Sri Lanka has several old and prominent temples around the island that hold interesting stories and are definitely worth a visit, most are them are the grand kind that attracts thousands of visitors, and then, there are other ones, like the Seenigama Temple, that are much smaller, but just as fascinating to see. Just a short drive outside of Hikkaduwa, the Seenigama Temple is located in a village that bears the same name. It’s a Hindu temple, devoted to the god “Devol devi” and according to historical records, is 1300 years old, however structural findings estimate the temple is only 300 years old.
Most visitors go to the temple located near Galle road; however the main Seenigama Temple is actually located on an island just off the shore. The island itself is quite small and the waters around are shallow but too choppy for wading; there are several small fishing boats and catamarans that ferry pilgrims and visitors across to the island daily, so if you’re staying in one of the nearby Hikkaduwa Hotels, like the Citrus Hikkaduwa, try and visit the island in the morning before it gets too hot and crowded.
There are many legends behind the origins of the Devol Devi but one thing is known for sure, the god is one who carries out vengeance and punishment. Devol is one of the gods many linked to Buddhism and folklore culture; his worship is predominant among the Sinhalese, especially by the fisher folk in the southern coastal areas. Pilgrims come from all over the island to perform rituals and pray to the god, asking for blessings and punishment against their enemies who have done them wrong. Devol dancing ceremonies and rituals are practiced along the coast and some are even said to guarantee the success of fishing.
Fritzjames Stephen is a travel writer, who writes content based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life. Google+