Many consider Jaffna’s most famous landmark to be the Nallur Kovil, so much so that the city is synonymous with the name of the Hindu Temple. The Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil stands in the town of Nallur, and although the temple has shifted throughout the town during various times in Jaffna’s political history, the first temple is said to be have been built in 948 AD at Kurukkal Valavu.
If you’re visiting the historic town of Jaffna in August, then you’re in luck because you will get the opportunity to witness the popular Nallur Festival first-hand. It spans 25 wonderful days with colorful chariot processions, chanting, drumming, and dancing, along with awe-inspiring acts of self-mortification, all in the name of God Murugan.
As many as 30,000 devotees attend the festival each day and the hustle and bustle of the many temporary stalls erected along the road to the kovil in lieu of the festival is a feast for the senses.
While there are many rituals and poojas held during the time of the festival, the most popular is the Thiruvizla where the center of attention is God Shanmukha. who is venerated by thousands of devotees as they pull a chariot containing his statue down the streets to the temple.
It is a sight to behold and offers a real taste of culture and tradition to the outsider, and so if traveling to Jaffna is on your itinerary, make it for August so that you can be there to witness the festivities in all its glory. Fortunately, for the weary traveler to Jaffna there are plenty of comfortable places that serve as accommodation, the newest of which is The Thinnai, an All-Suite Boutique Hotel.
The hotel is top-notch and the staff will ensure that you get about safely while enjoying the Nallur Festival. There’s really no better way than this to experience the glorious city that is Jaffna.