By: Savannah Audrey
A Hindu temple is a symbolic house, seat and body of God. It is a structure designed to bring human beings and gods together, using symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs of Hinduism. The symbolism and structure of a Hindu temple are rooted in Vedic traditions, deploying circles and squares.
A Hindu temple is popularly known as Mandiram, Devaalayam or Devastanam, meaning the shrine, abode or place of God.
For the people on earth the Hindu Temple serves as a sacred place (devasthanam) or a place of pilgrimage (thirthasthalam) and heaven on earth. Functionally it brings gods and humans together and gives them an opportunity to help each other.
Humans make offerings to the Gods and nourish them with food and devotional offerings of prayers, songs, etc., while the gods reciprocate by protecting them from diseases, misfortunes and calamities, removing their difficulties, cleansing their sins or helping them achieve the four aims of human life namely Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
Hinduism has a long tradition and is the oldest religion in Sri Lanka. More than 2000 years of civilization has been proved so far from Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. Hinduism is dominant in the North and Eastern Provinces, where there are predominantly Tamil people. Hinduism is also practiced in the central regions (where there are a significant numbers of Indian Tamil descent) as well as in many other parts as well.