‘Munneswaram temple was a Buddhist shrine’
By P K Balachandran - COLOMBO
17th October 2012 10:05 AM
Ven. Ellawala Medhananda Thero, a Buddhist monk, an archaeologist and a Member of Parliament belonging to the Sinhalese nationalist Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU), has questioned the legitimacy of the ancient Siva temple at Munneswaram in north Western Sri Lanka, saying that it was originally a Buddhist shrine.
The influential monk’s claim, which he says, is based on evidence, has stopped the temple’s plan to construct an 11-storey Rajagopuram (sculptured tower).
According to Padmanabha Gurukkal, the chief priest of the temple, the local authorities have refused to give permission to build the Rajagopuram until the Department of Archeology gives its green signal.
But the department has been dragging its feet ever since the monk said that the temple was constructed on the site of a Buddhist Vihara (monastry) and Chaitya (assembly hall for devotees). He had also charged that the builders of the temple had wantonly suppressed the evidence. Dr K N O Dharmadasa said that the monk’s evidence should be examined because ownership of places of worship had changed hands in the past. Dr Sudarshan Seneviratne said that when he tried to excavate in the temple area the then priest had refused permission.
- You are aiming high, but beware of marketers selling you as an FMCG
- With Advani visit, Modi begins charm offensive
- Social media goes martial over High Court's marital ruling
- Slum removal scheme tweaked to make it more effective
- Ready to tune in the lord, catch him up on Twitter
- 95 per cent stolen goods not recovered in Kerala, says NCRB
- Karnataka MLAs were frugal in their poll spending
- Now talcum powder linked to ovarian cancer
- Indian Coast Guards help rescue 26 crew from shipwreck near Yemen
- Thousands missing near Kedarnath shrine
- Army Major captures 'UFO' in Kerala
- Flaws in Koodankulam plant
- Learnt to embrace simplicity from SRK: Puvisha
- Prices of 348 drugs to come down drastically from May 15
- Callgate: Doctors were prime target for Biju, Saritha Nair
- Congress to vote in Nitish government's favour today