Welcome to Sri Muthumariamman Temple, Matale
The Hindus venerate in Sri Muthumariamman Temple for the goodness of Muththumari Amman (Goddess of rain and fertility). In contrast, Buddhists venerate Sri Muthumariamman Temple as a place dedicated to Goddess Pattini (Goddess of fertility and health).
The Dravidian architectural style used to build this Kovil. Also, Hindu people use this kovil as a large wedding hall from 1856 to the present.
Sri Muthumariamman Temple History
In the literature, the prefix “Muthu” means ”pearl”. Also, “Mari” means rain, and “Amman” means mother in the Tamil language. So the temple is dedicated to Mariamman, which means the Goddess of rain and fertility.
The history of Sri Muthumariamman Temple traced back to the 19th century. When we go to the past, the Kovil land was originally a part of a paddy field. In 1852, it was gifted by the owner to build up this temple. In 1874, the current temple built, and Nattukkottai Chettiar had funding for this task. Every day, both Hindus and Buddhists visit this temple.
However, there is some more historical evidence that comes regarding the establishment of this kovil. One of them is that this kovil established by the Indian Hindu community, especially the South Indian traders who lived around Matale town.
Another one is that one day a cute little child was seen on this premise, and the next morning that child had seen with beautiful dresses. On the same day night, Godness Pattini has appeared in a dream of an old pious named Nallamuttu, and Goddess had stated that the above mentioned little child was Goddess Pattini and requested to make this premises as a holy place for Hindus. Since then, this place becomes a Hindu Kovil.
In the initial stage in this place, the Hindus prayed to the small statue which was under a tree. But accordingly, it has been developed and built a colorful kovil in the middle of the Matale town.
In 1983, there were the anti-Tamil riots, and it caused damage to the Kovil premises. But it has been subsequently restored. The most visually dominated features of this temple are Gopuram (Raja Koburum), one of the largest Gopurams in Sri Lanka. It is about 108 ft high, and that is one of the highest Koburum located in Sri Lanka. In the Kovil premises, this decorated tower, situated above the main northern gateway to the temple.
Sri Muthumariamman Temple Opening Hours
After hoisting of the flags, the early morning ‘poojas’ start. The morning ‘poojas’ go until about noon, evening ‘poojas’ start at 6:00pm and continue until midnight. Thousands of devotees daily flock to this kovil to offer ‘poojas.’ Especially the newborn babies, newly purchased vehicles and some more things are bought to kovil to get the blessings of gods.
Sri Muthumariamman Temple Special Events /Festivals
The annual ‘Theru’ festival or the chariot ceremony is the most important, and that is a symbol of unity among Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians. It holds to evoke the blessings of especially Goddess Pattini.
The ‘kap’ planting ceremony is the first ceremony of the ‘Theru’ month. During the holy month, devotees from all parts of Sri Lanka and South India come to this kovil to offer ‘poojas’ and get the blessings. Both Hindus and Buddhists in Matale town decorate their houses and shops with traditional decorations like banana and areca nut plants, mango leaves, and ‘gokkola.’
In the Theru days, the statues of Lord Murugan, Sivan Ambal, Shri Ganeshan, Shandeshulary, and Goddess Pattini have kept in five beautifully illuminated chariots. The banana trees, ‘thembili,’ coconuts, and various kinds of fruits use to decorate chariots and drawn by both Hindus and Buddhists devotees along the streets in the night and day time to convey statues of Hindu deities around the town.
Every event of these holy rituals of this festival does, according to the auspicious time. Also, the highly educated religious dignitaries have appointed for this ceremony. It conducts according to the Hindu traditions and customs, taking the five ‘Theru’ carts out of the kovil premises to parade along the streets and bringing them back to the kovil are regarded as highly religious and sacred ritualistic performances.
In ancient periods, gods’ statues were taken around the kovil premises on the shoulders of the devotees before the chariots made. After that, the Hindus got together with Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians and collected funds to build a chariot to take Goddess Pattini around the streets. Later they had made three more chariots, and now there are five chariots.
The people believe that the Goddess Pattini visits the door-step of people who cannot attend the kovil to offer ‘poojas.’
The festival ends with the traditional water cutting ceremony.