Naguleswaram Temple,Keerimalai,Dambakola Patuna,Kankesanthurai(KKS)

By : Dinesh Deckker
Contact the Author : | 0716- 818740
Year & Month Number of Days Crew Weather Transport
Dec, 2009 7 10 Sunny Van
Trip Route
Jaffna( B268) -> KKS
Friends House in Chavakachcheri

Travel Tips, Travel Notes and Special remarks
  • Special Thanks to Mathu & Family
  • Make sure you carry National ID Card
  • Respect people,traditions and customs
  • Get a local guide or try get information about the place visited as much as possible.
  • Leave only foot Prints

This travelogue is dedicated to Mathu & Family and My lovely wife Subhashini.

First I would like to dedicate all my travelogues written about Jaffna Penisula to all the people suffered from war, lost their lives, lost their houses, lost their children and for people who lost everything in front of their own eyes. Also I would like to dedicate this to all the soldiers who sacrificed their lives and who were injured. Because of you we were able to travel freely. So all the credit of my travelogue goes to brave soldiers stationed in Jaffna peninsula. Also I would like to dedicate my travelogue to my fiancé. Without you nothing would have been possible.

This is the one before the last (Karainagar | Point Pedro) trip report on my trip report series on Jaffna you can see the other trip reports below:

1.) Jaffna | Chavekacheri Travelogue

2.) Kayts, Pungudutivu and Nagadipa (Nagadeepa) Travelogue

3.) Delft – The largest island in Sri Lanka (Neduntheevu | Neduntivu) Travelogue

We had a wonderful breakfast prepared by Mathu’s mother and started the journey from Chavakachcheri around 7AM. We traveled with Mathu’s fathers van and the driver uncle couldn’t speak Sinhala but what he explained was translated to us by our good friend Mathu. Anyway we first used A9 to go to Jaffna and then used B268 to go to Kankesanthurai.

On our way to KKS we stopped at Nilavarai to visit an interesting natural underground Water well where the water never gets depleted and it serves the irrigation of the neighboring fields. The color of the water was blue. According to the driver uncle, the well is connected to KKS sea which is many miles away. he also said 2 people drowned in this well were found in KKS shore.

We stayed there for a while and continued the journey towards Kansasanthurei. our first attrction was “Naguleswaram temple”. At some point, before few kilometers to the temple, there was a NAVY checkpoint our vehicle was stopped and fully checked and a NAVY officer escorted us up to the Kovil. The road divided in to two on our way and one road leads to “Dambakola Patuna” and other leads to “Naguleswaram temple”. I heard the kovil was closed for so many years due to the war dragged more than 30 years.

Luckily there was some kind of special ceremony and we were offered some sweets by the NAVY officers. I must say, the NAVY is doing a great service towards the people of Jaffna peninsula and specially on coastal areas.

While we were browsing we came across some sacred item looked similar to an egg. We inquired about it and to see those are stones brought from India. The stones were found in Deep Sea and it has some designs on them and it’s all naturally formed rock which is an amazing creation of mother nature.

Naguleswaram temple also Keerimalai Kovil is a Hindu temple which is north of the main town of Jaffna, Sri Lanka. It is close to the port city of Kankesanthurai. It is dedicated to main deity in Shaivism namely Lord Siva and is one of the five ancient Sivan temples around the island.

The temple is situated close a mineral water spring called Keerimalai Springs reputed for its curative properties. There is also a cave complex nearby believed to have been used for meditation by a mythical sage called Nagula Muni. Further a local myth states that an Indian Pandyan princess named Maruthapura Veeravalli built the nearby Mavidapuram Murukan temple after she was cured by the Keerimalai springs.

After 1505 ACE it was destroyed by Portuguese colonialists. The final destruction was recorded in 1621 ACE. The local brahmin priests are said to have hid the main icons before fleeing the temple.

After sometime we left the kovil to visit Keerimalai Spring water pool located just few hundread meters away from the kovil and it was an interesting walk through history. The Keerimalai pool was so clean and beautiful. When we were there there was not much people interested in bathing but devotees had there sacred bath.

When we were there suddenly I heard a helicopter sound and took the camera out and captured a a very quick but memorable moment.
The Keerimalai beach was very nice and you can have a bath there if you want. While we were there we were able to witness remaining of 2 ships which was destroyed long ago by the LTTE. Also we were able to see Kankasanthre Jetty in a Distance.
There was an old abandoned church next to Keerimalai Pond and as a christian it was sad to see the state of the church. Anyway, after sometime we continued the journey towards our next destination “Jambukola Patuna – Dambakola Patuna”, which was a historically important place. We drove about 10 Km or more to reach the entrance . We were amazed to see the beauty of the stupa which was recently painted.

Dambakola Patuna or Jambukola Patuna is an ancient port in the north of Jaffna which was used during pre christian times. After Arahath Mahinda brought Bhuddhism to Sri Lanka in 250BC, his sister, Theri Sanghamitta arrived in Sri Lanka with a Sacred Bo Sapling one year later to this port. The temple Samudda-panasala ( Jambukola Viharaya) was built commemorating the arrival of the Bo sapling by King Devanampriya Tissa (250-210 BC). Later, the same king planted one of the first eight shoots of the Sri Maha Bodhi, on the same place where he kept the original tree before brining it to Anuradhapura. King Vijayabahu I (1070-1110) has restored this site. The remains of the vihara, such as the Buddha footprint stone and vatadage seen up to recent times no longer exist there.

This port gradually faded in importance while port Mahathiththa/ Mahathota/ Mantota (now Mantai) located at the mouth of Malvatu oya developed as a key intersection of sea-routes and the Dambakola Patuna Viharaya was lost in time. The Great Chronicle of Sri Lanka, the Mahavamsa and Samanthapaasasdika mention pilgrims coming from “Yonaka” country to Jambukola to worship the Jambukola Viharaya in the ancient times.

Unfortunately today there is nothing on the temple which shows any antiquity. Most of the structures in the temple including the stupa which has been completed in a record 65 days have been done by the Sri Lankan Navy. Even the current bo tree was planted in 1998 by the Navy.

Dambakola patuna beach was full of seashells and we were able to see Karainagar in a distance. The view was so beautiful.

After around half and hour we returned back to Jaffna and had our breakfast from Rolex Hotel which is a very famous hotel in Jaffna and relaxed in the afternoon.

Have a Safe Journey!

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Usually “Ambalam” were built in a chosen spots such as by the side of a paddy field or stream

Commonly “Ambalam” were simple buildings built by villagers on co-operative basis. They were consisted with a hipped type tiled roof on few timber or masonry columns. Perimeter walls were short and formed a seat for resting known as “Pila”.

Few were built totally with timber structures. In such a case, the Ambalama was built on four rock boulders to prevent from termite attacks. Panavitiya (or Panapitiya) was one of the said few.


Chamila(My wife) & I visited Panavitiya few months ago. Finding the Panavitiya Ambalama was not difficult although there was no sign board on the main road (Negombo-Kurunegala). The turn-off was nearly 3km before reaching Narammala town, where the road leading to the Matiyagana School. Having traveling another few kilometers we had to turn left again.

we reached the Archeological site passing a temple

“Sri Lanka Thilakaramaya“ the temple @ Panavitiya

With nearly 4km drive from the main road, we reached the Archeological site passing a temple. In the first moment, having seen the outside appearance of the Ambalama, I was also confused as like as most of the previous travelers, whether we had reached the correct place. But once we entered in to the shelter, we could discover the wonder of wood carvings that Panavitiya was so famous for.

The boutique located in front of the Archeological site

Little confused having seen the outside appearance of the Ambalama

wonders of wood carvings

Inside view

Beams, rafters & ridge plate

A dancer??

Column heads & wall plates

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