COLOMBO, SRI LANKA: January 15, 2009: Thirukethieswaram, an ancient temple in Manthottarmam, in Mannar District,is about seven miles north of the Mannar Town. According to legend, it was at this ancient temple that Kethu Bhagavan worshipped Lord Easwaram (Shiva). Hence the shrine acquired the name of Thiruthieswaram. Iravana’s father-in-law Mayan built the temple at Thirukethieswaram north of Mannar. This temple dedicated to the worship of the God Siva has been most venerated for centuries and the holy waters of the Palavi Tank by its side are venerated in the sacred hymns of two great Saivite Saints, Thirugnana Sambandhar and Sundarar. This is one of the five main kovils scattered around the country dedicated to God Siva.
Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksha has declared Thirukethieswaram as a Sacred City for Hindus.This was the first time that an area where an old Hindu Temple is located has been declared a sacred city in Sri Lanka.
Earlier this month, Hindus met Basil Rajapaksha, Senior Advisor to President Mahinda Rajapaksha and the Chairman of the Presidental Task Force for Northern Development and brought to his notice the desolate condition of one of the oldest historical Hindu Temples, Thirukethieswaram. Subsequently he visited the Thirukethieswaram Temple and saw for himself the plight of the temple, allocating Rs500million (US$4.3 million) for its restoration.