Monday, 3 June 2019

Sri Kathirvelayutha Swami Kovil (Galle)

Sri Kathirvelayutha Swami Kovil, Galle
Sri Kathirvelayutha Swami Kovil, also called as Kathiresan Temple, is a Hindu shrine situated in Kaluwella, Galle District, Sri Lanka. 

The temple which has been dedicated to god Murugan (or Kataragama) is believed to be constructed in 1790 A.D. as a place of worship for the Indian Hindus who had come to Galle as traders during the colonial period (Abeyawardana, 2004; Ranchagoda, 2015). According to the opinion of some authors, the South Indian traders who had come to the trade city of Galle in its early developing stage stayed at a lodge called Kiththangeya (or Kittangi) located near the city. At the time there wasn't any place for their religious activities and therefore, it is said that this Hindu Kovil was built near the city to perform their religious rituals (Ranchagoda, 2015).

The Kovil bears both Hindu and Dutch architectural features. The Gopuram which is at the entrance of the Kovil shows typical Hindu architectural features while the rear part of the Kovil shows architectural elements related to the Dutch period [(1640-1796 A.D.) Ranchagoda, 2015]. Paintings belonging to Kandyan Period are also found at the temple (Ranchagoda, 2015).

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Ruhuna: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. ISBN: 955-575-073-4. p.29.
2) Ranchagoda, T. O., 2015. Pauranika Sthana Ha Smaraka: Galla Distrikkaya (In Sinhala). Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka. ISBN:955-9159-53-4. p.59.

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This page was last updated on 30 April 2023


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