Kantalai Sivan Temple "Kumbabishekam" held

[TamilNet, Saturday, 04 September 2004, 14:06 GMT]
The consecration (Kumbabishekam) ceremony of the historic Kantalai Sivan Temple in Trincomalee district, which was built by the Chola King Rajendra Cholan around A.D.1010 was held Friday with Bramasiri S.Ravichandrakurukal, Chief Priest of the historic Trincomalee Paththirakali Amman Temple, conducting the ceremony officiating as the chief of a group of Hindu priests.

Kantalai Sivan Temple
Chief of group of Hindu Priests Bramasri Ravichandrakurukkal leading to conduct Kumababisheham
Several leading Hindu activists including Trincomalee district parliamentarians Messrs R.Sampanthan, and K.Thurairetnasingham, Mr.K.Thurairajah, Chairman of the Trincomalee District Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mr.S. Sivapathasuntharam, General Secretary of the Trincomalee District Young Men Hindu Association and Hindu Affairs Ministry's Cultural Officer Mr.S.Mahendrarajah attended the ceremony. Several Buddhist villagers of the area also participated in the event, sources said.

Kantalai Sivan Temple Committee President Mr.K. Raviraj presided a meeting after the ceremony was over. Chief priest Bramasiri Ravichandrakurkkal, Parliamentarians Mr.R.Sampanthan and Mr.K.Thurairatnasingham addressed the devotees.

They it was a red letter day in the annals of Tamils in the Trincomalee district, especially Tamils living in Kantalai which was a historic traditional Tamil village till the state aided colonization scheme reduced them to a minority. ''The glory of Kantalai Sivan Temple has been restored with the consecretation of the temple, which still stands as the pillar of Hindu civilization in the village,'' they said.

Kantalai Sivan Temple
Chief Priest pours holy water on Main tower ("Moolasthanam")
Kantalai is traditional Tamil village which is located about 39 km off south west of Trincomalee town on the Kandy-Trincomalee trunk road until the state aided colonization of Sinhala settlers under the Kantalai tank scheme, after Sri Lanka gained political independence from Britishers in 1948, reduced Tamils to a minority status.

When jungles were cleared under the state aided colonization scheme launched by the then Government of Sri Lanka in 1952, several ruins and stone scriptures of the Kantalai Sivan temple were found scattered at the site under a big tree where the ancient temple stood in a suburb called Peraru in Kantalai where Tamils were given lands. Fortunately as settlers in Peraru were Tamils stone scriptures and ruins of the Sivan Temple were protected from going to the hands of other forces, sources said.

The destroyed Sivan temple was first reconstructed in 1960 and the consecration was held in 1975 in a small scale. During the ethnic disturbances the newly built Sivan temple was also destroyed and Tamil families living around the temple were displaced.

Kantalai Sivan Temple
One of the stone scripture of old Kantalai Sivan Temple

Kantalai Sivan Temple
Devotees attending Kumbabisheham ceremony
Kantalai Sivan Temple
Stone scriptures and ruins of one thousand years old Kantalai Sivan Temple are now kept in a hall constructed by the NEPC with Hindu Cultural Affairs Ministry fund

Kantalai Sivan Temple
Front view of the newly built Kantalai Sivan Kovil
Kantalai Sivan Temple
Ruins and stone scriptures

Kantalai Sivan Temple
Consecration ceremony takes place on Main Tower of the temple while children hold flag

Now the temple has been reconstructed and the consecration was held Friday. The stone scriptures and ruin of the old Sivan Temple found scattered at the site of the new temple now have been kept under protective custody of the temple in a hall which was constructed by the North East Provincial Education and Cultural Ministry with the funds allocated by the then Hindu Affairs Minister Mr. T.Maheswaran, sources said.


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