A Mythical Character from Sri Lanka

Kalu Kumaraya - Sri Lankan Folklore
Image: Eric Prout via Flickr

Ancient cultures in the world are rich in oddly strange tales about the power of fascinating, yet awe-inspiring creatures. A country laced with myths and traditions has an intriguing nature in it. Sri Lanka is a country that has long been soaked in beautiful myths and folklore. Such mythical beings have left their mysterious marks in Sri Lankan art and literature, especially during bygone eras.

As the digital world moves Sri Lanka into a new era in every manner, these mythical beings who once induced fear in the minds of many for generations, are long gone…but the fascination they induced in our minds will continue to be in our minds without being completely erased.

Demons are believed to spring into existence as fully-grown creatures rather than being given birth to by a mother. However, some demons, have been born to human parents and later became demons. The Black Prince or commonly known as “Kalu Kumaraya” is believed to be an ancient Sri Lankan prince who attempted to kill his father in order to steal his Kingdom. When his attempt failed, he took his own life, but was returned to this world as a demon and roams about looking for beautiful young women.

The Kalu Kumaraya is believed to be a seducer and murderer. According to stories, this dark handsome demon spends his days waiting in the shadows, appearing to only target young girls and women. Then this handsome spirit seduces his prey and slit their throats.

Centuries ago, in rural areas, peoples lived a simple life. With no electricity and dark shadows everywhere after dusk, a scary myth of a wandering black prince forced rural people to live in fear. Many young girls were said to have been possessed by the Black Prince, who entered into their souls making them utter cuss words, speak tongues they have never learned, causing drastic changes in vocal pitch and facial structure, and the sudden appearance of injuries.

Some people say that life without myth is like life without art – dull and inhuman. In this modern day, we are free of black or white demons…but those fascinating tales will remain in the minds of Sri Lankans in the coming generations as well.

You can find many such myths and tales at Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle – stay at one of our Dambulla Hotels and delve deep into Sri Lankan folklore.