Munneswaram Hindu Temple, Chilaw
Munneswaram Temple, in existence since at least 1000 C.E. holds much significance to the Hindus of the country. Although many myths surrounding it associate it with the famous Indian epic Ramayana, and its legendary hero-King Rama, the temple is one of the five most ancient temples (Ishwarams) dedicated to Lord Shiva in the region. The temple complex is a compilation of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, is the most prestigious amongst the Hindus, with the remaining temples being dedicated to the Gods Ganesha, Ayyanayake and Kali. In addition to the two main Hindu festivals Navarathri and Sivarathri, the temple has a festival of its own, named the Munneswaram festival, a four-week long event, attended by a mix of Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, and Muslim devotees.