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MUTHUMARIAMMAN TEMPLE

Sri Muthumariamman Temple or Sri Muthumariamman Kovil is a popular Hindu shrine located in the middle of Matale town, Sri Lanka. This temple is dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of rain and fertility. The history of Sri Muthumariamman Temple can be traced back to the 19th century.

The land was originally part of a paddy field and was gifted by the owner in 1852. The current temple was built in 1874, funded by the Nattukkottai Chettiar. This temple is used by both Hindus and Buddhists. The temple was originally a small statue under a tree prayed to by the Hindu people but has been developed by the people in Matale. The temple was severely damaged during the anti-Tamil riots in July 1983 but has been subsequently restored.

One of the most visually dominant features of this temple is it's 55 m (180 ft) high Gopuram, a large decorated tower located above the main northern gateway to the temple. Name of this gopuram is the Raja Koburum and it is one of the largest Gopurams in Sri Lanka. The 1008 statues of Hindu deities were done by the South Indian sculptor Nagalingam and his son Ramanathan with the help of about 100 designers, painters and architects from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

The annual Theru festival of Sri Muthumariamman Temple, Matale is said to be one of biggest Hindu festivals in Sri Lanka. Beautifully decorated chariots are used during the festival time to convey statues of Hindu deities around the town. The festival ends with traditional water cutting ceremony.