Nallur Kandaswamy temple

Nallur Kandaswamy Temple
Nallur Kandasamy front entrance.jpg
Entrance to the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.
DistrictJaffna District
DeityLord Murugan
CountrySri Lanka
Nallur Kandaswamy temple is located in Sri Lanka
Nallur Kandaswamy temple
Location in Sri Lanka
Geographic coordinates9°40′28.82″N 80°1′46.61″E / 9°40′28.82″N 80°1′46.61″E / 9.6746722; 80.0296139
TypeTamil architecture
Creator'Don Juan' Ragunatha Maapaana Mudaliyar
CompletedFounded in 948 ad reconstructed in 1734.[1]
House of temple car, where temple car preserves or rests during non-function.

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil (Tamil: நல்லூர் கந்தசுவாமி கோவில் Sinhala: නල්ලුරුව ස්කන්ධ කුමාර කෝවිල) is a significant Hindu temple, located in Nallur, Northern Province, Sri Lanka.[2] The presiding deity is Lord Murugan or Katharagama Deviyo in the form of the holy 'Vel' in the Sanctum, the primary shrine, and in other forms, namely, Shanmugar, Muthukumaraswami, Valli Kaanthar with consorts Valli and Deivayanai, and Thendayuthapani, sans consorts in secondary shrines in the temple.[3]

Origins – The earlier shrines of Kandaswamy in Nallur

The original, Kandaswamy Temple was founded in 948 ad. According to the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, the temple was developed at the site in the 13th century by Buwanika Bahu, a minister to the King of Kotte. Sapumal Kumaraya (also known as Chempaha Perumal in Tamil), who ruled the Jaffna kingdom on behalf of the Kotte kingdom is credited with building the third Nallur Kandaswamy temple.[4][5] Nallur served as the capital of the Jaffna kings, with the royal palace situated very close to the temple. Nallur was built with four entrances with gates.[6] There were two main roadways and four temples at the four gateways.[6]

The present rebuilt temple that exist now do not match their original locations which instead are occupied by churches erected by the Portuguese.[6] The center of the city was Muthirai Santhai (market place) and was surrounded by a square fortification around it.[6] There were courtly buildings for the kings, Brahmin priests, soldiers and other service providers.[6] The old Kandaswamy temple functioned as a defensive fort with high walls.[6] In general, the city was laid out like the traditional temple town according to Hindu traditions.[6] Cankilian Thoppu, the facade of the palace of King Cankili II, can still be found in Nallur.[7] The third temple was destroyed by the Portuguese Catholic colonial Filipe de Oliveira in 1624 AD. The original kovil was located where St. James' Church, Nallur is located today. Part of the original Shivalingam of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple was located in the Vicarage till 1995 when it was destroyed during the recapture of Jaffna by Sri Lanka armed forces and the platform where the shivalingam was mounted on can still be seen in the hallway of the vicarage.