“The way you feel in the temple is a pattern for how you want to feel in your life.”
For Hindus, temple is a place where one can transcend the world of man. One such place is the Maamaangam temple of Batticaloa also called as “Mamanka” or “Mamaga Pillaiyar Kovil” by the local residents of Batticaloa. It is one of the most prepossessing sites you could ever see.
Maamaangam temple is located in Amirthakali; Maamaangam in Batticaloa. This temple has a very unique mythology behind it. Initially, Maamaangam temple was called as “Maamaangam Pillaiyar” temple, dedicated to Lord Ganesh only. It is believed that the residents of Batticaloa worshipped Lord Shiva (The Creator and Destroyer) and his son Lord Ganesh together as one, designating them by the Vedic Mantra “ohm”.
Maamaangam is believed to be the place where Ram worshipped Lord Shiva for his wife Sita, offering him lump rice. This lump then changed into “The lingam”. Hence the Lingam and Ganesh came into co-existence thereby giving the name, Maamaangam Eishwara to the temple. The Lingam statue is placed in the Moolasthana (sanctum-sanctorum) and in front of it is the Ganesh or Pillaiyar. One must definitely know about the incident that took place during the reconstruction of the Maamaangam temple back in the 1880s, it was then the Lingam statue was required to be shifted aside from the Moolasthana (sanctum-sanctorum) for expansion purposes, even though the floor was dug so deep that the water level was reached, the Lingam couldn’t be moved an inch by the workers and it remains in the same position till today.
Another interesting incident that involves Maamaangam temple is the pond found behind it.
When Ravan kidnapped Sita, wife of Ram and bought her to Srilanka.Ram and Hanuman came to Srilanka in search of Sita crossing the sea from India. After this, Ram went to worship the Lords while Hanuman went on a search for Sita. He found Sita and she handed him her ring to give it to Ram as identification. This was when his rivals, the disciples of Ravan ignited his tail and set him off, inviting Ram for war. Hanuman filled with rage set the whole of Srilanka on fire, destroyed almost all of Ravan’s kingdom and at last reached the Maamaangam pond where he doused his tail. Because of this incident, the soil of Batticaloa remains warm even today. Hence, cultivation of all crop varieties is not possible in Batticaloa.
A temple with such an exotic mythological background isn’t it.
Every year The “Aadi Amawasai” festival is conducted at the Maamaangam temple, this goes on for about 10 days in the month of August making Maamaangam temple a place of festivities during this time of the year. Poojas are conducted on all the 10 days and on Aadi Amavasai, an auspicious day when the alignment of the sun and the moon occurs, Hindus perform their rites for their elders whom they have lost. The sun is dedicated to the fathers and the moon to the mothers. Children of dead parents congregate at the temple, meditate and listen to prayers after which they perform the Thaanam; it is a ritual where food and clothes are offered to the needy. Further, a huge puja is conducted along with a teertham .On all the 10 days; you would notice the periphery of the temple grounds filled by small kiosks selling a wide variety of items from food to clothing.
Maamaangam temple was restored few years back, adding on to its beauty and divineness. Gents are expected to enter the temple shirt less; it is a belief of Hindus that the hair found on the chest attracts good vibes. And also, one can raise his arms up and join them when the pooja commences as the axillary hair also attracts positive vibrations. Females on the other hand are expected to wear traditional attires like sari and churidar with gold jewellery (optional) for the same.
So, pay a visit to Maamaangam Temple and experience great divineness and peace.