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Hinduism

Munneswaram Annual festival

There are five “Ishwarams” dedicated to Lord Siva. Munneswaram, Koneswaram, Rameswaram Thiruketheeswaram andNuguleswaram are the five temples.

Munneswaram is situated at a distance of two kilometres to the east of Chilaw, a coastal town in the Puttalam District of the North Western Province. The temple which is on the Kurunegala road is easily accessible to pilgrims travelling from all parts of the country.


Statue of Munneswaram

The Munneswaram temple occupies a position which is in many ways unique. It has played a vital role in the development of the religions and cultural traditions especially of the Hindus living in the island over a long period of time. The peak of its development was during the period of the Kings of Kotte, some of whom are known to have patronised the temple.

As in the days of the Kotte Kingdom, Munneswaram still continues to be a focal point of Hindu-Buddhist interaction. The temple is supported and patronised also by Buddhists, who could be seen at the temple in large numbers during the festival seasons.

Further, there has always been free access for all visitors to the temple although the Vedic and Agamic forms of worship are observed here meticulously. Some of the festivals conducted annually at Munneswaram are of a special character. Besides, the Temple is of historical and archaeological importance.

The temple exhibits special architectural characteristics. Some of the principal icons installed in the temple are very old and had belonged to the temple before its destruction by the Portuguese in the 16th century.

At Munneswaram Temple all the rites, observances and festivals known to the Hindu religious traditions are conducted with a regularity and splendour that could be seldom be surpassed anywhere else in Sri Lanka.

Worship is conducted six times a day and all activities commence at 5.00 a.m. and end at 9.00 p.m. The first session of worship is conducted at 5.30 a.m. During the second session of worship the images of all the deities in the temple are consecrated and worship is conducted in honour of all of them. Milk rice made of a red variety of Samba rice is the principal offering to the Divinities.

The third session of worship is conducted at mid-day. At this time worship is conducted as an elaborate scale at the “Mulasthanam” and the Amman Shrine. The fourth session of worship is conducted in the evening which is performed elaborately at the Sanctum and the Amman Shrine.

During the fifth session, which generally takes place at around 7.30 p.m., all the images are washed, consecrated and adorned with garments and garlands and the offerings made to them uniformly consist of rice.

The annual festival at Munneswaram which lasts for a period of 28 days and the Chariot or Ther festival will be held on September 3. On each day of the festival, the images of God Ganesha, God Skanda, and Goddess Amman are paraded round the temple.

The events of the last week of the festival are of special significance since during this period the images of the sixty three “Nayanmars” of the Saiva traditions are taken in procession along with those of the Deities. This particular festival is conducted only at Munneswaram in Sri Lanka.


Sri Krishna Janmastami celebrations


Lord Sri Krishna

The appearance day of Lord Sri Krishna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead will be celebrated on Friday the August 14 by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple, Colombo 13.

The program commences at 5.30 am with Mangala Arati followed by Nagara Sankirtan (procession of Baby Krishna), bathing ceremony of Baby Krishna with milk and valampuri conchshells will take place at 9 am where all the devotees will be participating in the bathing ceremony.

In the Evening, there will be special cultural program by the students of the Hare Krishna Music and Dance School and the Bhaktivedanta Child development center (Gokulam).

At midnight, there will be Maha Abhishekam (bathing of Sri Sri Radha and Krishna) followed by Arati, and Prasadam distribution.

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