Did You Know
The ancient people of Jaffna District were the Naga clan – the Cobra clan. They were one of the 2 major groups that inhibited this Island. It is believed, that they either assimilated or morphed into the current population in the past 1,500 years. Still remaining is an area of religious significance to the Nagas called Maviddapuram – The Place Where Horse Face Changed. Naguleswaram, situated in Keerimalai, is an ancient 5,000+ years old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Just 2 km from this temple we find the equally ancient Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple. This temple is dedicated to Lord Kandan or Katharagama Deviyo. Lord Kandan is the embodiment of love and valiancy. The romance of this temple would quicken the heart of even the most cynical.
The Lovers and Their Temple for The God of Love
The time is 8 th Centuary. Young, valiant and handsome Ukkirasinghan Senan, was the much loved king of the Nagas. On Full Moon days, the King visited Naguleswaram for prayer and a spiritual bath in the mystic waters of Keerimalai Springs. Around this time, the cursed young Indian princess suffering from dyspepsia and facial deformity that mirrors a horse’s head, arrives from the mighty Chola Kingdom to Sri Lanka. To lift the curse put on her by a sage, she had to bathe in the Keerimalai Springs. As prophesized, miraculously she is cured. As a show of her gratitude and devotion, she begins refurbishment of a 5,000 year old humble shrine into a grand temple. Along comes King Ukkirasinghan for his monthly prayers to the Naguleswarm temple. There he sees the now cured, stunning young beauty and falls instantly in love. His request to speak with the Princess was rejected. That night the valiant King infiltrates her camp and abducts the sleeping princess by himself. The Princess informs the King of her vow of celibacy till completion of construction. The King then joins his resources to accelerate the construction of the Temple. This is the Maviddapuram Kandaswamy temple we see today. Construction was completed in 789 CE.
Head to Maviddapuram, trace the steps of the Princess from the place she set up camp, Kumarathi Pallam, to the Temple she met the King, Naguleswaram. Make a short stroll to the Keerimalai Springs. Visit the grand symbol of love, valiancy, devotion and gratitude-Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple. Here, search for the sculptures of the Lovers. View the amazing Floating Rock. The rock is said to be part of the floating bridge constructed by Indian Prince Rama. Prince Rama used the bridge to rescue his bride from the Sri Lankan king, Ravanan. The Temple offers a meal at 1pm. At the pristine Kankesanturai Beach, watch the sunset with your love.