Selva Sanidhi Murugan Temple
The Pada Yatra or the Foot Journey is a 2-month extended walking route started by devotees to show their gods' respect. People travel from one sacred site to the other, and it is a very long and challenging route. The devotees attend from the North to the South of the island on footing. They start the trip from Selva Sanidhi Murugan Temple and end off in Kataragama temple. They begin from Jaffna, then walk through Trincomalee and Batticaloa and within the adhesive forests of Yala national park filled with bears, leopards and elephants. The only occasion that the Government allows anyone to walk inside Yala national park is joining the Pada Yatra. This temple is dedicated to God Murugan.
The temple's legacy is intertwined with the spirit of inclusivity and religious harmony. Similar to Katirkamam, Selva Sanidhi Murugan Temple embraces a non-agamic approach, allowing people from diverse backgrounds to come together in devotion. This distinctive feature fosters a sense of unity and reinforces the temple's significance as a place of reverence.
The Sacred Location
Thondaimanaru holds a unique position as a tîrtham, where the freshwater flows into the sea. This confluence of elements elevates the temple's location to a sthalam, blessed with the triple adjuncts of tîrtham, sthalam, and mūrti. The auspicious presence of these elements enhances the spiritual sanctity of the temple, creating an atmosphere conducive to worship and introspection.
The Role of Karunakara Thondaiman
The historical roots of Selva Sanidhi Murugan Temple trace back to Karunakara Thondaiman, who supervised the excavation of the waterway in Thondaimanaru. Karunakara Thondaiman was sent to the region by Kulatunka Colan, a South Indian ruler who reigned from 1070 to 1118 A.C. The primary purpose of Karunakara Thondaiman's mission was to procure salt supplies, but his contributions went beyond that.
The temple, situated by the newly carved waterway, likely served as a place of worship for the settlement that emerged in the vicinity. Unfortunately, like many other Hindu temples, Selva Sanidhi Murugan Temple faced destruction at the hands of foreign invaders during the 16th century.
Devotion of Kadirkamar
During this tumultuous period, a devoted worshipper of Murukan named Kadirkamar sought solace and divine intervention. Distraught, he embarked on a pilgrimage to Katirkamam, where his unwavering devotion caught the attention of the deity. In recognition of Kadirkamar's dedication, Murukan bestowed upon him a sacred silver Vel—a symbol of divine power.
Kadirkamar returned to Thondaimanaru, bringing with him the precious gift of the silver Vel. He established a madam, where he installed the Vel and commenced daily pujas to honor Murukan. Over time, Kadirkamar's devotion and the sacredness of the site allowed him to assume the responsibility of managing and officiating the temple.
Management and Officiation
Since Kadirkamar's time, he and his group have faithfully undertaken the management and officiation of Selva Sanidhi Murugan Temple. Their devotion and commitment have provided countless devotees with a sense of piety and satisfaction when seeking solace, blessings, and spiritual guidance.
The temple's management ensures that the sanctity and traditions of worship are upheld, maintaining a welcoming environment for all who visit. The seamless administration and devotion of the temple's caretakers contribute to the spiritual growth and experiences of devotees.