Seenigama Devalaya in Sri Lanka

Seenigama Devalaya (Temple) is a small village on the south-west coast on the main Colombo-Matara road way. Located just before the Hikkaduwa Town and The Seenigama Devalaya  (shrine) is on a small island short way from the beach.

It is a well-known temple where many of the people in Sri Lanka worship very devotedly. When we consider its location, away from the mainland, it’s wonderful to see a temple which has a history of more than a thousand years, on a small island in the sea, without any destruction. This preservation is a supernatural performance that proves Seenigama is a sacred place.

The Seenigama Devalaya  dedicated to the Devol Deviyo, or God Devol, is a popular destination for people coming from all parts of the country make offering at the shrine. Devol is a local god, who protect the fisherman and their boats and from more recently buses and lorries. This Temple is devoted for Devol Deviyan ( God Devol) and around 300 years old. But some believe that, this place is more than 1000 years old, but there is no any proven evidence. Even though, many visors goes only to the devalaya in the main land the main devalaya is located in a close by island. This one can be reached only by a boat. Many locals used to stop here while on their way to down south.

People coming various parts of island pray for the blessing of the god. Some people come to this place and do various special rituals & offerings and beg the god for punishing their enemies. Specially if someone faced an injustice, if there is no other help, they used to come here and grid chilies. This is to request the god to curse party, who has done injustice to them.


People who travel along this temple, offering coins to it as a tribute is a well-known scene. They believe that this makes their journey successful without any accidents. It also shows us the great devotion to the Lord by the people. To get cured from illnesses, for pregnant mothers and also for fishermen, they get blessings by this temple. The annual procession and festival celebrated here lights up the whole region.

The Seenigama Temple, Halle is a popular name among the Hikkaduwa Tourist Attractions. The Seenigama Temple, Hikkaduwa is known as the Seenigama Devalaya in the colloquial Sinhalese. It is located just a few kilometres north of Hikkaduwa, close to Peraliya and Telwatta. As is evident, Devalaya is the term for temple. The Seenigama Temple in Hikkaduwa is situated on the coast of the sea, beyond the 96 km post on the Colombo Gallehighway. Thought to be over millennia old, the Hikkaduwa Seenigama Temple is approximately 1300 years old. However, there is no evidence to provide evidence to this speculation. Whatever historical records have been exhumed, structural evidence states that the Seenigama Temple is above 300 years old.


The Seenigama Temple, Hikkaduwa is a testimony both of the historical as well as cultural facet of Galle in Sri Lanka. If you are keen on exploring the conventions of temple worship and knowing all about the temple traditions of Galle, the Seenigama Temple or Seenigama Devalaya is a must visit. The sanctuary is also known as the Seenigama Devol Temple, owing to its patron deity, Devol. Devol is a god of the Buddhist pantheon. The Devol Deviyo or Devol culture is prevalent among theSinhalese and continues to be the most accepted of all forms of worship by the fisher folk in the southern and western lowlands. Devol ceremonies are prominent and often practiced along the coastal areas. Some also guarantee the success of fishing.

The Seenigama Temple, Galle is extremely sacred as it is believed that the deity resolves the problems of human beings. The shrine of the god on the shore was recently constructed. The land on which the Seenigama Temple, Galle was originally located is now an island and can be approached only by boat. The island itself is small with a deep freshwater well.

  • Histroy of Seenigma Devalaya

The Seenigama temple has a golden history of about 1300 years. Lord of the ‘Devol’ temple is Lord Kurumbara.Merchant Kalingapura, had a lot of sons. They were Devol Sami, Induras Sami, Sandaras Sami, Giniras Sami, Buduras Sami and Maha Sami and a daughter known as Padmini. Because his sons were very stubborn, he had put them on a ship and turned them out. On the way they faced a strong storm and ships were destroyed.

Among these princes, only one prince could save his life. He lighted a lamp and it says that Lord Shakra had seen it and created a lime rock to save him. Devol is the prince. Finally he had come to the Seenigama area.  At that time, it says the power of this area had been inherited by Goddess Pattini. She had lighted a fire fence and offered a sacrifice to frighten away Devol Sami. But later, the power of it had been inherited by Devol Sami.

Seenigama temple was started when the minister Deva Pathiraja was made a custodian in this temple for the curing of Dambadeni King Parakramabahu from the illness he got. Also because this temple has a great glory it says that many people from various areas of Sri Lanka used to visit it.


  • How got the Name of Seenigama Devalaya

As we travel to its history, we can see that it was also important internationally because the pots, paddy as well as the stones exported to India have been transported along this way. According to history, Seenigama had been important also as a harbour. There are many myths saying how it got its name. Many say, that ‘Seeni’ of Seenigama means anchors and so that it had been the place anchored and it has been known as Seenigama. Some say, because of the Chinese people who came here for trading purposes, it had been known as Cheenagama and later changed to Seenigama.

Except these, there are many more myths. In the past, jaggery has been manufactured by the sugarcane, coconut and palmyrah which have been cultivated here. So that it is called Seenigama. The sea beach is very beautiful. Lord ‘Devol’ who was the chief ruler of Seenigama, had changed the sand into sugar and according to that too, it says that Seenigama name was given.

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