Devotees flock to Naagathambiraan temple in Vanni

[TamilNet, Saturday, 22 March 2008, 00:31 GMT]
Annual March Pongkal festival at the historic Naagathambiraan Temple in Pu'liyampokka'nai near Kilinochchi was held Friday and continued throughout night to early hours Saturday morning, sources in Vanni said. Thousands from Vanni attended the event, but sources said, with travel ban through A9 from the north through Mukamaalai, and from the south via Oamanthai, the number of devotees attending the festival was significantly lower than the crowds of past years.

Naagathambiran Temple
Kaavady, a form of penance (Photo:
Heavy rains through much of the week did not affect the devotee turnout from areas across Vanni, temple administrators said.

Devotees annually flock to the temple to fulfil the vows, imposing on themselves peculiar forms of penance including Kaavady, and fire walking, to propitiate the Cobra god of the temple.

Devotees from Mannar, Jaffna and other Sri Lanka Government controlled areas were notably absent this year due to travel restrictions.

Naagathambiran temple literally means the temple of the Cobra or of the Naagar who are considered by some as the forerunners of the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Naagathambiran Temple
Devotees at the Naagathambiraan Temple (Photo:


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