Saiva shrines subjected to Sinhala Buddhicization in Ampaa'rai

[TamilNet, Monday, 20 July 2015, 23:09 GMT]
A shrine of Saiva-Vedda tradition, located 12 km southwest of Paa'nama in Lahugala division of Ampaa'rai district at the hilltop of Channiyaasi-malai, has been subjected to Sinhalicisation and Buddhisization after the area has been seized by Colombo's military from the Tigers eight years ago. Tamil devotees from Ampaa'rai who retured home after a pilgrimage on foot from Thirukkoayil to Kathirkaamam Murukan temple, which is situated in Moneragala district, told TamilNet that the occupying Sinhalese have relocated the ‘divine javelin’ (veal) and built a Buddhist temple at the hilltop in Channiyaasi-malai, which is situated between Paa'nama and Ukanthai.

Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
‘Foremost place’ to Buddha demonstrated at Channiyaasi-malai: Buddhist temple put up after re-locating the javelin of Lord Murukan at the hilltop
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Re-located Veal at Channiyaasi-malai. Lord Murukan is worshipped in the form of Veal by Tamil devotees.


Paa’nama was a Tamil village a few decades ago, where the Tamils identity has become insignificant today.

The Ukanthai Murukan temple of the Saiva-Vedda tradition used to be a camp and shelter for the thousands of Tamil pilgrims who annually go to Kathirkaamam by foot.

Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Saiva pilgrims at Channiyaasi-malai
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Saiva pilgrims at Channiyaasi-malai


Sinhala Buddhist monks have encouraged the Buddhist devotees to visit the temple at Ukanthai in order to facilitate Buddhicisation of the temple as the Tamil devotees in Ampaa'rai have been resisting the attempt by the Buddhist monks to erect a Buddha statue at the site.

Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Buddhist devotees visiting Ukanthai temple
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Buddhist devotees visiting Ukanthai temple


At Ukanthai, intruding fishermen from South have put up fishing huts at the ‘divine’ site of water-cutting that belongs to the temple which observes vegetarianism, the Tamil pilgrims from Ampaa'rai complained [Also see the TamilNet feature story from 2013 on Buddhisization attempts at Ukanthai].

The notice boards of Saiva temples put up along the Paa'nama - Ukanthai Road have also been Sinhalicised, the pilgrims further said.

Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Fishing huts set up near the water-cutting site of Ukanthai temple
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Fishing boats of fishermen from South at the water-cutting site of Ukanthai temple


Channiyaasi-malai is the third-day stop for the Hindu (Saiva) devotees who commence their pilgrimage from Thirukkoayil and walk through Koamaari, Poththuvil, Channiyaasi-malai, Ukanthai, Va'n'naaththi-veddai, Kumukkan, Naavaladi-aa'ru, Yala ( 2 days) and Veerachchoalai before they reach Kathirkaamam.

Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Buddhist temple [right] constructed besides Saiva Amman temple at Kumpukkan
A Buddhist temple has already been constructed at Kumukkan close to the Amman temple there, the Saiva pilgrims said.

Devotees from North and East use to walk through the jungles to Kathirkaamam on foot-pilgrimage to pay their homage to Lord Murugan and fulfill their vows.

Pilgrims on foot sleep and rest under the trees and in the shrines and temples on their way when they pass through the jungle path along the coastal areas of the Eastern province before entering the Yala sanctuary in Uva province.

In the meantime, Tamil sources at Kathirkaamam in Moneragala district told TamilNet that the Pi'l'layar temple situated at Chellak-Kathirkaamam is in a state of direpair as a result of neglect while the Buddhist temple put up right in front of it several years ago is being promoted by the SL authorities.

The Constitution of the unitary State of genocidal Sri Lanka states that Buddhism is given ‘the foremost status’ and that the State has the duty to “protect and foster the Buddha Sasana”.

The Western regime-changers and their agents in the UNP were also reiterating the position of ‘foremost status’ in the so-called ‘Singapore principles of 2013’ which were drafted with the intention of being non-descript with regards to a principled approach in resolving the national question.

Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Murukan temple at the base of the hill called Channiyasi-malai
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
The hilltop of Channiyaasi-malai with recently erected Buddhist temple, re-located Saiva Veal and an abandoned SL military post
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
The water-cutting pond at Channiyaasi-malai
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Sinhalicised place-name board of Amman temple at Paa'nama junction
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
Buddhist temple in front of the Pi'l'laiyaar temple at Chellak-Kathirkaamam
Kathirkaamam pilgrimage
The Pi'l'laiyaar temple at dilapidated status in Chellak-Kathirkaamam


Related Articles:
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