Day Thirteen – Temple Consecreation

Friday 12 Feb 2016

Today was an early start.  Consecration ceremonies at temple was beginning at 6am.  It should be finished by 7:30am.  Timing is important for Hindus who look to astrologers for auspicious times.  The temple is known as the Sri Katpaga Vinayagar Temple in the village of  Varivalavu.

Main entrance and Gopuram (tower) of Temple

Temple procession team assembles

Main hall in temple

Corridor in temple

Temple drummers ready for proceedings

Early worshippers at temple

Beginning of temple procession

Procession entering temple

Priests blessing main Gopuram of temple during consecration

Worshippers on temple grounds

Even in a remote village in northern Sri Lanka, leading edge technology is being utilised. Notice drones in sky that are equipped with cameras

Minor Gopuram on side of temple

Male team at temple – the group is made up of people from Malaysia, Singapore, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney and Sri Lanka

Another view of Gopuram of temple

After the temple proceedings, we decided to do a tour of Karainagar, the island from which my ancestors came from.  First stop was the famous Casuarina Beach.  It is more relaxed here now.  The last I was here 3 years ago, there an army sentry stationed here.  This  was followed by a visit to my maternal ancestral homeland.

Temple devoted to Lord Shiva near Casuarina Beach

Cow on temple grounds

Casuarina Beach in Karainagar

Looking at the lighthouse in Kovalum from Casuarina Beach

After Casuarina Beach, it was time to head for Kovalum, the village my maternal grandmother came from.  It is rough road that is unsealed.  No many live in the village now except for a few.  Our van driver could not make the trip due to road conditions.  We decided to use a Tuk-tuk to make the journey.  Vijaya negotiated a price of 600 rupees with a Tuk-tuk driver for us to make the journey.  My cousin Sangaran, Palini a close family friend and myself decided to make the journey.  We went to the first property that belong to one of our relatives.  Then we made the trip to the beach front where the actual land is.  Part of the land, as we thought, was occupied by the navy.  We later realised upon surveying the land, it was not the case.  To our surprise, the navy personnel were friendly and helpful.  This really surprised me.  The end result is that we were able to inspect our ancestral land with great ease.  Paling who can speak Sinhalese facilitated this.  We were also advised by the navy personnel to register our interest in the land with the Grama Niladhari, who is local village level government official who is meant to keep track of land in his allotted area.  This way if others came to ask about the land or try to assume ownership, this official could advise them accordingly.

Maternal grandmother’s land looking from adjoining properties owned by her nephews

Lighthouse in Kovalum

View of lighthouse from up the beach

View from Grandmother’s land

Grandmother’s land looking away from the sea

Grandmother’s land looking towards the sea

We decided to end the day by relaxing and recovering from the events of the day back at the hotel.  We needed it especially because of the early start.  Needless to say, I had a nap which I most enjoyed.

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