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Hindu Temples of Sri Lanka - Book by Professor S. Pathmanathan

Edited by Professor S. Pathmanathan, the book ‘Hindu Temples of Sri Lanka’ captures the progress of Hinduism in Sri Lanka through the Hindu temples on the Island Nation. The book delves into the different aspects of the ancient temples including history, architecture, administration, endowments, festivals, rituals and traditions.

The book contains fifteen essays written by nine authors. Majority of the essays are written by S. Pathmanathan. In the introduction part, Pathmanathan throws light on various cults and traditions of Hindu religion. Equally important is his thoughts on the contacts between Hinduism and Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

The book contains a map which provides the geographical location of the important temples. There are also images of temples in the book.

It is a historian’s history of the progress of Hinduism in the Island from the earliest times up to the present.

It catalogues, records and describes the history and in some instances the rituals, festivals, administration, endowments, architectural components and traditions of some of the very ancient temples throughout the length and breath of the Island, dedicated to Isvara and other deities from ancient times and their locations in the Island. There is a map which shows you at a glance where these locations are.

It is a work of painstaking research and comprehensive erudition. The book is definitely the result of deep study extending to many years. The ample Notes and References which follow each essay and the Bibliography at the end, bears ample testimony to the vast studies involved in preparing it. 
Professor Pathmanathan has packed in this work of over 460 pages vast historical facts of more than 30 centuries. 
There are nine contributors to this Volume, consisting of fifteen essays.

Of the fifteen essays that are contained in this Volume eight have been authored by Professor Pathmanathan. 
They are, Tirukketisvaram, sanctified by the hymns of the Nayanmars. St. Sambandar, Sundarar and Appar have sung its praises. 
Tirukkonesvaram, also sanctified by the Nayanmars. Its praises have been sung by St.Sambandar (7th C.) and Arunagiri Swamigal (15th C) The Temples of Polonnaruva, famous for its Siva Devales and the Bronze images dating from the11th Century. 
The Temples of Padaviya, a city that flourished during medieval times, settled by Nanadevis – a mercantile community of South India. 
Vijayaraja-Isvaram of Kantalai, a centre of Hindu influence in medieval times, Vikkrama Calameka-Isvaram of Makal, a Siva temple in the Kurunegala District the remains of which formed the building material of a Vihara where two siva lingas are built into the walls. 
Skanda/Murukan and Kataragama , needs no introduction Symbols of a Shared Heritage
Murukan the Divine Child: sacred to the heart of the Jaffna Tamil. 
The Kandacuvami Temple at Nallur. Mr.V.Varathasundaram, Author and Journalist has contributed the essay on, The Temple of Tampalakamam, erected by Rajasingha II (1635-1687) after the demolition of the Konesvaram temple by the Portugese.
Mr. Y. Cellaiya, Retired Teacher, Researcher and Scholar has written the essay on, Nakulesvaram, the Temple of Siva at Kirimali, associated with the wonderful legends of the curative power of its waters. 
Mr. N.Somakanthan, Retired Administrative Officer, Author and Creative Writer, Art and Literary Critic and Freelance Journalist has contributed the essay on, Munnesvaram, one of the five Isvarams, the beneficiary of several endowments by the Kings of the South.
Mr. V. Sivasamy, Former Professor and Head of Department, Department of Sanskrit, University of Jaffna has written on, The Temple of Kailayanatar at Nallur, constructed in modern times at the site of the historic temple of Kailayanatar, established as a temple of the royal court by Arya Chakravatti Mr.S. Theyvanayagam, Deputy Director and Managing Editor of Publications , Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs, Colombo has contributed the essay on Tantonrisvaram, Kokkatticcolai, in the Batticaloa District associated with the tradition of Virasivaism since early 13th century.
Ms.Thangeswary Kathirkaman, Author and Researcher, Member of Parliament, former Cultural Officer, Department of Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs has written on, Mamankesvaram, one of the only two temples dedicated to Siva in Batticaloa . Folk tradition claims it to be established by Rama after vanquishing Ravana and to propitiate Siva. 
Mr.V.Mathuranthaki, Author and Researcher has contributed the essay on, Ponnambalavaneswaram, at Kothena., established by Ponnambala Mudaliyar in 1856 and later reconstructed in stone by Ponnmabalam Ramanathan in 1909. 
Ms. Kalyani Nagarajah, Former Lecturer of History, University of Jaffna and Research Officer and Contributor to the Hindu Encyclopedia, Department of Hindu Religious Affairs, Colombo has contributed to, A Select Bibliography of Primary Sources and Books and written in both the English and Tamil Languages, in all 120 and 140 respectively.