Ponnalai Varatharaja Perumal Kovil

Not to be confused with Vannai Varatharaja Perumal Kovil

Ponnalai Varatharaja Perumal Kovil
Ponnalai Varatharaja Perumal Kovil (Photo credit: Google Street View)

Varatharaja Perumal Kovil, (Tamil: பொன்னாலை வரதராஜப்பெருமாள் கோயில்; Sinhala: පොන්නාලෙයි වරදරාජ පෙරුමාල් කෝවිල) is a Hindu temple situated in Ponnalai in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to God Vishnu, one of the popular deities in the Hindu pantheon.

The temple is mentioned in the 15th-century Sinhala literary work Kokila Sandeshaya (Pushparatnam, 2014). The 16th-century Tamil text Takshanakailaya Puranam devotes a chapter entitled Ponnalai Perumaiuraitta Patalam and it describes the miraculous origin of this temple (Pushparatnam, 2014). According to it, a fisherman one day caught a tortoise in his net, off the shore in the sea near Ponnalai. The tortoise was big and the fisherman who dragged it to the beach as he could, went to the nearby village seeking help. When he returned with some villagers, they saw that the tortoise had turned into a stone. Believing this to be a miraculous event, they built a Vishnu temple there and dedicated it to Varatharaja Perumal (Pushparatnam, 2014).

1) Pushparatnam, P., 2014. Tourism and monuments of archaeological heritage in Northern Sri Lanka. Author Publication. ISBN: 978-955-0811-08-3. pp.22-23.

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This page was last updated on 18 May 2023
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