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Ukanta Malai Velayudha Swami Alayam, Okanda

At the foothill of Okanda Malai is the Vêlâyuta Cuvâmi or Kanta Cuvâmi Temple, dedicated to God Skanda. Here the Murukan temple is at the foot of the hill, while his sweetheart Valli occupies the peak.


Okanda Malai, a remote rock-hill on the coast at the intersection of the Eastern and Southern Provinces, has been referred by tradition as one of the places where Emperor Ravana halted for worship on his journeys from Lankapuri to Koneswaram. The theme of taking rest is reflected in the name Ukantai, for it is said that here Lord Murukan and others 'sat down' (utkantâr) and rested.


Okanda Hill top has by long tradition been cited as one of the places where a divine katir from Lord Skanda struck. Veddas preserved the sanctity of the place with a simple shrine of stick and ola leaves. According to another myth, the third ray from Vâkura Hill reached here and came to rest on this hilltop, making it a favorite site for Murukan worship. There is yet a third myth according to which, Valli and Murukan arrived in separate stone boats (which still rest on the beach) to reside on top of the Ukantai Malai. The temple is located along the eastern shores of the country, along which the pilgrims walk to Katirkâmam. In places like Pânama and Kumana, which are close to Ukantai, Tamils and Sinhalese lived in harmony even down to the present day.


Temple Structure
Valli Malai gets its name after the Valli Amman temple on this hillock. An image of Pillayâr and a Vêl are also found in this temple. The temple for Murukan is small and is only about three feet high. In front of this temple instead of Murukan's vâkanam the Mayil or peacock there is the rat or shrew, the vâkanam for Pillayâr. Close to these temples is a platform under the tree with a fixed vêl, and this may have been the original focus of worship.


In front of Valli Amman temple on top of the Valli Malai rock hillock are eight natural waterholes in the rock. One of these is referred to as Caravana Poikai; all are said to have been sunk during the Vanniyar rule. The entire hillock is said to have 32 natural waterholes, from which pilgrims traditionally draw tîrtham water and pour it over themselves to obtain the blessings of goddess Valli who is believed to bath in the same pools, not only in ancient times but to this very day.


Worship
Regular pûjas are conducted year round by the lone resident pûcari and annual festivals are held for fifteen days; the last day falls on the new moon in July. The worship pattern is of folk tradition;t on the first day of the festival the flag is hoisted, but there is no Kotitambam.


During the procession, the Vêl is carried in a tray dressed in silk, and hence referred to as Pattu Câmi. At the end of the water-cutting ceremony, the procession goes to Valli Nâcciyar shrine. Here milk rice is cooked by a few selected people and offered to the gods. Ascetics are said to reside in the hillocks scattered along the seashore. A prominent samâdhi or final resting place is said to be the resting place of one of the famous ascetics who lived here.


It is noteworthy that at Okanda Malai, as at Valli Malai in South India, Lord Skanda's abode is at the foot of the hill while His divine sweetheart, Goddess Valli Amman, occupies the summit. This is as though to express silently the fact that at these divine places Lord Skanda places Himself at the feet of Valli Amman, whose station, as it were, is more exalted than that of Lord Skanda Himself.


Even today, Okanda remains as a remote jungle shrine, in part due to its geographical location and partly due to the long ethnic conflict, which has made access to Okanda more difficult and even dangerous than ever. However, development work has resumed as of 1999, including the restoration of the ruined 20-mile jungle road from Panama the nearest inhabited village, and the immanent completion of a new temple for Lord Vêlâyudha Swâmi.


For information about efforts to preserve the sanctity of Okanda Malai and its traditions, see this detailed article by the Living Heritage Trust or go to the home page of the Kataragama Devotees Trust.

Annual festival of Ukanthamalai Sylvan Shrine 2007

V. P. Sivapragasam
Akkaraipattu group correspondent


AKKARAIPATTU: The sylvan shrine of the Ukanthamalai Sri Murugan Kovil, in the jungle amidst rocks, devoted to the Kataragama Deity, is teeming with pilgrims as the annual festival began on July 15 with the “Mayoora Flag-Hoisting” ceremonies, conducted by a dozen priests.


The Ven. Shiva Agama Kiriya-Juti, Siddhantha Banu Shiva Sri Sita Ram Kurukal conducted the poojas assisted by Ven. Isana Shiva Achariyar, Shiva Sri Sat Chit Ananda Kurukal, Shiva Sri Illi Palanivel Kurukal, Shiva-Sri M. Vettivel Kurukal and Shiva Sri M. Uma Sutha Sarma.


The inspiring ceremonies and rites began in the morning and continued till late afternoon, in the midst of chanting of sacred Sankrit hymns, and cries of “Haro-Hara.”


The Chairman of the Temple Committee, Nadarajah Tharmalingam, the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ampara District and several local Heads of Departments and institutions participated in the ceremonies.


The security in the area was strengthened with an addition to Security Forces, as decided at a meeting held at the kachcheri, Ampara. Thousands of worshippers at the hallowed Srine ensured a manifestation of divinity and sublimity.


Pilgrims said a devout prayer at this brought them success. A striking feature at the Ukanthamalai Srine was that the worshippers belonged to the various religions in the country and an air of love and friendship prevailed.


Many thousands arrived at Ukanthamalai Temple with the intention to proceed to Kataragama on a “Pada Yatra” - “pilgrimage on foot. The pilgrims are sheltered under the spreading trees. The NGO, “Foundation for Co-Existence” is keen on restoring a Pilgrims’ Rest at a cost of Rs. 2 million.


The Temple and the many Pilgrims’ Rests suffered damage in the tsunami.


The local authorities in the district are providing drinking water to the pilgrims. A matter lacking in the Temple is to provide facilities for health and sanitation, toilets are inadequate. The Ministry of Nation Building and Estate Infrastructure Development has decided to provide facilities for sanitation.


The GA Ampara has taken all measures to ensure the successful completion of the festival which would conclude on July 30 with the water cutting ceremony. The CTB has provided adequate buses for the pilgrims.

Traditions of Ukanta Malai Velâyudha Swâmi Shrine

Okanda Malai, a remote rock-hill on the coast at the intersection of the Eastern and Southern Provinces, has been referred by tradition as one of the places where Emperor Ravana halted for worship on his journeys from Lankapuri to Koneswaram.


The theme of taking rest is reflected in the name Ukantai, for it is said that here Lord Murukan and others 'sat down' (utkantâr) and rested.


At the foothill of Okanda Malai is the Vêlâyuta Cuvâmi or Kanta Cuvâmi Temple, dedicated to God Skanda. Here the Murukan temple is at the foot of the hill, while his sweetheart Valli occupies the peak.


Okanda Hill top has by long tradition been cited as one of the places where a divine katir (ray) from Lord Skanda struck. Veddas preserved the sanctity of the place with a simple shrine of stick and ola leaves.


According to another tradition, the third ray from Vâkura Hill reached here and came to rest on this hilltop, making it a favorite site for Murukan worship.


There is yet a third myth according to which, Valli and Murukan arrived in separate stone boats (which still rest on the beach) to reside on top of the Ukantai Malai.


The temple is located along the eastern shores of the country, along which the pilgrims walk to Katirkâmam. In places like Pânama and Kumana, which are close to Ukantai, Tamils and Sinhalese lived in harmony even down to the present.

உகந்தை திருவிழா 2011 - தீர்த்தம் Videos & Photos

Photos By- Mayooran (Irrigation Dpt) Videos - R.Sayanolipavan
உகந்தை மலை முருகன் ஆலய உற்சவத்தின் போது எடுக்கப்பட்ட புகைப்படங்களும் மற்றும் கடந்த வருடம் இடம்பெற்ற திருவிழா மற்றும் தீர்த்த வீடியோவும் இணைத்துளோம் பார்வையிடுங்கள்


 

உகந்தை ஆலய கொடியேற்ற நிகழ்வு - 2011

By- Sritharan Sellappah
உகந்தை பிள்ளையார் கோவில் சங்காபிசேகம் 18.August அன்று இடம்பெற்றது , பிள்ளையார் ஆலயமானது UK இல் வசிக்கும் திருமதி ஜெயசுதன் சாருமதி அவர்களால் கட்டப்பட்டது ,
சங்காபிசேக நிகழ்வினை திருமதி பிள்ளையம்மா செல்லப்பா (ஓய்வு பெற்ற ஆசிரியை ) அவர்கள் செய்திருந்தனர்