Famous Hindu Temples in Sri Lanka
Hindus in the neighbor country of India make up about 15% of the Sri Lankan population, and are almost exclusively Tamils apart from small immigrant communities from India and Pakistan such as the Sindhis, Telugus, Kannadigas and Malayalees. Hinduism is dominant in the Northeastern province, where there is a significant number of Tamil people in SriLanka. The first major Hindu reference to Sri Lanka is found in the great Hindu epic, the Ramayana.
Some of the famous Hindu Temples are:
Ariyalai Siddhivinayakar Temple
Nallur Kandaswamy temple
Seetha Amman Temple
Thambiluvil Sri Kannaki amman temple
Thambiluvil Sri Sivalinga Pillayar Temple
Velakkai Pillaiyar Temple
Ariyalai Sithivinayakar Temple:
Ariyalai Sithivinayakar Temple also known as Sithivinayakar Kovil is an ancient temple in SriLanka located near Jaffna town. This Ariyalai Sithivinayakar temple was visited by Mahama Gandi, Yogar Swami, Kunrakudi Adakal.
The Kataragama temple in Sri Lanka, is a Hindu and Buddhist temple complex dedicated to Skanda-Murukan also known as Kataragamadevio. To the left of the main shrine lies a smaller shrine dedicated to Hindu god Ganesha who is known as Ganapatidevio amongst Sinhalese. And To the left of Ganesha shrine stands the Vishnu Devale the shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu within which there is also a Buddha image.
The festivals and daily rituals do not adhere to standard Hindu Agamic or Buddhist rituals. It follows what Paul Younger calls as ancient Vedda traditions of worship.
On of the regional Hindu temple complex in Sri Lanka is Munneswaram temple. This Munneswaram temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple located in a Munneswaram village. In the Munneswaram temple, the central temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva installed in the form of Lingam in the sanctum sanctorum. The other temples are dedicated to Ganesha, Ayyanayake and Kali. The main festivals celebrated at the temple include Navarathri and Sivarathri.
Naguleswaram temple is historically known as the Thirutambaleswaram Kovil of Keerimalai is a famous Hindu temple in located near Jaffna of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. The Naguleswaram temple is situated adjacent to the mineral water springs. The legendary sage Nagula Muni, shrunk by age and austerity while meditating at a cave in Keerimalai was likened to mongeese that frequented the area. The sage bathed in the springs and was cured of his mongoose face. In gratitude, Nagula Muni constructed a small shrine and worshipped the Lingam enshrined there. This became the Naguleswaram Kovil of Keerimalai alluding to the sage.
Seetha Amman Temple:
Seetha Amman Temple is a place that is believed where Sitha held captive by the king Ravana in the Lanka of the epic, Ramayana. The temple is located in the village called “Seetha Eliya.
Tenavaram temple is an historic Hindu temple complex situated in the port town Tenavaram, in SriLanka. The presiding deity in Tenavaram temple is Lord Vishnu called as Tenavarai Nayanar in Sri Lanka. The temple is the most prestigious and biggest, popular amongst its large Tamil population. The other shrines that made up the Kovil Vatta were dedicated to Ganesh, Murukan, Kannagi and Shiva.
Tenavaram temple was built on vaulted arches on the promontory overlooking the Indian ocean. The central gopuram tower of the vimana and the other gopura towers that dominated the town were covered with plates of gilded brass, gold and copper on their roofs. Tenavaram remains one of the destroyed Dravidian temples that has yet to be properly rebuilt by Tamil Hindus.