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Hundred Hindu Temples of Sri Lanka: Ancient, Medieval and Modern Paperback – 14 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Ohm Books (14 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957502346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957502345
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,395,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hugh Karunanayake on 14 Nov. 2014
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Hinduism being a religion almost exclusively practiced by the Tamil community, it is axiomatic that most ancient Hindu temples in Sri Lanka were located in the North and East of the country where the vast majority of Tamils have lived for centuries. However it must be noted that the practice of Buddhism in Sri Lanka has incorporated, over the ages, within its traditions, the worship of gods of the Hindu pantheon such as Vishnu, Ganesha, Murugar, Pattini etc. Consequently, most Buddhist temples around the country have structured devales devoted to the worship of gods of the Hindu pantheon. This book however concentrates on the "stand alone" Hindu temples around the country of which there are many but with little or scanty information on their existence in books written in the English Language. Sanmugam Arumugam's book is therefore a very significant contribution to the available literature in English, on the practice of Hinduism in Sri Lanka as manifested in the hallowed temples devoted to Hindu deities.

The present publication consists of six sections into which the various temples have been categorised according to the deity venerated in each category viz, Vinayakar, Sivan, Murugan, Vishnu, Sakthi, and other lesser known deities. Each temple is described with much detail and description relating to the origin of the temple, its inscriptions, architecture, as well as associated legend and lore. Descriptions have been supplemented with photographs. The temples discussed date back to ancient times, mostly however from the medieval era through to the Chola period (980 to1070) and the modern era. Many Hindu temples were destroyed by foreign invasions during the 16th to 19th centuries and their cultural significance lost forever.
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Amazon.com: 1 review
Hundred Hindu Temples of Sri Lanka: Reviewed by Hugh Karunanayake 14 Nov. 2014
By Hugh Karunanayake - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hinduism being a religion almost exclusively practiced by the Tamil community, it is axiomatic that most ancient Hindu temples in Sri Lanka were located in the North and East of the country where the vast majority of Tamils have lived for centuries. However it must be noted that the practice of Buddhism in Sri Lanka has incorporated, over the ages, within its traditions, the worship of gods of the Hindu pantheon such as Vishnu, Ganesha, Murugar, Pattini etc. Consequently, most Buddhist temples around the country have structured devales devoted to the worship of gods of the Hindu pantheon. This book however concentrates on the “stand alone” Hindu temples around the country of which there are many but with little or scanty information on their existence in books written in the English Language. Sanmugam Arumugam’s book is therefore a very significant contribution to the available literature in English, on the practice of Hinduism in Sri Lanka as manifested in the hallowed temples devoted to Hindu deities.

The present publication consists of six sections into which the various temples have been categorised according to the deity venerated in each category viz, Vinayakar, Sivan, Murugan, Vishnu, Sakthi, and other lesser known deities. Each temple is described with much detail and description relating to the origin of the temple, its inscriptions, architecture, as well as associated legend and lore. Descriptions have been supplemented with photographs. The temples discussed date back to ancient times, mostly however from the medieval era through to the Chola period (980 to1070) and the modern era. Many Hindu temples were destroyed by foreign invasions during the 16th to 19th centuries and their cultural significance lost forever. It could be surmised that many of the temples discussed in this book have also suffered a similar fate during the ethnic conflict that enveloped the north and east of the country in the late twentieth century and shortly thereafter, a fact that makes this work all the more significant if not poignant. The book is encyclopaedic in character and is replete with a glossary, which is of invaluable assistance to the reader unfamiliar with the many religio specific terms used in it. This addition to the study of the Hindu religion in Sri Lanka will be invaluable to the student, researcher, and general reader. Thirumugam Arumugam deserves our warm approbation for reproducing this work. He has not only exercised his filial obligations but also contributed to a better understanding and appreciation of the Hindu religion as evident in the work of its votaries in Sri Lanka.

Hugh Karunanayake
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