|Hindu devotees flocked into the sea for a divine dip|
natural springs are known for its water and rituals. “Keerimalai” is a land of sacred springs and spirituality. Its water
with mineral contents is said to have curative value.
Hindus believe the
water here has miraculous powers to cure many diseases. According to many legends, the sage “Nagula
Muni” was born with mongoose face, so he meditated in a cave in “Keerimalai”.
When bathed in “Keerimalai” springs his mongoose face is supposed to have
turned into a human face. "Keerimalai" was also known as
50 feet above the main sea level, and situated West of Palaly in the Jaffna District. “Keerimalai”’s fresh water comes from an underground fresh water
spring. Hindus flock in large numbers on “Aadi Amaavaasai” day which
falls during the Tamil month of “Aadi”, to carry out rituals for their
forefathers, and take a divine dip in the natural springs. These rituals are
usually carried out by men. Famous for “Aadi
Amaavaasai”, “Keerimalai” continues to be the foremost place for it.
Access to “Keerimalai” was denied to civilians during the war, and was declared a
High Security Zone. Hindus couldn’t carry out the special rituals, or take a
deep dip in the sea to observe the special fast of “Aadi
Amaavaasai” for nearly 30 years. Since the war has ended in 2009, devotees have
been allowed into “Keerimalai”.
Spiritual bath in the sea
were allowed in during the restricted times to take a divine bath in the “Keerimalai” sacred springs, but were not
allowed to enter the sea. But, this year to observe “Aadi Amaavaasai” fast, a large number of Hindu devotees flocked
into “Keerimalai”, and carried out
the special rituals for their fathers, and forefathers. The special rituals on
“Aadi Amaavaasai” fast are conducted
by particular priests, who also carry out Hindu funeral rites.
Getting ready to perform the rites
Particular rites are performed
Fasting for fathers and forefathers
The “Keerrimalai” natural springs has two
separate ponds for men and women to take a spiritual bath in. Hindus observe “Aadi Amaavaasai” fast with frying a
special sour vegetable known as “Kaaththottik
Kaai”, and eat with lunch on this day to remember their fathers and
Freshly plucked "Kaaththottikk Kaai"
Men at Maruthnaarmadam vegetable market early in the morning
On the run for the rites
Scars of war
Click from "No Entry Zone"
Helping hand to the Chief Priest of the Naguleswarm temple Kumaraswamy Naguleswara Kurukkal
Worship on the boundary line
Maavai Kanthan on his way to Keerimalai for water cutting ceremony
Devotion with barriers
Decorated deities during the celebrations in Keerimalai
Flames of devotion
Water cutting ceremony in the sea
Traditionally dressing up to perform the rituals
Men taking a holy bath n the natural and sacred springs
Police officer with the footwear in the hall where Hindu religious rituals taking place
For traditional rites
Language matters ~ Notice in all three languages (Tamil, Sinhala and English)
Women devotees taking a divine dip
Rush hour of rites
Tray of offerings
Quenching thirst (hot coffee)
On Ceylon Today
COURTESY: Ceylon Today