Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple
Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple (Tamil: மாவிட்டபுரம் கந்தசாமி கோவில்; Sinhala: මාවිද්දපුරම් කන්දසාමි කෝවිල) is a Hindu Kovil situated in Maviddapuram in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to Lord Murugan, the War God of the Hindu pantheon. In the Tamil language, Maviddapuram means the City of horse or the City of the indifferent (Wijebandara, 2014).

A legend describes how the original temple of this site was established. According to it, a princess who was on the way to a Sthalam (a sacred site) in Keerimalai had seen an elder called Sadaiyanar worshipping a symbol of God Skanda Kumara (or Murugan) placed under a mango tree (Wijebandara, 2014). By seeing this the princess wanted to build a complete temple there for Skanda Kumara and informed about that to her father (Wijebandara, 2014). It is said that her father sent an architect and a sculptor to build the temple (Wijebandara, 2014).

According to Mahabharata (a major Sanskrit epic of ancient India), the face of this princess had been turned into a horse face due to some kind of curse [(However, according to the view of some, this was a facial disfigurement caused by a disease) Wijebandara, 2014]. After hearing the miraculous healing properties of the Spring at Keerimalai, she visited that site, bathed in the freshwater spring and performed necessary religious rituals every day (Wijebandara, 2014). As a result of that, she gained her beautiful human face back and it is said that she finished the remaining construction works of the Maviddapuram temple (Wijebandara, 2014).

Destruction & reconstruction
Portuguese who arrived in Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 16th century destroyed this temple in the 17th century and dismantled it to obtain materials for building their Fort at Kayts (Wijebandara, 2014). However, with the revival of Hinduism, the temple was reconstructed at the site in 1782 (Wijebandara, 2014). The ritual objects that had been hidden in a well by priests before fleeing the temple were recovered and placed again in the temple (Wijebandara, 2014).

The main entrance (or Raja Gopuram) and the hall located towards the west of the temple have been built at a later period. The interior of the shrine room has been finished with tough granite stones in 1927 (Wijebandara, 2014). The magnificently carved chariot was added to the temple in 1943 (Wijebandara, 2014).

A protected monument
Mavaddipuram Kandasami Kovil situated in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. fma/232 Mawaddipuram in the Tellipalai Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 30 December 2011. 

1) Maavittapuram Kandasamy by Gane is licensed under CC BY-SA2.0

1) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1093.
2) Wijebandara, I.D.M., 2014. Yapanaye Aithihasika Urumaya (In Sinhala). Published by the editor. ISBN-978-955-9159-95-7. pp.135-137.

Location Map
This page was last updated on 1 August 2022


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