Saddanathar Sivan Kovil

Saddanathar Sivan Kovil
Saddanathar Sivan Kovil (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Saddanathar Sivan Kovil, also known as Nallai Nathaswamy Kovil (Tamil: நல்லூர் சட்டநாதர் கோயில்; Sinhala: සද්දනාතර් සිව කෝවිල) is a Hindu shrine situated a few yards north of Manthri Manai Mansion in Nallur in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to God Siva, one of the most venerated deities in the Hindu pantheon.


Saddanathar Sivan Kovil

Saddanathar (or Cattanatar) is another name for God Siva (Pushparatnam, 2014). According to Yalpana Vaipava Malai, the Chola prince Vijaya Kulangai (or Kulang-kay-ariyan or Singka-ariyan) who is said to be the first ruler of the Arya Chakravarti dynasty developed Nallur in Jaffna as his capital city in the 13th century (Britto, 1879). Expecting to receive divine protection for his city, Kulangai erected temples for deities in the four directions of it (Kandiah, 2014). As the belief of many, the Nallai Nathaswamy temple is the one that was erected in the northern approach to the city (Kandiah, 2014). The temple together with the other three was maintained by the succeeding rulers including Kanaga Sooriya Singai Ariyan [(1440-1478 A.D.) Kandiah, 2014].

As the destiny of other Hindu temples in Jaffna, this temple is believed to have been destroyed by the Portuguese when the Jaffna fell into their hands in 1621 (Kandiah, 2014). The stones from the demolished temples were taken to build the Fort in Jaffna (Kandiah, 2014). It is said that, before the demolition, the Vigrahams of the temple were deposited in the neighbourhood pond by the priests of this temple (Kandiah, 2014).

The temple was re-erected with the revival of Hinduism on the island that took place in the early 19th century (Kandiah, 2014). Several artefacts that were unearthed from the site have been handed over to the Jaffna Archaeological Museum (Kandiah, 2014). Among them, the statues of Teivaniammai, Valliammai, Kartikeyan, Tatcanamurty, Canisvaran and Kajalashumy are considered special as some believe that they are the works of the Vijayanagar art tradition belonging to the 14-16 centuries A.D.(Pushparatnam, 2014).

See Also

#) Veyil Ugantha Pillaiyar Temple
#) Veeramakali Amman Temple


1) Britto, C., 1879. The Yalpana-Vaipava-Malai or The history of the Kingdom of Jaffna: Translated from the Tamil, with an appendix and a glossary by C. Britto. Colombo. p.14.
2) Kandiah, T, 2014. Ancient Hindu temples of Sri Lanka. pp.32-33.
3) Pushparatnam, P., 2014. Tourism and monuments of archaeological heritage in Northern Sri Lanka. Author Publication. ISBN: 978-955-0811-08-3. pp.103-104.


1) Saddanathar-Koyil by Mayooranathan has been released into the Public Domain.

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This page was last updated on 30 April 2023
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