Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Nagapooshani Amman Kovil, Jaffna, Sri Lanka

நாகபூஷணி அம்மன் கோவில், யாழ்ப்பாணம்

Naagapoosani Amman Kovil is an ancient temple in Naina-theevu ("theevu" means island), off Jaffna peninsula, famous for both its historical background as well as people's devotion. The above picture shows the view of the temple as you land at the jetty to enter the island.

According to historians, there stood a temple of magnificent stone structure at this site for several centuries worshiped by people from both Jaffna region and nearby Tamil kingdoms of Southern India, which was destroyed by the Portuguese colonial invaders (with the fall of Jaffna Kingdom) during the second decade of 17th century A.D. The present temple was built in stages by Hindus from Jaffna region after the successive Portuguese and Dutch Colonials powers, who deprived religious freedom of the local people, left the country.

The statues of 63 Tamil Saiva Saints (naayanmar / நாயன்மார்) is special feature of the temple.

To visit the temple, cross Pannai causeway to enter Mandai-theevu, then cross the second causeway to enter Punkudu-theevu and drive up to Kurikadduvan jetty on the opposite side of the island (also can take bus from Jaffna town to Kurikadduvan). Ferries/launches ply between Kurikadduvan and Naina-theevu for every 1 hour (or so, depending on the season) between 6 am and 6 pm. The voyage takes about 30 minutes.

PS: Some shameless people, including and, are displaying the third picture above (copied from my previous homepage hosted in on their websites after removing my name without my permission. These are the kind of people compel me to use watermark extensively distorting the beauty of the pictures.

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