Thirukketeeswaram Kovil information
Lonely Planet review
Between the 76km and 77km markers on the road from Vavuniya To Mannar is a large military camp and a big, colourful gateway. ID checks are still required here to pass through the latter on a side road that leads 5km north to Thirukketeeswaram Kovil. Thirukketeeswaram is one of the pancha vishwaram, the five historical Sri Lankan Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and established to protect the island from natural disaster. It’s an imposing site, with a towering, colourful gopuram that leads to relatively new structures. Pujas(offerings or prayers) occur at 5.30am, 8.05am, 12.30pm and 5.30pm, and are busiest on Fridays. Ranged around the temple are open-fronted pavilions containing five gigantic floats – called juggernauts – waiting to be wheeled out each February for the impressive Maha Sivarathiri festival.