One of the many islands that are scattered around the Jaffna Peninsula, Nagadeepa (sometimes called Nainativu) is, arguably one of the more spiritual islands in the Jaffna Peninsula. This is due to the two religious places of worship – the Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya and the Nagapushani Amman Kovil.
Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya
Considered to be one of the designated Solosmasthana (one of the 16 places the Lord Buddha visited during his second visit to Sri Lanka), the temple was the place in which the Lord Buddha preached the virtues of peace, compassion and forgiveness to the warring Naga clans over the inheritance of a gem studded throne.
Every year, many devotees from around the country come here in the month of April, during the full moon of Bak Maha Amawaka, to venerate the Enlightened One. The Rajayatana Stupa and the Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya are believed to be the places in which a sacred tree and the gem studded throne was enshrined.
Nagapushani Amman Kovil
The Nagapushani Amman Kovil is famed for being one of the oldest Hindu kovils in Sri Lanka that also has a connection to the Naga tribes that lived on the island. The ancient kovil is dedicated to the Hindu deity of Nagapushani Amman. The many ornate entrances and the many sculptures that adorn the complex are a highlight of the place of worship.
More than 100,000 pilgrims from around the country come to the kovil, in order to celebrate the 16-day Mahostavam festival during the month of Aani (June/July), which venerates many deities.
❂ Useful Tips:
- Dress accordingly when entering the places of worship.
- Visit during the months of April, June and July, since the island hosts sacred festivals.