Vannarpannai Vaitheeswaran Temple

Vannarpannai Vaitheeswaran Temple

Vannai Vaitheeswaran Temple, also known as Pattinathu and Chettiyar Sivan Kovil (Tamil: வண்ணார்பண்ணை வைத்தீஸ்வரன் கோவில்; Sinhala: වන්නාරපන්නෙයි වයිතීශ්වර කෝවිල) is a Hindu shrine situated in Vannarpannai in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to God Siva, one of the most venerated deities in the Hindu pantheon.


The temple was erected in 1790 after obtaining special permission from the Dutch rulers of Sri Lanka (Dutch Ceylon: 1658-1796) by Vaithilinga Chettiyar, the son of Gopala Chettiya who was a businessman from Thiruvarur, South India (Kandiah, 2014; Pushparatnam, 2014). Vaithilinga was also a leading merchant who had some influential connections with Dutch rulers. The chief of Panakamam village Nalla Mappana Vanniyan who had been held in prison in Colombo for treason was released after paying the necessary ransom money to the Dutch Government by Vaithiling (Kandiah, 2014; Pushparatnam, 2014). It is said that, as an act of gratitude, Vanniyan donated 20,000 palmyra trees and the village of Terankantal in Tunukkai to the temple which was being built by Vaithilinga Chettiyar (Kandiah, 2014; Pushparatnam, 2014).

The famous Saiva reformer Arumuka Navalar (1822-1879) held his maiden religious discourse on 21 December 1847 on this temple premises (Kandiah, 2014).

A Protected Site

Vannarpannai Sivan Kovil situated in the Grama Niladhari Wasama No. J/83 Vannarpannai in the Jaffna Divisional Secretary’s Division is an archaeological protected monument, declared by a government Gazette notification published on 30 December 2011.


1) Vaitheeswara kovil, Jaffna by Ghostface Buddha is licensed under the CC BY-SA 2.0


1) Kandiah, T, 2014. Ancient Hindu temples of Sri Lanka. pp.43-44.
2) Pushparatnam, P., 2014. Tourism and monuments of archaeological heritage in Northern Sri Lanka. Author Publication. ISBN: 978-955-0811-08-3. pp.32-33.
3) The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. No: 1739. 30 December 2011. p.1090.

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This page was last updated on 30 April 2023
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