“I never delimit my devotees by his Karma, nor do i differentiate between my Devotees”
The Pancha Eswaram (Five abodes of Shiva) were built to honor the Hindu god Shiva. The Temple are located on different directions near coastal area of Sri Lanka. Hindus believe these five abodes of shiva already existed during the time of Raavana.
Five IshwaramsThere were temples, dedicated to the Supreme Lord Ishwaran, on all the four sides, of ancient Ceylon. They safeguarded the little island from oceanic bed upheavals, convulsions and other natural disasters that prevailed in the region during the pre-historical eras. They were Thiruketheeshwaram and Muneshwaram Temples in the West, Thondeshwaram in the South, Koneshwaram in the East and Naguleshwaram in the North.
These five celebrated Ishwarams or Pancha Ishwaram Temples were important landmarks of the country and had India’s adoration. The erudite scholar and historian, Dr.Paul E.Pieris declared in 1917, at a meeting of the Royal Asiatic Society (Ceylon Branch), that:
“Long before the arrival of Vijaya there was in Lanka five recognised Ishwarams of Shiva which claimed and received adoration of all India. These were Thiruketheeshwaram which was near Mahatittha, Muneshwaram dominating Salawatte and the pearl fishery, Thondeshwaram near Mantota, ThiruKoneshwaram near the great Bay of Kottiyar and Naguleshwaram near Kankesanturai ” .
How each of these five Pancha Ishwaram Temples survived the ravages of time and destruction by foreign invaders, is the subject of narration in the following pages.