TOWARDS OUR PLACES – Kokkattichchola

Kokkattichcholai is a village located in the Manmunai Southwest Divisional Secretariat in the Batticaloa District on the eastern side of the Eelam region. The village got its name, Kokkattichcholai, because the Kokkatti trees here give the appearance of a grove. Agriculture is the main livelihood of the people living here.

The temple is named Kokkattichcholai Thanthonreeswarar Temple due to the self-manifested form of Lord Shiva that appeared under the Kokkatti tree, as well as the presence of the sacred site in Kokkattichcholai. This temple is uniquely distinguished as the only temple dedicated to Lord Shiva in the area.

During the reign of Ulaga Naachiyar, the daughter of King Gukaseinan from the Kalinga region, who ruled the Manmunai area, there was a project to clear forests and convert them into arable land. While clearing the forests, a hunter named Thidakan from the Vedar community noticed honey in a Kokkatti tree and cut it down. As blood flowed from the tree, he used his clothes to bandage the cut and reported the incident to Ulaga Naachiyar. When she went to the site and saw the tree, there was a Lingam at its base. Realizing it was a Shiva Lingam, she built a temple there and invited three priests from the northern region of Kolladam to perform rituals. This is the history of the temple as narrated.

The historical significance of this temple is well-documented through inscriptions, ancient texts, historical books, and oral traditions. The Shiva Lingam in this temple is believed to have been worshipped many centuries ago and was later covered by soil over time. Archaeologists believe this temple dates back to before the 4th century AD. Historical records indicate that the temple was patronized by kings such as Kulakkottan, Kalinga Magha, Vimaladharmasuriya, and Vickrama Rajasinha.

On January 28, 1987, the military encircled the Kokkattichcholai area and arrested 152 innocent civilians, who were then shot and killed.

During the Eelam liberation struggle, Kokkattichcholai stood as a testament to immense sacrifice and bravery, contributing scholars, creators, fighters, and heroes to the Eelam land, proudly establishing itself as a revered place of remembrance.

Vattakachchi Vinoth


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