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Standing tall amidst the vibrant landscape of northern Sri Lanka, the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple is a captivating landmark and one of the most popular Hindu religious sites. This ancient temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan, also known as Kandaswamy, who is widely worshipped in Tamil culture. Located in Maviddapuram in Jaffna district in Sri Lanka, the temple stands as one of the most alluring tourist destinations in the country. The temple has stood witness to centuries of history, enduring destruction and emerging stronger each time. So the next time you are planning a vacation to Sri Lanka, including Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple, it is a must to offer your prayers to the presiding deity.

About Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple Sri Lanka

Details about Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple Sri Lanka

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The Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple is located around 40 km from the main town of Jaffna district in Sri Lanka. It is one of the most celebrated and visited Hindu temples in the region that reflects the cultural and spiritual ethos of the Tamil Hindu community.
Inside the temple, Lord Murugan is worshipped for his valour, resilience and wisdom. One of the highlights of visiting this temple is taking part in their annual festival, which is the water-cutting ceremony at Keerimalai Tertakeni. The festivities are held between July and August.

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Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple History

History of Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

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Like the majority of the temples across Sri Lanka, there is a rich history associated with the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple as well. According to local lore, the temple was founded in the 8th century by a Chola princess named Maruthapuraveegavalli. The story further goes that the prince was left with a physical disability after she was struck by an illness. During that time, a sage advised her to visit this sacred spot and bathe in the holy springs nearby. Miraculously, following her bath, she was cured. To showcase her gratitude, the princess then constructed the temple dedicated to Lord Murugan.

Another legend suggests that the temple was constructed during the reign of Ukrasinka and his wife, Marutappuravalli, in the 8th century. There is another story of a princess who, an elder named Sadaiyanar, worshipped the Skanda Kumara and decided to build a full-fledged temple in his honour in the same place he was worshipping.

Over the centuries, the temple has witnessed numerous reconstructions and renovations, especially during the Chola, Pandya, and Jaffna kingdom periods. Not just that, reports suggest that the Portuguese invasion in the 16th century also led to the destruction of the temple. They were adamant about collecting the materials to build their Fort at Kayts. With the introduction of Hinduism in the area again, the temple was again reconstructed in 1782. During the reconstruction process, all the temple items that were initially destroyed were reinstated again. The only part of the temple constructed and reinstated in the 19th century was the main entrance, Raja Gopuram.

Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple Architecture

Architecture of Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

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Beyond the rich Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple history, another factor about the temple that’s crucial to pay attention to is the architecture. Despite the kind of impact and destruction that the temple has undergone throughout the years, it retains its architectural charm. There are multiple different structures inside the temple, each contributing to its unique spiritual aura. The highlight of the temple’s architecture is reflected by the towering gopuram or the main entrance. It is the hallmark of South Indian temple architecture.

As you step inside to explore the temple’s interiors, there are intricate carvings and vibrant sculptures all around, which add to the charm of the temple. There are scenes carved and etched on the walls from Hindu mythology. The main attraction of this temple lies in its main shrine, housing the revered statue of Lord Murugan. Sculpted from black granite, the deity is depicted in a majestic posture, wielding his divine weapons – the Vel (lance) and the Vajra (club). But, that’s not the end of it. There are additional shrines that line the sides of the main shrine, dedicated to other Hindu gods including Ganesha and Valli and Devasena, the two consorts of Lord Murugan.

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Best Time To Visit

Ideal time to visit Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

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The Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple welcomes devotees throughout the year. So, you can visit anytime you are in Sri Lanka. However, the most auspicious time to visit coincides with Hindu festivals like Skanda Sashti (a six-day festival celebrating Lord Murugan) and Thaipusam (a festival dedicated to Lord Murugan, celebrated during the Tamil month of Thailand). During these periods, the grandeur of celebrations is truly enchanting to witness up close. If you wish to visit when the weather is pleasant in Sri Lanka, the months between December and March are considered ideal.

Places To Visit Around Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

Once you finish offering your prayers to Lord Murugan at the temple, it is time for you to go ahead and explore the surrounding sightseeing spots. Despite being an offbeat location, there are quite a few different tourist attractions near the temple.

1. Keerimalai


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Keerimalai is a serene lagoon located in the Jaffna district of Sri Lanka. Legend associates the spring with Maruthapurevi’s transformation and is believed to possess healing properties. Due to its proximity to the temple, it is often visited by tourists once they are done offering their prayers at the temple. There is another temple located beside this mineral water spring named Naguleswaram temple. According to legends, the holy water in the springs has miraculous healing power.
Distance from Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple: 3.5 Km
Timings: 24 Hours

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2. Jaffna Fort

Jaffna Fort near Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

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To immerse yourself in some history, make your way to Jaffna Fort after offering your prayers at the temple. It is one of the formidable forts that the Portuguese constructed following their invasion in the 17th century. Due to its location on a hilltop, the fort offers panoramic views of the surroundings. Also, there is a museum inside the fort with artefacts and dedicated exhibits to offer insights into the region’s rich history.
Distance from Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple: 16.9 Km
Timings: 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM

3. Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya

Nagadeepa Purana

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For those interested in exploring Sri Lanka’s rich Buddhist heritage, a visit to the Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya is recommended. The monastery is located on an island off the coast of Jaffna, so you’d have to take a ferry ride to reach this Buddhist shrine. According to legends, this Buddhist monastery is around 2000 years old. It is believed that during his second visit to Sri Lanka after attaining enlightenment, Lord Buddha visited this site to meditate and settle the conflicts between two Naga kings.
Distance from Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple: 49.2 Km
Timings: 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Further Read: Uppuveli Beach

Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple offers a look into Sri Lanka’s diverse history, cultures and traditions. Despite the impacts, destruction and restoration over the decades, the temple now stands as a sign of resilience. It is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the depths of Tamil culture and Hindu spirituality. So, as you plan the trip details of your next trip to Sri Lanka, including this Hindu temple is an absolute must.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple

When was Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple built?

The temple is believed to have been established in the 8th century by a Chola princess named Maruthapuraveegavalli. There are several legends associated with the temple’s origins.

What architectural style is the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple built in?

The temple is built in the Dravidian architectural style, characterised by its gopurams, vimanas, mandapams, and intricate carvings.

When are the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple timings?

The Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple timings are from 09:00 AM to 04:30 PM.

What are the nearby attractions from Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple?

Some of the attractions near the temple include Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, Naguleswaram Temple, Jaffna Fort, Casuarina Beach, and Delft Island.

What is the significance of the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple?

The Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple is a prominent Hindu pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Murugan.

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Category: Places To Visit, Sri Lankan, Temples

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