Hindu temples in Pettah and Kotahena
Hinduism was brought to Sri Lanka by the Tamil kings are their followers in the 3rd century. The religion’s influence was particularly strong in Sri Lanka during the 5th century when it underwent a period of resurgence in south India. Today kovilscan be found all over Colombo. Many are situated in the Pettah and Kotahena, which retain a strong Tamil presence. Located on Sea Street, the New Kathiresan and Old Kathiresankovilsare hard to miss, with intricately carved statuary of Hindu deities adoring their gopuram. The two temples are dedicated to Murugan or Skanda, the Hindu god of war and son of Lord Shiva. During the annual AadiVel Festival, these temples serves as the starting point for the colorful chariot procession.
Another kovil worth visiting is Sri PonnambalamVanesar in Kotahena. This temple was built I the mid-19th century from granite believed to have been imported from south India. It is simpler in appearance than the majority of Hindu Temples; the grey-stoned gopuram here stands in contrast to the richly painted ones seen elsewhere in Sri Lanka.