Nallur Kandiswamy Kovil is one of the most venerated places of worship in Sri Lanka. A sacred temple for Hindu worshippers, the temple was built in the 13th century in what used to be the ancient capital for the Jaffna Kingdom. This striking golden temple, a manifestation of Dravidian culture, is located around a 10-minute drive outside the city centre. The temple is adorned with a rich history that contributes significantly to the unique northern heritage of our island.
Why you will love it!
- Explore one of the most revered Hindu Kovils in Sri Lanka
- Wear traditional attire and visit the kovil like a local
- Get to know about the vibrant religious rituals of Hinduism
- Witness the architecture of the temple that has been brought down and rebuilt 4 times
What you will experience
Standing proudly in the ancient capital of the Jaffna Kingdom, the grand and golden Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil has long been a symbol of the region to individuals of all faiths. Experience not just the grandeur of the place, but also the surreal charm that is enhanced by the pleasant smell of incense, the sounds of the priests' blessing and the bell of the Kovil.
The presiding god of the temple is Murugan or Skanda, who is the god of love, war and beauty. The temple is a holy site for Hindus all over the world and is filled with intricate artwork and statues of gods and deities of the Hindu culture.
The Nallur Kovil upholds strict religious rituals and anyone entering the premises needs to be conservatively dressed. Therefore, begin the experience by changing into traditional wear; women in sarees and men in vaisiti, which is similar to a sarong. Next, your host will take you to the Nallur Kovil, where you enter through the main entrance – one of four gateways to this extensive religious complex. The entrance is framed by an ornately-carved five-storey tower made in a Dravidian architectural style, and the inner courtyard has shrines for Lord Ganesh, Vairayar, Sun and Sandana Gopala. Catch a glimpse of the giant holy pool in the southern part of the Kovil as well as the large garden on the opposite side.
Listen to the stories about the shrine's history and millennia-old religious rituals while you enjoy the feeling of calmness and a sense of relaxation inside the premises. Before entering the Kovil you should remove your shoes and taking photographs inside the Kovil is also not allowed.