Friday, May 10, 2013

'Munneeswaram' temple, Chilaw, Sri Lanka.

Gilded chariot ('Ther').

Burning incense for a 'Yaga'.

The carnatic band.

A tree outside the temple.
The legend goes that there were five 'Easwarams' dedicated to the worship of 'Easwaran'- Lord Shiva, the supreme diety in the Hindu Pantheon, in ancient Sri Lanka. These 'Easwarams' were situated in Chilaw ( Munneeswaram), Mannar (Thiukketheewaram), Keerimalai (Naguleswaram), Trincomalee (Koneswaram) and one at the present Devinuwara -  Dondra. King Ravana of legendary fame was a devotee of Lord Shiva. Munneswaram by its name - 'Munthina' T earliest - identifies itself as the earliest of these Easwarams. One of the Brahmin priests officiating there claimed that he was the 16th in a generation of priests.This Shiva temple draws large crowds from the Sinhalese and Tamil populations of present Sri Lanka.