Kantalai Sivan Temple ruins to be protected

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 31 December 2003, 00:25 GMT]
The North East Provincial Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs has taken steps to construct a permanent facility to safe keep all stone scriptures and other ruins found in the vicinity of the destroyed Sivan temple built by the Chola King Rajendra Cholan around BC 1010 at Kantalai, said custodians of the temple.

Kantalai_Sivan Temple
stone scripture of the ancient Sivan temple
Kantalai had been traditional Tamil village which is located about 39 km off south west of Trincomalee on the Kandy-Trincomalee trunk road until the state aided colonization of Sinhala settlers under the Kantalai tank scheme, after country gained political independence from Britishers in 1948, reduced Tamils to a minority status.

Provincial Education Ministry Secretary Mr.R.Thiagalingam laid the foundation for the proposed hall on Monday around noon near the site at Peraru in Kantalai where the old temple originally stood. Provincial Assistant Director of Cultural Affairs Ms N.Sri Devi, Director of Education Mr.S.Sivanandan and cultural officials Messrs Gunapalan and Anbalagan also attended the event.

Kantalai_Sivan Temple
Priest performs pooja before laying foundation stone for the hall to keep ancient KantalaiSivan temple ruins
Hindu Religious Affairs Ministry has allocated fifty thousand rupees for the construction of a permanent hall to house the remnants of the temple ruins. Additional money needed for the completion of the project would be borne by the provincial education and cultural ministry, sources said.

When jungles were cleared under the state aided colonization scheme launched by Government of Sri Lanka in 1952 several ruins and stone scriptures of the Kantalai Sivan temple were found scattered at the site where the ancient temple stood, historians said.

The destroyed Sivan temple was reconstructed in 1960 and the consecration was held in 1975. However the ruins and stone scriptures found at the site are still seen scattered around a big tree without any security.

Kantalai_Sivan Temple
More ruins of temple
Kantalai_Sivan Temple
Priest performs pooja before laying foundation stone for the hall to keep ancient KantalaiSivan temple ruins

Kantalai_Sivan Temple
Another stone scripture of the ancient temple
Kantalai_Sivan Temple
NE Education, Cultural Affairs Ministry Secretary Mr.Thiagalingam laying foundation stone for the hall


Kantalai_Sivan Temple
Kantalai Sivan temple is under renovation



Ruins and other valuables of several Hindu temples were also found in Kantalai area when jungles were cleared under the direction of then the government to settle thousands of people from the majority community in the south.

Since then Kantalai has become a Sinhala village and Tamil families have become a minority in their traditional village, Tamil residents said.

During the ethnic disturbances the newly built Sivan temple was also destroyed and Tamil families living around the temple were displaced. Now the destroyed temple is being renovated and the work has not been completed due to want of funds, sources said.

 

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