Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam

Built during the latter part of the 1700s, the Kovils at Captain’s Garden, Maradana are believed to be the oldest in Colombo. The area had been an island with the waters of the Beira Lake surrounding it. Devotees had travelled by boat to reach the temples to worship and make vows. During the Dutch period Captain’s Garden was known as ‘Cilamagoda’ and was an area of great economic activity since the warehouses for cinnamon, pepper, coconut, oil and coir were located in this vicinity.

Today, the Beira Lake no longer surrounds the Kovils, but the railway tracks that are constantly busy with trains. Yet, the environs of the Kovils are peaceful and only the sounds of the poojas can be heard. The elaborately decorated Gopurams reflect the main deities of the respective abodes, Lord Shiva and Lord Ganesh. The interior is beautiful and spiritual, with sculptures and motifs depicting Hinduism and culture. The two premises are connected by a central courtyard where you can worship both.

The Kovil dedicated to Lord Ganesh, Sri Bala Selva Vinayaga Moorthy Devasthanam is brightly coloured with a ceiling of murals and sculptures. The Vimanam is made completely of granite and the sanctum holding the ancient statue of Lord Ganesh. It is believed that a Yendra (a copper plated inscription) has been placed below the statue of the God.

Chief Priest S Radha Krishna, whose father too was the Chief Priest until the age of 98, ensures that the sanctity of the Sri Bala Selva Vinayaga Moorthy Devasthanam is preserved and discipline is maintained.