Poothavarayar Kovil

Poothavarayar Kovil (Tamil: பூதவராயர் கோவில்) is a Hindu shrine situated in Nallur in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka. Though the temple is called Poothavarayar temple, God Murugan occupies a prominent place in the shrine (Pushparatnam, 2014).

According to local belief, this temple was erected by Sankili (also known as Segarajasekaran), a ruler in Jaffna from 1519 to 1565 in memory of Sinhala general Veediya Bandara (Pushparatnam, 2014). When Sankili was pressured by the Portuguese who arrived in Sri Lanka at the beginning of the 16th century, Veediya Bandara is said to have come for his support (Kandiah, 2014). Both agreed to act against the Portuguese and they gathered in front of the Veeramakali Amman Temple to swear allegiance (Kandiah, 2014). However, an explosion occurred at a neighbouring ammunition store causing a commotion in which Veediya Bandara was killed (Kandiah, 2014). It is said that Sankili who repented of this incident built the Poothavarayar temple in memory of Veediya Bandara (Kandiah, 2014).

Although the present temple at the site is a newly built one, there is evidence of old foundations and remnants of old structures of the ancient temple (Pushparatnam, 2014).

1) Kandiah, T, 2014. Ancient Hindu temples of Sri Lanka. pp.57-59.
2) Pushparatnam, P., 2014. Tourism and monuments of archaeological heritage in Northern Sri Lanka. Author Publication. ISBN: 978-955-0811-08-3. p.105.

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This page was last updated on 5 May 2023
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