THE MAVIDDAPURAM KANDASWAMY TEMPLE
Maviddapuram is a Holy village in the Tellipalai Division in the Jaffna District. It is near the Palali airport, port city of Kankesanthurai and Keerimalai. The Maviddapuram Kandaswamy Temple is situated along the KKS Road in Maviddapuram and the shrine is dedicated to Lord Skanda (Murugan), second son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. The annual temple festival celebrated for 25 days during the Tamil month Ani (June-July).
According to the legend, the Prince Cinkaketu and Princess Maruthapura Veeravalli, the children of Thissai Ukkira Cholan, Maharaja of Chola Dynasty, came to Ilankai. Princess Maruthapura Veeravalli who was born with the face of a horse, had her congenital deformity, which affected her facial appearance. The place where she was encamped has been called after her Kumaraththi-Pallam (Princess Valley). By the direction of Nagula Muni, Princess Maruthapura Veeravalli bathed in the sea at the spot where the sea receives the Keerimalai steam and preserves its freshness in the midst of salt water a spot more holy than all other sacred places in the world. The Princess remained a considerable time repeating her prayers to Lord Naguleswara and ablutions daily until the miraculous waves, cured her deformity and transformed her into a marvel of beauty.
A change in the name of the place preserves the memory of this event, hence (Ma means horse, vidda means removed, puram means holy city) and how the place Maviddapuram got its name. The original name of the place is “Kovil Kadavai”, which was changed into “Maviddapuram” after the above event. In grateful remembrance, the Princess Maruthapura Veeravalli wished to build a Hindu temple, at the scene of her recovery. At her request, her father Maharaja Thissai Ukkira Cholan sent sculptors and artists, building materials, granite, status, gold, silver, precious gems and metals.
Maharaja Thissai Ukkira Cholan sent a Brahmin named Periya Manathular of Chidambaram, to officiate at the temple together with all the necessary images. The Brahmin Priest landed at a port which from that date came to be called as Kankesanturai (formerly known as Gayathurai or Kasathurai) with the image of Kankeyan (another name for Lord Kandaswamy) along with other images Valliyamman and Theivanaiamman, besides a lot of utensils and furniture for the use of the temple.
Mean time Maharaja Ukkiracinkan made his third visit to Manattidal and being struck with the beauty of Princess Maruthapura Veeravalli, whom he met at Keerimalai. One night the Princess went to sleep on a fine couch and her tent was guarded on all sides. Maharaja Ukkiracinkan entered the camp in the middle of the night and boldly carried her away through the lines of her guards and made her his queen. It was a political move perhaps intended to raise himself in the estimation of his subjects, and to ensure the legality of his progeny.
Maharaja Ukkiracinkan assisted his wife to complete the building of the Kandaswamy temple at Maviddapuram, which she had begun before her marriage to him. After the Maviddapuram temple was completed Maharaja Ukkiracinkan and Maruthapura Veeravalli witnessed the Thusarokanam (Hoisting of the flag ceremony) of the first festival, which took place in the month of Aani, under the asterism Uthiram.
The Brahmin Priest Periya Manathular married Valampen daughter of Sambasiva lyer of the Kashi race. After her marriage, she changed into Thillainavakavalli in order to please her husband who retained a great fondness for this native Thillai. The Brahmin Priest Periya Manathula lived with his wife in happiness in an Akkiraram (Residence for priests) to the south of the temple and he regularly performed his duties at the temple.
Maharaja Ukkiracinkan and Maruthapura Veeravalli finally settled down in their capital, Cinkai Nagar and his Chief queen bore him a beautiful son and a daughter. The son was named Naracinka Raja and daughter was named Senpakavathi. Both the children were brought up with great fondness and care. Naracinka Raja when he came of age he was married to his sister Senpakavathi and had no children.
After a successful reign the Maharaja Ukkiracinkan died. Naracinka Raja on his fathers death he was crowned with immense pomp, to the great joy of the people, in that they expected from him a more prosperous and peaceful rule. He ascended the throne under the name of Jeyatunga Vara Raja Cinkan and his power was so great that his rule extended over a vast area. Maharaja Jeyatunga Vara Raja Cinkan subdued all the neighbouring kings sad ruled with as much independence as Lord Rama.