Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple
Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Temple is an ancient and historic Hindu temple located amidst the Palk Strait on the island of Nainativu, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Nagapooshani or Bhuvaneswari and her consort, Shiva who is named here as Nayinaar. The temple’s fame is accredited to Adi Shankaracharya, a 9th-century Hindu philosopher, for identifying it as one of the prominent 64 Shakti Peethams in Shakti Peetha Stotram and its mention in the Brahmanda Purana. The temple complex houses four gopurams (gateway towers) ranging from 20–25 feet in height, to the tallest being the eastern Raja Raja Gopuram soaring at 108 feet high. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature, such as Manimekalai and Kundalakesi. The present structure was built during 1720 to 1790 after the ancient structure was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1620. The temple attracts around 1000 visitors a day, and approximately 5000 visitors during festivals. The annual 16-day Mahostavam (Thiruvizha) festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Aani (June/July) – attracts over 100,000 pilgrims. There is an estimated 10,000 sculptures in this newly renovated temple.