Gajaman Nona

Gajaman Nona

Gajaman Nona's Statue Situated at Nonagama Junction, Ambalantota
Born Dona Isabella Koraneliya Gardiya Arachchi
(1746-03-10)March 10, 1746
Died December 15, 1815(1815-12-15) (aged 69)
Sri Lanka
Occupation poetry
Spouse(s) Thalpe Merenchegei Garadiya Arachchi
Parent(s) Don Francisco Senaratna Kumara Perumal, Fransina Jasenthu Graivo

Dona Isabella Koraneliya (Sinhala:දොන ඉසබෙලා කොරනෙලියා) (aka Gajaman Nona) was a Sri Lankan author who was noted for having the ability to write and recite impromptu Sinhala poetry. She was born in Kollupitiya, Ceylon as the second daughter of Don Francisco Senaratna Kumara Perumal and Fransina Jasenthu Graivo. She was baptized Dona Isabella Koraneliya Perumal. She had her early education within her own family.[1] She was talented earned her mother's title of Gajaman Nona ( Lady Gajaman). She grew up in Matara,[2] a most beautiful and elegant woman with a taste for dressing like a Dutch gentlewoman which comes from her partially "Westernized" background.[3] She had most unusual talent in literature. This was highlighted in woman of her community and status.

her talents were noticed in her early age when someone hidden her water pot, she had composed a Sinhala verse:[4]

English Version:

Little golden pot, filled with water
And left on the edge of the well,
The one who hid it is a scoundrel who can't count to five or eight!
Will you give back my little pot, so that I can go home?

(Gooneratne 1999, p. 82.)

Between 1802 and 1806 Sir John D'Oyly was the Government Agent and Fiscal Collector in Matara and Hambantota districts. Gajaman Nona was left almost destitute by the death of her husband. She could not get a proper job. As she had several children to take care of, she asked John D'Oyly, the Government Agent, for some kind of assistance. Kind-hearted Sir John D'Oyly granted Nindagama (Area of Land in which one is able to live and farm for one's needs.). At present, this statue of her stands at Ambalantota, Nonagama Junction (name derived from Gajaman Nona). In gratitude, she composed a poem to Sir John.



  1. Gooneratne 1999, p. 82.
  2. Gooneratne 1999, p. 82.
  3. Gooneratne 1999, p. 82.
  4. Gooneratne 1999, p. 82.


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