Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil in Jaffna (යාපනය නල්ලුර් කන්දසාමි කෝවිල)

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Nallur Kandaswamy Temple lies about 3km from the Jaffna town on the KKS (Kankasanthurai) Road. This is one of the most important temples in the Jaffna Peninsula and the most well-known. The history of the temple dates back to the time of King Parakramabahu VI (1411-1463) of Kotte Kingdom.

King Parakramabahu VI had two adopted sons, Sapumal Kumaraya (prince) and Ambulugala Kumaraya (prince). The king sent Prince Sapumal to the north where the South Indian Vijayanagar Empire was trying to attach Jaffna. The prince successfully drove away the invaders killing King Arya Chakravarthi, and brought his wife and children to Kotte. King Parakramabahu VI appointed Prince Sapumal as the regional ruler of Jaffna. It was this prince who built the Nallur Kovil for the Hindu people of Jaffna. Prince Sapumal later had to leave Jaffna to take over the Kingship of the whole island at Kotte. He was consecrated as King Buwanekabahu VI of Kotte.

The Portuguese who captured Jaffna in 1560, demolished the Temple leaving no traces in 1621. The temple then stood at Sankili Thopu on the eastern side of Point Pedro Road (The site was later used for erecting a Christian Church)

Jaffna again fell to the Dutch in 1658. They were more tolerant of religious freedom and the temple was allowed to be rebuilt in its current location in 1734 by Don Juan Mappana Mudaliyar as a humble temple dedicated to lord Murugan. The descendants of Mappana Mudaliyar, who were the temple trustees, had taken the task of restoring the temple to its present splendor.

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Map of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil

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Travel Directions to Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil

Jaffna can be reached through 2 directions. The first one is over the Elephant Pass which is the normal route to Jaffna. The other entrance is from Pooneryn over the newly built Sangupiddi Bridge. This road connects to Mannar.

Route 01 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Kurunegala)Route 02 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Puttalam)
Through : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Travel Time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Puttalam – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Travel Time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route from Jaffna to Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil
Distance : 3km
Travel time : 5 minutes.
Driving directions : see on google map

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