Sacred landmarks shrouded in myth and legend
Keerimalai translates to ‘mongoose hill’ in the regional vernacular of Tamil. This refers to the local legend of a sage cursed with a face likened to a mongoose, who was later cured upon immersing themselves in the healing waters of the Keerimalai Sacred Water Spring. Today, the spring remains popular among throngs of local men and boys who splash about in a picturesque ancient pond overlooking the sea. The bathing area for women is separate, and can be found behind the main pond structure.
Just next door, is also the Keerimalai Naguleswaram Kovil – one of Sri Lanka’s sacred Pancha Ishwarams, or shrines dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, who is worshipped as the destroyer of evil. Dating back over thousands of years, it is said that the same cursed sage established this kovil in gratitude of the adjacent pond’s healing powers.
30 minutes north from Jetwing Jaffna, Keerimalai sits at the top edge of Sri Lanka and can easily be coupled with a trip to Dambakola Patuna in one journey. The sacred water spring and Naguleswaram Kovil are also within walking distance of each other, giving you ample time to explore both attractions in all their glory.