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Sri Kandaswamy Kovil in Malaysia

June 05,2008  IST

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History :The Ceylon Tamils' main areas of origin are the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka. The chief area of settlement of the Tamils in Sri Lanka is the Jaffna Penisula with Jaffna as its metropolis. The Jaffna Penisula was under Portuguese rule from 1620 and later in 1685 it came under the domination of the Dutch. The British took over control of the Penisula in 1795. It was only from 1850 that the British began to develop Jaffna and introduce English education - which became very popular with the Tamils. Soon bilingual schools (English and Tamil began to sprout all over Jaffna and it is said that 'within the radius of a mile there are found several colleges and schools for boys and girls in the town of Jaffna. These colleges and schools were soon to become the 'factories' supplying the English Language trained man-power needs for the development of Ceylon and Malaya.

After the Treaty of Pangkor in 1874, the British embarked upon the construction of roads, railways, schools, hospitals and government offices in the Malaya Penisula, to develop the country and to increase its revenue.

'It was to meet those early problems that Malaya looked to its older sister Ceylon for help and probably, the then Governor of the Straits Settlements secured the despatch to Perak of the 2nd division of the Ceylon Pioneer Corp. 'So it fell to the Ceylonese to survey the railways and to build and man them, to be apothecaries in the hospitals, to be technical assistants to qualified engineers and to staff the clerical services on which an expanding government was bound increasingly to depend. 's

In Kuala Lumpur, the Ceylon Tamil population was mainly concentrated in Brickfields and Sentui because of the proximity of the Administrative Centre of the Malayan Railway (opposite the railway station) and the Sentul Workshop. The Government provided accomodation for the white and the blue collar workers in these areas. The Ceylon Tamils living in both these areas were devout Saivites and as they fervently believed that 'no one should live in a place that has no Temple ', they soon began to organize themselve into Associations.

Temples and associations began to sprout in areas where there was a sizeable community. The railway staff residing in the Brickfields area, many of whom were students of Saiva Siddhanta Asiriar Sivapadasundaranar, an acknowledged follower of Sri La Sri Arumuga Navalar, felt that there was an urgen need for a place of worship in accordance with the Saiva Agamas. They were anxious to have a temple in order to practise and observe the Saiva Siddhantha Tenets and religious observances such as 'Viratham' (fasting), 'Thithis' (commemoration rituals), 'Punniyaahavaasam' (purification ceremony), 'Kantha Sasthy' and other observances and festivals. With this in view, on 24th December, 1890 a group of Ceylon Saivites met at the residence of one Mr. V. Sinnapah, Acting Traffic Inspector, Malayan Railway and an influential member of the Ceylon Tamil Community. At that meeting it was decided (a) to build a temple to worship Lord Subramaniam and (b) to purchase an appropriate land to build the temple.

The Sri Kandaswamy Temple was born on that December day.

The land between the closed end of the cul-de-sac of the present Jalan Scott and the Klang River was considered most appropriate for the proposed temple because of its central position and also because the land was quite empty. It was purchased by the Selangor Ceylon Tamil Association in 1901 and the construction of the Kandaswamy temple commenced about the year 1902. The land title was originally registered in the name of Mr. V. Sinnappah. The First group of Trustees was selected on 18th April 1903 to hold in trust the property purchased for the temple. On 18th July, 1903 Mr. V. Sinnappah transferred the two lots of land registered in his name to the trustees.

A 'Vel' was installed in the said land by His Holiness Sri Murugaswamy, an eminent Saivite, and a small temple with Gopuram was completed in 1909. The First Maha Kumba Abishegam of the Sri Kandaswamy Temple was held on 9th February, 1909 (Tamil year Keelaga 28th day of the Tamils month 'Thai'). Sri Kandaswamy Kovil, No.3, Lorong Scott, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tel: (6)03-2274 2987 Fax:(6)03-2274 0288

Email: enquiries@srikandaswamykovil.org

Temple’s official website: http://www.srikandaswamykovil.org



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