Kandy Pillaiyar Kovil

Katukele Pillaiyar Kovil (Sinhala: කටුකැලේ පුල්ලෙයාර් කෝවිල; Tamil: கட்டுக்கலை பிள்ளையார் கோவில்) is a Hindu shrine situated near Kandy Police Station in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to God Ganesha, one of the most venerated deities in the Hindu pantheon.

Although the history of this shrine is obscure, it is considered one of the oldest Kovils in the city (Jayasinghe, 2020). Locals believe that the temple was built once the Nayakkar dynasty started ruling the Kandyan Kingdom (Jayasinghe, 2020). It is said that the royal washerman of King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha (1798-1815 A.D.) who had been using the watercourse originating from Bahiravakanda situated behind the Kovil had a dream in which he was advised by God Iswara to build a temple at the present site (Abeyawardana, 2004). The washerman communicated this to the landlord, Arunasalam Ramanathan Chettiar who finally informed this to the king (Abeyawardana, 2004). It is said that the king ordered him to build a temple at the site (Abeyawardana, 2004). However, some folks link this story to King Kirti Sri Rajasinha [(1747-1782 A.D.) Abeyawardana, 2004].

The Kovil is maintained by the descendants of the Chettiyar family (Abeyawardana, 2004). A procession is started from this shrine every year after the water-cutting ceremony at the end of the Esala Buddhist festival (Abeyawardana, 2004).

1) Abeyawardana, H.A.P., 2004. Heritage of Kandurata: Major natural, cultural and historic sites. Colombo: The Central Bank of Sri Lanka. p.17.
2) Jayasinghe, R.V., 2020. A Hindu philosophical reading of the Dravida Architectural Idiom in the Kandy Pillaiyar Kovil and its adaptation to the Sri Lankan context. Aquinas Research Symposium. pp.1-13.

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This page was last updated on 4 March 2023
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