The Nainativu Nagapoosani Amman Temple is a historic Hindu temple that can be found in Sri Lanka, precisely 36 kilometers away from Nallur, the location of the former capital of the Jaffna kingdom. It is devoted to Parvati, also known as Nagapooshani or Bhuvaneswari, and to Shiva, also known as Rakshashwar, who is Parvati’s consort (Nayanair).
Adi Shankaracharya, a Hindu scholar who lived in the 9th century, is credited with bringing recognition to the temple by naming it as one of the important 64 Shakti Peethams in the Shakti Peetha Stotram and by mentioning it in the Brahmanda Purana. This is how the temple came to be known.
The Nagapooshani Amman Temple is devoted to the goddess Parvati, also known as Bhuvaneswari or Nagapooshani, who is an incarnation of the goddess Durga. The sacred Buddhist shrine is known as Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya and one of the holiest Hindu temples in the nation are both located on the island of Nagadeepa, which is also known as Nainativu.
Both of these places of worship may be found on the island of Nagadeepa. Because of this, the island of Nainativu, which is also called Nagadeepa, is the center of one of the holiest Hindu sites in the country, and more than a thousand people visit it every day.
This Kovil is comprised of four magnificent Gopurams. The tallest of them is the Raja Raja Gopuram, which stands at a height of 32 meters (108 feet). The other three are the East Gopuram, the South East Gopuram, and the South Gopuram.
The majority of devotees make a visit to the Kovil, particularly during the Mahostavam thiruvilla, which is held throughout the months of June and July each year. It is often said that the statue of Goddess Nagapoosani with a Lingam and King Ravana’s 10-headed statue at the bottom is unique to this temple and cannot be discovered in any other location.
The current building was constructed between the years 1720 and 1790 after the previous construction had been demolished by the Portuguese in the year 1620. Approximately one thousand people stop by the temple on a daily basis, but that number jumps to around five thousand around the holidays.
Over one hundred thousand people make the journey to attend the annual Mahostavam (Thiruvizha) festival, which is held during the month of Aani in the Tamil calendar (June/July). This recently refurbished shrine is home to about 10,000 statues, according to estimates.
According to a legend, many years later, a serpent known as Nagam was worshiping Bhuvaneswari Amman by swimming from the adjacent island of Puliyantivu to the mainland of Nainativu carrying a lotus flower in its mouth. This was done in order to honor Bhuvaneswari Amman (who had already been consecrated by Indra).
When the eagle (Garuda) discovered the cobra, it made a valiant effort to kill it by attacking it. In order to protect itself from the eagle, the cobra coiled itself around a rock in the water about half a kilometer off the coast of Nainativu. This rock is known in Tamil as Paambu Sutriya Kal, which translates to “the Rock around which the Snake Coiled Itself.”
Meanwhile, the eagle perched on a different rock known as Garudan Kal, which means “the Rock of the Eagle,” some distance away. When a trader from the Chola dynasty named Maanikan, who himself was a devotee of Sri Bhuvaneswari Amman, was traveling across the Palk Strait to do business with the old Naka Nadu, he saw an eagle perched on certain rocks.
Sri Bhuvaneswari Amman was himself a devotee of Sri Bhuvaneswari. He begged the eagle to spare the snake any damage and allow it to continue on its journey. The eagle gave its blessing on the condition that the merchant builds a magnificent temple for Sri Bhuvaneswari Amman on the island of Nainativu and that he spread the worship of her in the form of Sri Nagapooshani Amman for the sake of world peace, prosperity, and humanity.
The merchant agreed to this condition, and the eagle gave his blessing. He consented, and in accordance with the agreement, he constructed an exquisite temple. As a means of making amends for the wrongs, it had committed against the Nagas throughout the course of the Mahabharata, the eagle bathed in the sea three times. As a result, the conflict between the Garuda and the Naga was finally put to rest.
There is a boat service available. In order to board the boat, you will need to arrive at the Kurikadduwan jetty. The journey to the Nagadeepa (Buddhist temple) port on the boat will only take around 15 minutes. After that, it will go to the port at Nagapooshani. At the Nagadeepaya dock, it will remain stationary for five to ten minutes.