By Prof. P.Pushparatnam, Archaeological Coordinator, University of Jaffna
Recently a resident of Seruvila had sent a photograph of ruined temple to Manimaran, an officer attached to the Regional Archaeological Department – Jaffna.
The Architecture and the Art traditions observed in photograph resembled closely with the 2nd Sivan Temple of Pollonnaruwa and urged us to undertake a field visit to this temple.
During the early part of last month we, along with the Officers of the Archaeological Department, Manimaran, Kapilan, Project Director of the Jaffna Region Central Cultural Fund, Chanthana Maithripala undertook a field visit to the temple.
This temple is located in a jungle area called Lingapuram, lying about 10 miles from the main road in Kiliveddi area.
Prior to 1985 this area was called ‘Thirumangalai’.
Although, this area was densely populated earlier, post 1964 days saw people from this area started going and settling in other places abandoning area with around 7 mile circumference to be consumed by forests. As we were alerted about wild elephants infesting the area after 3 p.m. we were able to inspect the area for a short time.
However as we were able to observe a Tamil Epigraph in the area we decided to continue our exploration there. Along with students from the Archaeology special students and the officers from Archaeological Department, Manimaran and Kapilan we undertook an exploration for the last six days.
From these exploration, it was identified that a grand temple had been ruined and larger parts of it buried in soil. Ruined foundations, granite pillars and bricks found all around the temple premises, confirm that this temple which had been constructed with granite and bricks, to contain Sanctorum, ‘Antharazham’ Front hall, flag post, Sub-temples, and a boundary wall.
The sanctorum and its dome had been fully ruined and currently there is a small mound is found in their place.
Except for the ‘Komuki’ linked to the sanctorum, no alters, statues of deities or sculptures had been found so far.
Although the architecture, art tradition and the design of the pillars reminds us of Pollonnaruwa Sivan Temple, it could be determined that this is much bigger in construction. Several granite pillars are found scattered around in the temple yard. Several pillars are found buried in the soil. Five Epigraphs had been found from among them.
There are all the possibilities to find more epigraphs here. They are found to be valueless treasures in the research about history of Tamils and religion of the Tamils.