Seenigama Muhudu Devalaya ( Temple ) – Hikkaduwa
Seenigama Muhudu Devalaya is located near Colombo - Galle main road, just before the city of Hikkaduwa. This Devalaya is devoted to Devol God and is around 300 years old. But some believe that this place is more than 1000 years old, but there is no proven evidence.
Even though many visors go only to the devalaya in the mainland, the main devalaya is located on a close-by island. This one can be reached only by boat.
Many locals used to stop here while on their way down south. People come from different parts of the island to receive the blessing of God. Some people come to this place and do multiple special rituals & offerings and beg God for punishing their enemies. Especially if someone faced an injustice, if there was no other help, they used to come here and grid chillies. This is to request God to curse the party, who has done injustice to them.
Location and Access
Positioned alongside the main road, the Seenigama Devalaya offers easy access to those travelling between Colombo and Galle. However, the main devalaya, where the primary deity resides, is located on a nearby island and can only be reached by boat. The island is a short distance from the mainland, approximately 200 meters from the beach. Visitors must embark on a boat journey to reach the temple, and upon arrival, they are greeted by a flight of steps leading to the island, situated below normal sea level. This unique location enhances the sense of spiritual journey and isolation, making the temple a special place of worship.
The Seenigama Devalaya holds immense religious significance, drawing devotees who come to seek divine intervention in their lives. Many visitors perform specific rituals and offerings, beseeching the god to punish their enemies, particularly when they have faced injustice and find no other means of redress. One peculiar practice involves individuals grinding chillies, symbolizing their request for the deity to curse those who have wronged them. These rituals reflect the deep-rooted beliefs and traditions of the local community and their faith in the power of Devol Deviyan.
Apart from its religious importance, the Seenigama Temple is a prominent tourist attraction in Hikkaduwa. Its location on the coast, beyond the 96 km post on the Colombo-Galle highway, provides a picturesque backdrop and an opportunity to immerse in the beauty of the surroundings. The temple's historical and cultural significance adds to its appeal, attracting religious and non-religious visitors who wish to explore the rich traditions of temple worship in Sri Lanka.
The Island Temple
The island temple of Seenigama is situated on a small rocky outcrop islet, carefully designed to withstand the impact of high waves. The modest architecture of the temple consists of two unpretentious buildings enclosed within a protective wall. The Sinhalese name of the island temple is Seenigama Muhudu Viharaya, with "Muhudu" meaning "sea" or "maritime." As a Buddhist holy place, the temple stands as a testament to the deep-rooted Buddhist culture prevalent in the region.
Temple Traditions and Worship
Devol Deviyo, the patron deity of the Seenigama Temple, holds a significant place in the Buddhist pantheon. The Devol culture, associated with this deity, is widely practiced among the Sinhalese, particularly among the fisherfolk residing in the southern and western lowlands of Sri Lanka. Devol ceremonies are an integral part of coastal communities, with fishing success often attributed to the blessings and intervention of Devol Deviyo. The Seenigama Temple serves as a central hub for practising and preserving these traditions, making it a focal point for those interested in exploring Galle's cultural and religious heritage.
The Seenigama Devalaya, with its ancient roots and stunning location, offers visitors a unique blend of spirituality and natural beauty. The temple's history, combined with its religious significance, attracts both devotees and tourists alike. It serves as a place of solace and hope for those seeking divine intervention in their lives. Whether you are a spiritual seeker or someone intrigued by the historical and cultural aspects of Sri Lanka, a visit to the Seenigama Temple promises a fulfilling experience.
- Q: How old is the Seenigama Devalaya?
- A: The temple is believed to be around 300 years old, although some locals claim it is more than 1000 years old.
- Q: Can the main devalaya be reached on foot?
- A: No, the main devalaya is located on a nearby island and can only be accessed by boat.
- Q: What is the significance of grinding chillies at the temple?
- A: Grinding chillies is a symbolic act requesting the deity to curse those who have done injustice to the individuals.
- Q: Is Seenigama Temple only famous among religious visitors?
- A: No, the temple is also a popular tourist attraction due to its coastal location and historical importance.
- Q: What is the cultural significance of Devol Deviyo?
- A: Devol Deviyo represents a god of the Buddhist pantheon and plays a crucial role in the Devol culture practised by the fisherfolk in the coastal areas.