This thesis is a study of the settlements founded by Dravidian-speakers from South India, chiefly the Tamils Ceylon before the end of the thirteenth century. Although any notable Dravidian settlement was not established in the island until after the conquest of the Colas at the turn of the tenth century, we have included in this study the sporadic and scattered settlements of earlier times as well. The first chapter deals with these earliest settlements and analyses some of the theories put forward by earlier writers on the subject. The main section of the thesis, comprising the second, third, fourth and fifth chapters, deals with the settlements established in the northern and north-eastern parts of Ceylon in the period between the beginning of the eleventh and the end of the thirteenth century.