Mandur Kandaswamy Temple

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The Mantūr Murukan temple is situated along the Batticaloa lagoon, about 20 miles south of the Batticaloa town. The temple is popularly known as Tillai Mantūr or Cinna Katirkāmam (‘Little Katirkāmam’). The temple is shrouded in myths; most of these centre around the Veddas, some of which are described below.

God Skanda after successfully defeating the asuras was returning East, when he encountered the Vākūra Hills. The God in his anger split the hill into two with his Vêl. Three bright rays emanated from this, each one of the range traveled in different directions. One of these reached Mantūr and sheltered within the tillai trees, which came to be patronized by the Veddas.

Another myth relates to the might of God Skanda-Murukan. A detachment of Portuguese soldiers after the conquest of the East advanced toward the temple to loot it, but they were attacked by wasps. The frightened soldiers fled for their lives, leaving behind their weapons, including muskets and swords. The latter are still kept in the sanctum sanctorum as reminders of the might of the God residing at Mantūr.

Temple Structure

A permanent temple was put up in 1215-1248 by King Nāka. The structure of the temple is a replica of that in Katirkāmam. In the outer courtyard there are two lesser temples. One of these is for Teyvayānai Amman and the other for Valli Amman. In the inner courtyard there are two shrine rooms: one for Pillaiyār and the other for Nākatampiran. There is a worshipping platform for Kumāra Tampiran. In addition there are nine stone pitās, one representing Valli’s brother and the other eight the Attatikku Pālakar, meaning those in charge of the protecting the eight directions.

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