Northern Province

Keerimalai Spring Water Pond

Keerimalai Spring Water Pond
Keerimalai is a natural spring lying next to the sea west of Palaly. A bathing tank is built surrounding this pool and only the walls separate the waters of the spring and the sea. Although the tank is so close to the sea, the water is fresh coming from an underground fresh water spring in Tellipallai-Maviddapuram. The water is not hot. This spring is popular among the Hindus for the miraculous powers it holds. According to Local folklore a pandiyan Princess named Maruthapura Veeravalli built the Hindu Kovil at Keerimalai when she was cured of her horse shaped head after bathing at Keerimalai.

 

 

Nagadeepa Temple

Nagadeepa Temple
History says that Lord Buddha in his fifth year of Supreme Enlightenment visited Nagadeepa, his second visit to Sri Lanka, to settle a dispute between two Naga kings Chulodara and Mahodara, over a gem-studded throne. Filled with “sharda” (devotion) after hearing the sermon on “Metta” (loving kindness) and “Karuna” (compassion) preached by the Buddha, they had offered the throne to the Buddha. A “chaitya” (pagoda or domed temple) named “Nagadeepa Seya” had subsequently been constructed at the site in which that thronewas enshrined.
The Nagadeepa Purana Rajamaha Viharaya (Ancient Royal Temple at Nagadeepa) draws large crowds from all corners of the country due to its historical and cultural importance. The temple is today fully functional for the benefit of devotees under the patronage of the Sri Lanka Navy which carries out all its maintenance, provides daily arms to residing Buddhist monks and assists in the conduct of daily “poojas” (offerings to Lord Buddha).
Naval Personnel of the Nagadeepa Naval Deployment, which functions in tandem with the SLNS Elara in Karainagar under the Northern Naval Command, are always on hand to extend any form of assistance to all devotees and sundry visitors to this shrine. They help in ensuring safe embarkation and disembarkation from ferries which bring them from Kurikadduwan in a 15-minute ferry ride. Guidance and security for the visitors are also provided by them so that visits are completed without any hassle. Naval medical personnel stand by to provide emergency medical assistance when needed.

 

 

Nallur Kandaswamy Murugan Temple

Nallur Kandasamy Temple

 

Nallur Kovil is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the District of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It stands in the town of Nallur. The presiding deity is Lord Muruga in the form of the holy Vel. The idol of the Nallur Devi or goddess was gifted to the temple in the 10 century CE by the Chola queen Sembiyan Mahadevi, in the style of Sembian bronzes.
The fourth and the present Temple was constructed in 1749 A.D. during the benign Dutch colonial era by one Krishna Suba Iyer and Ragunatha Maapaana Mudaliyar in the ‘Kurukkal Valavu’, which is the original temple premise. Initially the Temple was built using bricks and stones, and had a cadjaned roof. The original shrine had only two main halls and didn’t have any clock tower, or any surrounding courtyard and an enclosing wall, or any ornately carved towers or gopuram.

 

Kadurugoda Temple

Kathurugoda Temple

 

There is a ancient buddhist historical place called ‘Kandarodei’ situated in the midst of palmyrah trees beyond Manipai about 10 Kilometres away from Jaffna. There are small dagabas numbering 61 scattered over about 1/2 acre land. Those small structures are constructed with ash-coloured stone. Some dagabas have only the foundation.A Buddha statue, Bodhisaththva statue, a stone scripture and some coins believed to be in the 1st and 2nd centuries were found in this area. They are preserved at Jaffna museum.

 

Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil

Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil

 

Original temple, supposedly built by a rich foreign trader who received blessing from Goddess Ambal Devi when passing by in the sea, was demolished in the sixteen century by Portuguese. However Ambal statue was hidden by locals and temple was rebuilt in 18 century. The actual gopuram was added in 1933.Many parents bring their new-born babies to this temple seeking the blessing of Godess Meenkashi (wife of Shiva) to whom this temple is now dedicated.

 

Dambakola Patuna

Dambakola Patuna

 

Dambakola Patuna or Jambukola Patuna is an ancient port in the north of Jaffna which was used during pre Christian times. After Arahath Mahinda brought Buddhism to Sri Lanka in 250BC, his sister, Theri Sanghamitta arrived in Sri Lanka with a Sacred Bo Sapling one year later to this port. The temple Samudda-panasala (Jambukola Viharaya) was built commemorating the arrival of the Bo sapling by King Devanampriya Tissa (250-210 BC). Later, the same king planted one of the first eight shoots of the Sri Maha Bodhi, on the same place where he kept the original tree before brining it to Anuradhapura. King Vijayabahu I (1070-1110) has restored this site. The remains of the vihara, such as the Buddha footprint stone and vatadage seen up to recent times no longer exist there.
This port gradually faded in importance while port Mahathiththa/ Mahathota/ Mantota (now Mantai) located at the mouth of Malvatu oya developed as a key intersection of sea-routes and the Dambakola Patuna Viharaya was lost in time. The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, the Mahavamsa and Samanthapaasasdika mention pilgrims coming from “Yonaka” country to Jambukola to worship the Jambukola Viharaya in the ancient times.

 

Jaffna Library

Jaffna Library
The library was built in many stages starting from 1933, from a modest beginning as a private collection. Soon with the help of primarily local citizens, it became a full fledged library. The library also became a repository of archival material written in palm leaf manuscripts, original copies of regionally important historic documents in the contested Contest[›]political history of Sri Lanka and newspapers that were published hundreds of years ago in the Jaffna peninsula. It thus became a place of historic and symbolic importance to the local minority Sri Lankan Tamil people
The burning of the Jaffna library was an important event in the Sri Lankan civil war. An organized mob went on a rampage on the nights of May 31 to June 2, 1981, burning the Jaffna public library. It was one of the most violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century. At the time of its destruction, the library was one of the biggest in Asia, containing over 97,000 different books and manuscripts

 

The Madhu Church

The Madhu Church

 

The Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu is a Roman Catholic Marian shrine in Mannar district. With a history of over 400 years, this shrine acts as a center for pilgrimage and worship for Sri Lankan Catholics. The site is considered as the holiest Catholic shrine in the island and is a well known place of devotion for both Tamil and Sinhalese Catholics alike. The church has been a symbol of unity not just between Tamils and Sinhalese, but also between people of different religions, including Buddhists, Hindus and Protestants. Attendance for the August festival at times touched close to a million people before the out break of the Sri Lankan conflict. Situated in the heart of the conflict zone, pilgrimage to this shrine has been dramatically affected in recent years with the presence of refugee camps around the shrine complex. As part of the conflict it has been shelled number of times. Now it’s free to travel to Madhu church and worship as end of war.
The Dutch invasion and the persecution of the Catholic Church in 1670, led to 20 Catholic families fleeing from Mantai, along with the statue of Mary in that church to a safer locale of Madhu. About the same time another 700 Catholics migrated from Jaffna peninsula into Wanni forests. When these two communities met in Madhu they installed a new Shrine with the statue.