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A visit to Nallur Kovil

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The Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil is one of Jaffna’s most significant Hindu temples and is the fourth re-built structure, since the original temple was built in 948. The temple is a socially important institution for the Sri Lankan Tamils Hindu identity of north Sri Lanka and for the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora. Located in the ancient capital town of Nallur in Jaffna, it is recorded that the center of the city was once a bustling market place, surrounded by a square fortification that sheltered courtly buildings for kings, Brahmin priests and soldiers. The old Nallur Kandaswamy temple functioned within this ancient defensive fort, among a city that was laid out like the traditional temple town according to Hindu traditions.

Experience Overview

Nallur was originally built with four entrances with gates, there were two main roadways and four temples at the four gateways. The temple has been gradually renovated from time to time with contributions from the general public. You will enter through the temple’s main entrance, which faces east with an ornately carved five-story tower in Dravidian architecture. The surrounding inner yard has shrines for Lords Ganesh, Vairavar, Sun and Sandana Gopala. The southern wing is where the holy pond and Thandayudhapaani shrine dedicated to another aspect of Lord Muruga can be seen. A locked underground cellar of the temple was found to contain several Chola bronzes from the 10th century that had been given to the shrine. The temple’s presiding deity is Lord Murugan and its idol goddess was received as a gift in the 10th century CE by Chola queen Sembiyan Mahadevi.

Includes:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

Entrance Fees

Duration:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style

Approximately 1.5 hours.

Difficulty:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style


Meeting time on location:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Meeting time on location:

No specific time.

What to wear or bring along:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
What to wear or bring along:

Wearing a white shirt is a good idea, it shows respect, but it is not mandatory. You will need to cover your knees and shoulders – and access the inner temple barefoot or with socks. You will find socks in the basket inside the vehicle and a sarong in case you need one.

Private or not?  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
Private or not?

The visit is private with your guide / chauffer guide / site guide.

In the know:  - Experience - Sri Lanka In Style
In the know:

The Pooja times are at 5am, 10am, noon, 4.15pm (small puja), 4.30pm (‘special’ puja ), 5pm and 6.45pm.




Managing Expectations

It is important to remember that, whilst they are experts in their field, the people who run or host our experiences are not necessarily used to working in the tourism industry and may not offer the level of service you would find at a five-star hotel. For example, instead of a formal lecture, you may get a relaxed conversation where open discussion is encouraged. All of our hosts are, however, extremely engaging, knowledgeable and passionate about educating visitors about their chosen subject and we have worked with them to ensure that they deliver worthwhile, fulfilling experiences. We welcome feedback, so please let us know what you thought and if you think any improvements could be made to the experiences we offer.

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