Munneeswaram, Ketheeswaram, Naguleswaram, Thirukoneswaram and Thondeeswaram are worshiped by the people of Sri Lanka as “Panja Ishwara Thalam”. The history of these places is closely related to the history of the Tamils; Talking about our culture, art, culture and politics; It depends on our kings who ruled across the seas and made the land prosperous.
Thus, Munneeswaram is a place that has stood and flourished during the era of the kings. The auspicious Eason in this temple is worshiped by Ravana; It is also said that he consecrated this Eason. There is also a Ramayana incident that takes pride of this.
Brahmahati Dosha was waiting for the moment to grab Rama Prana because he killed Ravana, a devotee of Shiva. Ramabran traveled with Sita in the Pushpaka Vimana through the sky. Brahmahati also followed him in black form. Rama also knew this.
Somewhere the black figure screamed and disappeared. Sita Devi was surprised to see this and asked the reason. Ramabran showed the earth below. There was a lighted Nandavana. Knowing that the very sanctity of that place had screamed Brahmahati Dosha, he landed the Pushpaka Vimana there.
Knowing that it was the place where sages and ascetics once worshiped Shiva, Ramabran consecrated a lingam there. Shiva performed the puja with the help of Sita Devi. The Thalapurana says that Lord Shiva was pleased and blessed them with a vision. Among the places where Rama worshiped Shiva, Munneswaram is said to be the oldest place before Rameswaram.
The temple that speaks of history!
On the way from Colombo to Jaffna, Munnes Varam is located in Puttalam District – North Western Province. This place is nicknamed “Munnai Ishwaram” because it has the temple of Esan, who has the honor of being the oldest in time. Similarly, “Munnai Natha Swami” is Thirunam for the Lord here. Vadivambikai is the name of Ambikai.
Passing the five-tiered Raja Gopuram and entering, one can visit the Sannidhi of Eason facing east. Eason graces the shrine with a square-shaped garment. People without religion come to visit him. They bring fruits and things to Eason. It is the belief of the devotees that if they worship him in this way, their sins and sins will be removed just like Sri Rama’s sins are removed.
This belief did not happen today; Continuing for thousands of years. Evidence for that is the reference to the kings who visited this temple. Legend has it that King Vijayan, who ruled this region in 543 BC, renovated this temple.
After Manu Nidhi Chola, the Chola Ganga Deva, known as Kulakottan, was the most famous king in the Chola dynasty. When he ruled Sri Lanka, he rebuilt Munneswaram and Thirukoneswaram temples.
Parakramapachu VI, one of the kings of Sri Lanka, rebuilt this temple with devotion to Lord Shiva. In the 15th century, Parakira Bahu, the ninth ruler of Sri Lanka, renovated this temple and arranged for worship to be held here. The book ‘Muneswara Mahatmiyam’ conveys these news.
The Portuguese, who invaded Sri Lanka in 1578, razed the temple to the ground and looted it, except for the moolasthan. After that for 175 years the fame of this temple faded. King Rajasinghan who ruled Sri Lanka from AD 1745 – 1782 learned about the glories of this temple and restored it.
The structures like the sanctum sanctorum of this temple are stone structures and in the style of Chola architecture. The double garland, which is a testament to the Chola architectural style, is found in the oldest structures of this temple.
Ganapati, Dakshinamurthy, ancient lingots, Durga and Brahma can also be seen in Goshta. This temple also has sannidhi for Maha Vishnu and Anjaneya as Bhudevi Samedara. The main tree of this temple is ala tree. An incident related to Vadivambhikai temple is told here.
Ambikai who came as a girl and became an idol!
Once upon a time a fisherman traveled to the banks of rivers to catch fish. He came to this place because of his good deeds. Here he saw a boy and a girl playing in one of the Nandavanams.
He wanted to know who the two of them were who were matched in beauty and Tejas and went near. They disappeared in a moment. Disappointed, the fisherman went to Nandavan the next day. And when he approached, the children disappeared. The fisherman felt both fear and surprise.
He wanted to know “what magic is this”. The next day he came early and hid in a suitable place. The boy and the girl came and started playing. At one moment the fisherman rushed forward and stood in front of them. Seeing him, the boy fainted. The fisherman grabbed the girl’s hand before she disappeared. “who are you?” he asked.
The next moment the girl became a statue. The fisherman got scared. The idol was in the form of a girl. Unwilling to leave the statue there, the fisherman took it with him.
At the same time, the fear that ‘this may be the work of some evil spirits’ also arose in him. That night while sleeping, Goddess Parvati appeared in his dream. “I am an idol. Don’t be afraid. Consecrate me in the proper place,” she said.
The fisherman, who woke up, took the idol to the king and explained the matter. Mannavan suspected that the fisherman was lying. He asked them to leave the idol. When the fisherman went, he asked him to make some other idols similar to that one. When they were ready, he placed this idol along with them. Then he brought the fisherman.
When the fisherman came, he said to him, “If it is true that Mother Parashakti appeared in your dream, then you must identify which of these idols is the real idol you have brought. If you say it correctly, we will accept what you say as true,” said the king.
Thinking that this was a trial, the fisherman looked at the idols praying to Ambal. Only one of the identical looking statues moved its leg slightly for the fisherman to see. Thrilled, the fisherman said that it was the idol he had given him. The king was amazed. He consecrated the idol in the nearby Munneswaram temple. Local history says that the mother who is resplendent with a magnificent form still graces the Munneswaram temple in her form.
Here the Tirthotsavam is very special for Mother Vadivambhikai which is held along the Maka Nakshatra of Masi month. Thousands of devotees will participate in this ten-day festival!
– The walk will continue