Dandamalai Murugan Temple

entrance to Dandamalai Temple

Tantāmalai Murukan Temple is situated in the south of the Eastern Province is about twelve miles west of Kokkatticōlai Tāntōnricivaran Temple, with which it has administrative links. At the top of the hill is a Pillayār temple, which is the oldest temple in this region, while the Murukan temple is at the bottom of the hill. The Valli Amman temple lies opposite the Murukan temple, and a Krishnan temple lies further away. There is also a shrine for Pujari, Dandamalai Muttulinkacuvāmi. It is interested to note here that the temple for Teyvayānai Amman is a recent introduction and was constructed only in the 1980s.

Initially Civan atiyārkal, devotees of the Lord Siva, performed the religious rites, but is now in the hands of the priests from Kokkatticōlai. Vannakumar manages the administration, but under direction from Kokkatticōlai. The annual festival is celebrated for twelve days, and each festival is given in charge of a village. During the festival, images of Pillaiyār, Murukan and Civan are taken in procession initially around the outer courtyard of the main temple, subsequently to Pillaiyar temple where special pujas are held. It is only after this that the procession returns to the main temple.

The temple gained importance only from 1956 when devotees had difficulties in traveling to Katirkāmam after the ethnic violence. Later, the presence of Mutiyan Cāmi in the vicinity of the temple attracted more devotees. This swami is the founder of the new cult group devoted to Muruka Katavul.

Information on this page is taken from
"Skanda-Murukan cult in Eastern Sri Lanka: Continuity and Change" by N. Shanmugalingam.
See also:
Sacred sites of Lanka map
Directory of Murugan Bhakti ashrams