- Published on Monday, 27 August 2012 20:47
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The Thirukethiswaran Kovil in Mannar is being renovated at a cost of Rs. 320 million. Funds for renovation of this historical religious site have been provided by the Indian Government as assistance.
India’s Minister for Culture, Housing and Poverty Alleviation Mrs. Kumari Seija, who brought the Kapilawasthru Relics to Sri Lanka together with Ministers Douglas Devananda and Rishard Bathiuddeen attended the function held for starting the renovation activities last week.
Addressing the function held in this connection the Indian Minister said that the 2500 year long Indo-Sri Lanka relationship has been further strengthened by various cooperation activities between the two countries. She appreciated the keen interest being shown by the Sri Lankan Government to renovate this historical place of worship of the Hindus of Sri Lanka. She said that upon renovation the Kovil will assume its pristine glory of the yore. She said that it was President Mahinda Rajapakse’s visit to India in June 2010 that paved the way to provide Indian assistance for the renovation of this historical Kovil.
According to the erudite scholar and historian Dr. Paul E. Peiris, Thiruketiswaran shrine is known to have existed for at least 2400 years, with inspirational and literary evidence of the postclassical era attesting to the shrine's classical antiquity The buried ancient port of Manthottam (Mantotai/Manthai) in the Mannar District where the Kovil is located has provided historians extant remains of the culture of the area during the ancient period. This includes the vestiges of its ancient temple tank the Palavi tank and the ruins of a former city built of brick. During the ancient period the port was a centre of international trade, with Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Arabs, Ethiopians, Persians, Chinese, Japanese, Burmese and others vying with each other to monopoly the trade in the region. (niz)