated from the Malabar coast in South India. These mercenaries were hired by various kings and chieftains in Sri Lanka during the medieval period.

The Velakkara Mercenaries were predominantly composed of members of the Nair community from Malabar, who were known for their martial prowess and loyalty to their patrons. The Nairs were skilled in the use of various weapons, including the sword, spear, and bow, and were also trained in martial arts.
The earliest recorded use of Velakkara Mercenaries in Sri Lanka dates back to the 13th century, during the reign of King Parakramabahu II. The king hired a group of Velakkara Mercenaries to suppress a rebellion in the southern part of the island. The mercenaries were successful in quelling the rebellion, and as a result, the king granted them lands in the south.

Over the years, Velakkara Mercenaries were employed by various kings and chieftains in Sri Lanka for a range of purposes, including military campaigns, protection, and personal service. The mercenaries were known for their fierce loyalty to their patrons and were willing to risk their lives in defense of their employer.

Among the wide arsenal of weapons used by Tamil Mercenary Warriors was the Valari (throwing weapon) carved from ivory. Curved blade with flat end and round knob at handle. Both sides of weapon are slightly convex; one more so than the other. Traditional valari has two limbs – one is very thin and tapers to a small round point, while the other is rounded and is used as a handle. Just like the usual hunting boomerang, valari does not return when thrown. It is meant to fly a long distance and maintain a straight direction to hit the target flush and strong.

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