Though there are innumerable temples for Murugan (Karthigeyan) in Tamil Nadu, some temples have different types of thala vrikushas. Apart from the mango tree and the lotus plant, the trees attached to the Murugan temples are the following: Marudham
or Queen's Flower Panneer or Indian Lavender, Punnai , Nelli, Mahizham, Pala or Jak) fruit tree. Marudham is the sacred tree in the Dandayudhapani temple at Marudamalai in Coimbatore District in Tamil Nadu. It is known as Arjuna in Sanskrit.
Perhaps this hillock and the nearby place are named after the marudham grove in that region. The tree has bunches of small flowers. People worship the sthala viriksha and make offerings too god.
There are lot of references made to the tree
Marutham in Ayurveda as its barks are useful for heart diseases. It is good for people suffering from asthma. Fractured bones get strengthened when it is taken with honey. Dysentery is stopped by taking the decoction of the bark powder of marudham.
Young ladies who fear pimples, its paste is a good medicine. Even the sting of scorpion is cured when its ashes are applied on the place of the bite. As it is an anti-microbial agent, it purifies the environment.
Panner is very sacred to Murugan
in Tiruchendur as the vibhudhi (sacred ashes) prasadam is given to the devotees by the temple priests only in the panneer leaves. The white flowers are small in shape with a lovely fragrance. Panneer tree is sacred to Siva and Vishnu in some
temples. As it blooms at night, the whole surroundings are well scented. It used for archana and in garlands to deities. This tree has some medicinal effects too. The wood of the tree is used to stop dysentery as well as to make nice furniture. The pustular
swelling of the children is cured when the paste of the panneer leaves are applied.
Though punnai flowers are very closely associated with Siva as one of the eight flowers offered to Him during morning offerings, the punnai tree is the Sthala
viriksha of Murugan in the form of Subramaniaswami in Peacock in Cuddalore district. It is an indigenous tree and its blooming denotes prosperity. There are many references in puranas to Punnaga vanam (the forest of punnai tree).
It has been a practice in villages in ancient times if the tree failed to bloom in time, the local women would dance around the barren punnai tree and kick the same at the bottom of the tree and surprisingly it would start blooming. Punnai flower
juice cures venereal diseases and boils. Nervous disorders could be treated with its flowers. The powder made out of the punnai leaves is good for getting relief for giddiness and head ache. The juice taken from its bark is useful to stop internal
and external bleeding. It is surprising to note that the intra-muscular injection of the oil taken out of punnai seeds reduces the pain in leprosy. Though this green colour oil does not have good odour, it reduces and cures pain in joints, muscles,
ulcers and skin diseases. The punnai fruits give a gum.
Mahizham is the sthala vriksha for Siva, Vishnu and Murugan and sacred not only to the Saivites and Vaishnavites but to Jains and Buddhists too. Mahizhzm trees find their
place in the Amaravati and Sanchi stupas. It is an emblem of Neminatha, a Jain Tirthankara and he attained jnana (enlightenment) under this tree.. It is the sthala vriksha of Sri Kandaswamy temple at Tirupporur in Kanchipuram District and
Sri Kulandaivel temple at Poombarai in Madurai District. This tree has small but very sweet smelling flowers. Even if it dries, the smell remains. There are many myths associated with this tree. It is believed that the tree blooms if women eat under its shade
or beautiful women spits on it. In Indian society, it is a boon to get a male child. It is believed that the women who do not have male children beget a male child if they tie a small cradle to the tree after going round the temple. Similarly, people tie threads
to the branches of the sacred tree if they want their wishes to be fulfilled. They untie the thread after the fulfilment of their wishes.
Pala is one of the three important fruits, the other two being plantain and mango. In Kollimalai in Salem
District is famous for the Murugan temple. The sacred tree of the temple is pala. It is not known to many that the leaves of pala are as auspicious as banana leaves. It is interesting to note that this tree that jack fruit is depicted in the early
Buddhist sculptures. The shade of this tree is so sacred that all Gods, Agamas, Sastras and Vedas are said to have gathered under its shade. It is believed if one waters this sacred tree with one pitcher of water, it is equal to have performed abisheka
to all the gods.
Hinduism has often been coined as an "environmental friendly" religion. Hindus regard everything around them as pervaded by a subtle divine presence, may it be rivers, mountains, lakes, animals, flora,
fauna, the mineral world, as well as the stars and planets. It is so because the Divine reality is present as Prana/Shakti energy, power, in every electron, particle, atom, cell and in every manifestation of matter. It is its very fabric. Just like the sparks
of a fire are of the same essence as the fire they come from, so is the entire creation, of the same essence as the Divine. Just as Hindus greet each other saying "Namaste", which means: I recognize and salute the Divine within you, so do they recognize the
same Divine essence, in all around them.
Mountains play an important part in Hinduism. Thiruvannamalai, Palani, Marudhamalai, Thirukalukuntram are some of the mountains where Hindu Gods in temples are located in Tamil Nadu. Many mountains consist
of minerals and generate vibration from crystals. Herbal trees are in abundance in the mountain in Palani and around 3000 B.C, when the world was waking up to evolution, it witnessed the presence of Siddhar Bogar, a powerful astrologer, and a yogi who had
mastered the science of medicine perfectly. Bhogar was an expert in siddha medicine and it is said that according to the last wishes of his guru, Bhogar proceeded to China to spread the knowledge of siddha sciences. His journey is said to have been made with
the aid of an aircraft; he demonstrated to the Chinese the details of the construction of the aircraft and later built for them a sea-going craft using a steam engine.
Rivers such as Ganga, Jamuna. Narmada, Indus, Kaveri are well respected by Hinduism
but people do not care and pollute the river. The ashramams are built by the side of the river and Rishis take a bath in the morning before starting meditating. The river water that flows through the medicinal herbs in the mountain range of Himalayas, act
as disinfectant. The River Ganges or Ganga is perhaps the holiest river in any religion. Besides being a sacred river, Ganga is also worshiped as a deity in Hinduism, Ganga water is used in various religious ceremonies of the Hindus. Even Science has proved
that Ganga water is pure and bacteria free. Gangajal can be kept for years without any problem. In the banks of the Sarasvati River, Vedas flourished during vedic period and its name is mentioned 72 times in the Rigveda, appearing in all books except
for book four. Between 6000 and 4000 B.C., the Saraswati flowed as a great river and it disappeared in the course of time due to climatic changes.. Rivers constitute the lifeline of any country and some of the world’s great civilizations (Indus Valley,
Mesopotamian, and Egyptian) have all prospered on banks of river systems. Hindus consider rivers as sacred and have personified them as deities and sung their praises in their religious literature, the VedasThe river Saraswati, during its heydays,
is described to be much bigger than Sindhu or the Indus River.
Among the various Hindu deities, Karthigeyan is worshiped mainly by the Tamil community in countries like Tamil nadu, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Re Union
. With the migration of Tamils to the western world many Murugan temples have originated in the name of Murugan temples such as Nallur, Selvaasnathi, Kathirgamam , Thiruchendur to cater to the people from those areas.
God Murugan’s name
means beauty and He is considered as a Dravidian God. People say that Murugan worship started from the time of the Gupta period in North India. The origin of worshipping Murugan is similar to Worship of Hermes by Asyrians. This is similar
to Ra ( the Sun) by Egyptians .
Land division and worship
Idol worship in Tamilnadu is based on the division of land and the work done by the people from that area. Four of the geographical
regions are described as landscapes that occur naturally in the Tamil areas. These are: Kurinji - mountainous regions, associated with union, Mullai - forests, associated with waiting, Marutham - cropland, associated with quarreling, and
Neytall - seashore, associated with pining. The fifth - Pālai or desert, associated with separation - They were described in the Tolkappiyam as being naturally existing landscapes. Murugan is worshiped by hunters who hunt using spears (Vel), bow
and arrows in mountainous areas. It is the means to supply food as energy for their life. Hence Murugan temples are mainly found on the top of rocks such as Palani. Marutamalai. Viralimalai
The vehicle for Murugan is the peacock. Murugan
is also called Alagan ( Beauty) and Peacock is a beautiful bird. Legendary stories are written about how the peacock and cock came into existence. Ganesh the eldest brother of Murugan played an important part in the love affair of Valli (Veddah girl) and Karthigeyan.
The story centers around a farming village Kathirgamam in a jungle in southern Lanka. A historical temple of Kathirgmam exists in that village, looked after by Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists. The river Manickka ganga flows through that village. As Valli
was a Veddah girl ( Hunter’s daughter), puja is done in a typical Sinhalese style with Sinhalese damsels dressed like Veddah girls, serving Prasadam. The mouth of the priest is tied with a cloth and puja carried out and only he is permitted to
enter the inner sanctum where a holy Yantra is kept. Devotees believe that a strong Yantra exists in the heart of the temple, and once in a way it is taken out in a box on procession on the back of an Elephant.
According to legend, Karthgeyan, the second
son of Siva and Parvathy has two wives, namely Deivayani, with North Indian Ariyan connection and Valli with the Dravidian link. Deivayani represents spirituality and Valli the love within the soul.
Devotees of Murugan carry Kavadi ( Carrying
stick), climbing the rock. Some devotees pierce their cheeks with sharp spears. They shave the head symbolizing the incident that took place between Karthigeyan and his father Shiva over a Mango fruit. In anger Karthigeyan shaved his head because he
lost the contest with Ganesh and went and meditated with only a loin cloth to hide his genitals.
Kathirgamam (A village where Sithars lived)
Kathir refers to paddy. Gamam is aclled Kiramam which means viallage. Combining
both we can infer it as the village where paddy is grown. Veddha community who are belived to be the decent of Kuveni was chased from North western Sri Lanka when Vijyakumaran fell out with his wife Kuveni. He marries a pricess from Madurai. Kuveni and children
moved to the fotrests in Uva province. This how the legendray story of Veddah community known to the singhalese people. Veddaha are hunting and farming community. They used spear for hunting. They worshiped spear as the symbol of their god. It is believed
that Spear the symbol of Murugan started as theicon worshiped by Veddahs. Morover legendary story about V the love affir between the veddah girl Valli and Murugan took place in the farm land in Kathiragamam. Murugan’s brother Ganesha (Elephan)t
helped him to get married to Valli. The ecne of the Murugan Valli story was written the environmnet of Kathirgamam in Yala santuary, paddy fields, Veddha community, elephants. It is traditional practice which exits even now that girls from Veddha community
take part in pujas by sereving prsadam to God Murugan. The temple for Murugan in Kathirgamam is located 228 Km south east of Colombo. ‘Gamam means farming village area. Kathir, which means paddy. Hence Kathirgamam means a village where paddy is
grown. The area was once infested with elephants and wild animals. A river named Maanika ganga flows through this village. From 1972, devotees started walking more than 400 miles from Northern Lanka, along the eastern coastal area via Trincomalee, Batticaloa,
Pothuvil to Kathirgamam. According to Sinhalese, historians, Kathirgamam temple was constructed 1st century BC by King Dutugemunu. Dutugemunu was the son of Viharamahdevei, wife, of Kavantissa. She ruled Kirinda an area near
the Yala games sanctuary. Before going to war with the Tamil Chola king Ellalan in Anuradhapura, Dutugemunu meditated in the bank of the river Mannicka ganga, prayed for help from Murugan and went to the battle. When he won the war, he became a strong
devotee of Murugan.
There are several curtains that hang in the moolasthanam to hide the Yantra and the priest who does the puja is called Kappurala. Unlike in mnay Murugan temples in other provinces the priest tie shis mouth with cloth when performing
Puja. Thjere is no idol taken out in procession after the Puja. No one knows what is behind the curtain which only shows the painted picture of Karthigeta.
There are many interesting stories that happened in Kathirgamam, which prove the greatness and
purity of the temple. During 203 AD, Babaji Nadaraj born in south India, At the age of eleven went to Kathirgamam in search of his guru Boganathar sithar. Under a banyan tree Babaji meditated for six months. At the start he meditated for 24 hours
and later he reached a level of meditating continuously for 48 days. The banyan tree under which the Babaji meditated was cut down by a person, he became mad and committed suicide. There is a small black stone statue on the outside veethy of the main Kathirgamam
temple of this deathless Saint Babaji who introduced Kriya Yoga to humanity as well as Devayanai worship and a temple for her exists there now..
Kalyangiri Swami was responsible for Kathirgamam to become popular in India, during 16th
century, He was called Muthulinga swamigal in Lanka. After Kalyanagiri swamigal,” Paalkudi baba” became popular. He was a Brahmin from Allahabad. Since he had the habit of drinking milk very often, he got the name Palkudi baba
A king who had no children , prayed at Kathirgamam , promising that if a child is born to him, he will donate the child to the temple. A beautiful daughter by the name Balasundari was born to the king. The king took the daughter to Kathirgamam
and left her there to serve God. She became a nun for the temple. The Kandyan king Rajasinghe came to know about the beauty of Balasundari and send a request for her to marry him. She refused the king’s request to marry him. He ordered few of his soldiers
to go to Kathirgamam, arrest and bring her by force to him. Balasundari prayed to God Murugan to save her. God fulfilled her request.. At that time British forces invaded the Kandyan kingdom, arrested the king and took him as prisoner to Velore in Tamil
Nadu. The king ultimately died in Velore. She lived until she became old and after her assistant Mangalpuri swamigal lived in Kathirgamam. There is a memorial for her in the temple.
During the British rule, an administrative officer
who worked in the Badulla Kachchcri; as Justice of peace, suffered from a serious illness. He was worried that he did not get any promotion because of his illness. His sickness could not be cured. He prayed to God Kathiragamam and went to
the temple. He met Paalkudi Baba and prayed explaining his sickness. While one day when he was talking with the devotees about the greatness of Kathiragamam God, a madman met him, and said “when you return to Badulla Kachcheri, you will get
a transfer order to go to North. As per the mad man’s prediction he was transferred to the northern province, where he met an Ayurvedic physician and had treatment. His sickness was cured and became strong devotee of God Kathirgamam.
In my experience
in Kahirgaman, when I went with my parents, sister and brother during 1950’’s to fulfill a vow, the temple was crowded and there was no place to keep our baggages and sleep. We were tired after travelling 350 miles from Puttalam, by Train,
Bus and cart and had no place to sleep. My father was a Murugan devotee as our house in Jaffna house was closer to the Nallur Murugan temple. He prayed to Murugan of Kathirgamam..“ He cried saying “ Muruga, I have come to see you from a long
distance with my family. Please do not leave my family alone. At that time an old man with holy ash and sandle wood pottu in his forehead, approached my father and said “ Aiyah do you want a place to keep your things and rest? Come with me
I will show you a room. You will be safe there” My father could not believe it.. The old man disappeared after few minutes after getting him a room to rest. My father searched for him to thank him but could not meet him. He thought that it was Kathirgama
Murugan who helped him.
Long ago there was sanctity in the temple. Devotees crossed the Manicka ganga (river) on a hanging bridge. There were no big hotels. Ramakrishna mission provided resting place and free food for devotees. Many business men
from south, provided rice and vegetables free of cost to the Mission. But political leadership upset the free service provided by the mission. Hotels were constructed. in due course, Liqueor and Non vegetarian food were served. In 50’s, devotees
walked 11 miles and also went by cart from Tissamaharagama, a village west of Kathiragama. But things changed and bus service is now available. up to the door steps. It is the respect and love for him that is required by Kathirgama Murugan. Many Sithars
(Yogis) and great men lived, meditated and attained samadhi. there and great vibrational energy exits in that environment.
Sella Kathirgammam is a place where Ganesh temple is located 3 miles northwest of Kathirgammam by the side of a stream.
As per the legendary story Ganesh was instrumental for the Murugan Valli love affair and it is this place where Valli met the elephant when Murugan was courting Valli, Kumbuk trees provide the shade for the devotees.
Nallur Murugan Temple
The name Nallur refers to good village. There are many villages in Tamilnadu by the name Nallur. Even in near Poonahari there is a village by the name Nallur along Paranthan Ponahari Road. But history of Jaffna peninsula
speaks about Nallur Rajathani that was ruled by last king Sangiliyan. When we speak about Jaffna we cannot ignore the richest and well organized Nallur Murugan temple. The significance in that temple is, for several years, the ticket for a Pooja is charged
the same amount.. From the revenue received from devotees, Yearly many additions were done to the temple. Gopurams were built. Road diversion were done for easy travel of the chariot called Theer . The other significance of the temple is that punctuality is
maintained in conducting activities. Unlike in other Murugan temples a golden spear is used as the idol.
Nallur Kandasamy temple is located two miles from Jaffna town along the Point Pedro road. The temple has a long history and was attacked
several times. Today it is a popular rich temple and patronized by large number of devotees.. Historians are of the view Ukirasingan when ruling fell in love with the princes Maaruthapiravalli who came to Keerimalai on pilgrimage from Tamil Nadu. He built
a Murugan temple in Mavidapuram as per her request. He changed his capital from Kadiramalai to Singainagar. One time a place called Nallur in Poonahiri was the capital. Some historians are of the view the first Nallur Kandasamy temple was built in Nallur Poonahari,
a place between Paranthan and Poonahari. The name Nallur means a good town and it got its name from a village in Tamilnadu.
On the orders of Selvarayan’s son Pandi Malavan, Pandyans appointed a King for Jaffna and Prince Singai Aryan
arrived in Jaffna in 1200 AD. He founded the Arya Chakravarthi dynasty, which lasted 403 years. The prince Singai Arian came with religious priests to the Jaffna Kingdom and established a kingdom for himself with high walls, administrative set up, judiciary,
army barracks and place for horses and elephants to be trained. He was called Koolankai Singaiarian. He made an educated Brahimin Buvanekubahu as the chief minister for the Kingdom. First in remembrance of the Sivan temple he worshiped in Madurai, he
built the Kailasanathar Sivan temple in Nallur. As per the book Kailasmaalai, the temple was built in 870 AD Buvanekabahu. There is confusion in that date whether it is 948 or 1248 AD. There is nothing wrong in saying that Buvanekubahu built the temple during
948 AD in a place called Muthirai Santhai, on Point Pedro road, closer to the existing temple. The location was called “Kurrukal valavu” (Land of the chief priest). The temple continued to be popular until 13nth century.
was the name given to Senpaga Perumal, a Kerala prince from Panicker caste. Panickers are teachers of a martial Kalari art in Kerala. He was the adopted son of Parakiramabahu the 6th king who ruled Kotte. Senpaga Perumal being a good warrior
and Brahmin, served the King as a mercenary. The King started looking him after and adopted him as his son. Senpaga Perumal was sent to capture Nallur.,He destroyed the temple that existed at Kurukkal valavu. To avoid getting a bad name from people
he reconstructed the temple in the same place and ruled the area by the name of Sri Sangabothi Buvanekabahu. Even today his name is honoured in the prayers said in the temple.
During 1478 Kanagasuriyan and then his first son Singai Pararajasekeran
ruled the place. To get protection from God, he established temples around the Nallur kingdom. To mention, in the west he built the powerful and popular Veera Maha Kali Amman temple worshiped by Sangili king. Sangili fought with the Portuguese
in the vicinity of the Veeramaha Kali Amman temple. In the North Satanathar Sivan temple, In the East Viyilil Ularntha Pillayar temple exposed to sun light and in the west Kailasapillayar temple.
Before the Murugan
temple was built in the present place, there was a Muslim Yogi and a Fakir by the name of Sikandar who was respected by people of all religions. He guided and fought with Tamil soldiers when Portuguese attempted to destroy the Murugan temple. He died
in the war. A vel was planted in the place where he died and people trust a tomb is there inside the present Murugan temple in the place he was buried. There is separate access for the Muslims to this tomb. Muslims are permitted to sell camphor
and things for Puja and have access to the tomb of the Fakir.
One time in Tamil nadu, the Tamils who became Muslims from the Hindu religion, because of the invasion of Muslims in Tamil nadu, called themselves as the Kantahsaibu group and migrated
to Kodikamam, Usan, Mirusivil and Eluthumattuval to do business. The name Usan ( Hussain) signifies that it was a Muslim area once. Because they could not do business successfully in those areas, they moved to the present Nallur temple area
and built a mosque.
In 1620, like other Hindu temples, the Portuguese after cunningly defeating king Sangili, destroyed the Murugan temple to the ground. They built a Catholic church in the place where there was the Murugan temple.
During 1658 the Dutch captured Jaffna from the Portuguese . They introduced protestant religion in Jaffna. They destroyed the Catholic church and built a Church of their religion. During 1734 a small temple was built in the land near Yamunari. They established
a Vel and worshiped it. A person by the name Don Juan Ragunatha Maapana Mudaliyar, used his influence with Dutch administration and got legal permission to build the temple in the present location. Krisnayar Suppiar was of assistance to Ragunatha
Mudaliyar to build the temple. When he saw the Muslims getting settled in that area, he tried to buy the land from them but failed. As a protest they polluted the wells used by Muslims by dropping the meat of pigs. The Muslims had no other alternative but
to sign a contract in that area. to move out from Naavanthurai to Sonaga theru and established their businesses. Many Muslims live there They gave permission for Muslims who wanted to worship through a door in the west of the temple.
In 1773 Aruumuga
Navalar wanted to replace the Vel and build the temple using black stones but that was not agreed upon . Moreover sacrificing a goat and applying its blood to the wheels of the cart during car festival was to be stopped. This action was taken to ensure
that when the cart moves in the crowd no one gets killed as such it is done as a sacrifice to prevent any accidents happening during the car festival. Now during Poongavanam festival, Venison is served in Prasadam. This is done in Kathirgama as well.
He also filed a case on the temple to show the accounts and won the case in his favour. The location where cart is parked is called “Theradi” . The location became popular because of Yogar Swami and Kadai swami meditated
Due to the ethnic war many people migrated different countries. The younger generation of the people who migrated are not aware of the past history of the temple sin Jaffna and how the temples were destroyed by the Portuguese, Dutch
and the Sri Lankan army.
Nallur temple was destroyed four times during different period but survived all attacks. Incidentally Karthigeya is considered as a War lord. In the south the Singhalese worship Karhthigeya at Kathirgamam. They believe that
his second wife Valliammah was from Vedda community. Legendary stories and the beliefs go a long way in any religion.
Maviddapuram temple at Tellipalai
Maviddapuram menas the horse face cahnged to normal fcae.
Maviddapuram temple, many years ago was a small place of worship. According to legend, the temple was built by the Chola princess, Maruthapura Veeravalli, who had been cured of her ailments and her horse-like face had disappeared after bathing in the
Keerimalai tank. It is at this kovil that the chariot stands to this day retaining much of its former splendour. The Chola Princess Maruthapuravalli from Tamil nadu was cursed and to cure her curse travelled to Kerimalai and prayed for healing. The water of
Keerimalai had curable properties. The king Ukiramasingan when he saw her fell in love with her beauty, wanted to marry her and kidnapped her. by force. On her request he completed Kanthavel Murugan temple. The king got down the statues through Kankesanthurai
for the temple and that is how the port got its name as Kankesan referring to Murugan. During 785 AD the temple was established. The title Ma in Tamil refers to horse. Since Maruthapuravalli’s face
appeared like a horse and was cured, the temple got its name as Maviddapuram. The temple festival starts one week before Nallur Kandasamy Kovil festival and ends on Adi Amaavasai with the water cutting ceremony. Five carts are used in the car festival. The
temple is highly orthodox and low caste people were not permitted to enter the temple. The area was inhabited by educated people and the place is called Tellipalai.
It is believed that god Shanmuga performs a secret dance on the fifth day of the Annual
festival and thousands of people gather to witness this unusual and appealing sight. The climax of this festival which falls on the last day, the 25th day, is the water cutting ceremony or the well-known Adi Amavasai Theertham at Keerimalai in the waters of
the Palk Strait, ever famous for its curative purposes. in May of 1872, a son Yogar was born to Ambalavanar and Sinnachi Amma not far from the Kandaswamy temple in Maviddapuram. He became a yogi and is respected by many.
A dent appeared in the
management of the temple owned by an orthodox Brahimin priest when low caste people from that area demanded entry into the temple with the help of Peking communist party. It started in 1968 as a non violent request but turned into a violent political issue.
Educated people like professors were against the temple entry. Many said that a temple is a place for worship for all categories of people. The reason given by the temple owner. A Brahimin was that cleanness and purity of the temple will be lost It is more
than purity, the temple high priest wanted to control the temple so that no one could ask for the temple accounts. It should be noted that Murugan is the God of the hunters, who could also be considered as low caste people who hunt and eat meat and fruits.
Selvasanithi temple (Sella Kathirgamam)
The other popular Murugan temple in the Jaffna peninsula is Selvasanathi temple near Thondamanaru river. This temple is well patronized by the Vadamaratch population.
Since travel to Kathirgamam took a long time, they called this temple as a duplicate and named it Sella Kathirgamam. Traders used Point Pedro , Valvettiturai ports for trade, so they worshiped Murugan and gave of their wealth to the temple. The
method of puja here is similar to Kathirgamam as the priest ties his mouth with a cloth during the puja.. This may be for avoiding pollution or following the tradition. There are 18 resting places called madams in the temple. Yogis have meditated under the
tree and the area attained sanctity. Karunakara Thondaman was sent to Vadamaratchi to procure salt supplies by Kulathunga Cholan, who reigned in Chola Nadu. The temple by the side of the newly cut waterway was the place of worship of the settlement that was
found in the locality. In order to transport salt from Navatkuli to the port, to export to Tamil Nadu, Thondaman deepened the canal and named it Thondaman aaru.
The annual 800 miles walk along the Esatern coast called
Ptha Yantra by the Murugan devotees to Katargama starts from Sellsanathi temple. The rituals during Puja is similar to Kathotgammam wgere the priest ties his mouth with acloth.
Murugan Temples in Eastern Province
Many parts of the Eastern province have thick forests and Veddah’s lived in these forests. They lived in places like Thambuvilla and Thirikovil. Eastern Sri Lanka is a region where various
ethnic groups, including the tribal Veddas, have long been living together. Tamil speaking Hindus are the majority group in Batticaloa; their social formation is based on a rigid kuti (matrilineal clan) system. This region is known for Kannakai (Pattini)
Mother Goddess worship and also for Skanda-Murukan worship. Skanda-Murukan is known as Vēlāyutacāmi, Kumaratan, Kumāratambirān and lately Muruga Katavul in this region. The cult practice of this region varies from ancient patterns to modern
types. Although Batticaloa district in Eastern Sri Lanka is rich in such ritual traditions, few studies have been carried out in this regard. This study analyses these Skanda-Murugan traditions in a socio-anthropological perspective. The traditional temples
of Mantur, Ukantai, Tanta malai, and Ciittanti. God Skanda after successfully defeating the Asuras was returning east, when he encountered the Vākūra Hills. The God in his anger split the hill into two with his Vēl. Three bright rays emanated from this, and
each one of the range traveled in different directions. One of these reached Mantūr and sheltered within the tillai trees, which came to be patronized by the Veddas. During the Chola period, Queen Cīrpātatēvi left for the northern kingdom (Cinka Nakar), but
before leaving handed over her golden vēl to Cīrpata family members, she requested them to cherish it. To this day, members of this group are given prominence at all temple functions.
The origin of the temple is centered on the Veddas, who for
their protection and safety used their weapons the bow and arrow as symbols of worship.
Another myth relates to the might of God Skanda-Murugan. A detachment of Portuguese soldiers after the conquest of the East advanced toward the temple to loot it,
but they were attacked by wasps. The frightened soldiers fled for their lives, leaving behind their weapons, including muskets and swords. The latter are still kept in the sanctum sanctorum as reminders of the power of the God residing at Mantūr.
permanent temple was built in 1215-1248 by King Nāka., and its structure is a replica of the temple in Katirkāmam. In the outer courtyard there are two smaller temples. One of these is for Theyvayānai Amman and the other for Valli Amman. In the inner
courtyard there are two shrine rooms: one for Pillaiyār and the other for Nākatampiran. There is a worshipping platform for Kumāra Tampiran. In addition there are nine stone pillars ās, each one representing Valli's brother and the other eight the Attatikku
Pālakar, meaning those in charge of protection of the eight directions.
Patterns of worship at Mantūr are ancient and virtually identical to those in Katirkāmam. The officiating priest is called Kappukanār, equivalent of Kappurāla in Katirkāmam. The
priest is chosen from the Cīrpata kulam (clan). The Veddas are also given equal importance; for instance, the Ārāti Pen or the woman performing the lamp rituals is chosen from the Vedda group.
Ukantai Murugan temple is at the foot of the Ukantai Malai,
a remote rock-hill on the coast at the intersection of the Eastern and Southern Provinces. Here the Murugan temple is at the foot of the hill, while his sweetheart Valli occupies the peak. This is another place where King Rāvana is said to have rested and
worshipped on his way to Kōnēcvaram in Trincomalee. The theme of taking rest is reflected in the name Ukantai, for it is said that here Lord Murugan and others 'sat down' (utkantār) and rested.
According to another myth, the third ray from Vākura Hill
reached here and came to rest on this hilltop, making it a favorite site for Murugan worship. There is yet a third myth according to which, Valli and Murugan arrived in separate stone boats (which still rest on the beach) to reside on top of the Ukantai Malai.
The temple is located along the eastern shores of the country, along which the pilgrims walk to Katirkāmam. In places like Pānama and Kumana, which are close to Ukantai, Tamils and Sinhalese lived in harmony even down to the present day.
offer as in other temples cooked food, fruits etc. Some of them prepare milk rice and sweet meats in the outer courtyard. At present soldiers as well as local villagers offer live poultry to the deity requesting his protection.