Nagadipa Purana Vihara

Nagadipa Purana Vihara

Nainathivu or Nainatheevu (Tamil: நயினாதீவு), (also known as Nagadipa or Nagadeepa (Sinhala: නාගදීපය)) is a small but notable island off the coast of Jaffna Peninsula in the Sri Lankan Tamil dominated Northern Province, Sri Lanka. The name of the island alludes to its aboriginal inhabitants, the Nayanair or Nāka people. It is home to the ancient Hindu shrine of Sri Nagapooshani Amman, one of the 64 Shakti Peethas, and the Buddhist shrine Naga Vihare. Historians note the island is mentioned in the ancient Tamil Sangam literature of nearby Tamil Nadu (such as Manimekalai) and ancient Buddhist legends of Sri Lanka (such as Mahavamsa). Ptolemy, a Greek cartographer, describes the Tamil territory including islands around the Jaffna peninsula as Nagadibois in the first century CE.
Nāka Tivu / Nāka Nadu was the name of the whole Jaffna peninsula in some historical documents. There are number of Buddhist myths associated with the interactions of people of this historical place with Buddha. The two Tamil Buddhist epics of Kundalakesi and Manimekalai describe the islet of Manipallavam of Nāka Tivu/Nadu which is identified with this islet of the Jaffna peninsula. Manimekalai describes the ancient island of Manipallavam from where merchants came to obtain gems and conch shells. The Tamil language inscription of the Nainativu temple by Parâkramabâhu I of the 12th century CE states that foreign merchants must land at Kayts before entering the island, and for other ports. The Hindu temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1620 CE. It was restored and re-established in 1788. A portion of the inscription slab is built into the wall of the present restored temple. Nainativu temple was attacked and burnt in June 1958, and in March 1986. The Naga Deepa Buddhist Vihara was established in the 1940s by a resident monk with the help of local Tamils.

Recommended review time for sightseeing: 1 h

Tourist reviews about Nagadipa Purana Vihara

Hindus: 5* Buddhists: 2* Average: 4*
Zandrews8... [TA], , Bath, United Kingdom

So the Buddhist temple is just like every other Buddhist temple in sri Lanka except the big pile of rock is painted silver *yawn*...moving on

The Hindu temple on the other hand is pretty damn cool. Lots of funky carvings, amazing colours and stray cows getting beaten with big sticks when they wander too close to the temple entrance. All in all a different experience especially with the ferry ride over, definitely recommended for a visit

Don't go if you love animals!

After a long drive from the Jetwing Jaffna hotel, we had to take an extremely dodgy ferry to the island. The ferry was crowded and hot! I felt unsafe and prayed to make it to the other side! There is a Bhuddist and a Hindu temple on the island. I accompanied my husband who is Hindu, and we were accompanied by our guide. My attention was IMMEDIATELY grabbed by the poor condition of the cows and dogs on the island: the animals are starving and emaciated, and the dogs are so diseased with mange( I'm guessing), that some of them have no fur. The cows come sniffing your hand for food, their bones protruding! I have written to a few orgnaisations in Sri Lanka about the plight of these poor animals, but nobody has said that they are going to do anything about them! This reall y upset me and kinda put a damper on my trip as I couldn't forget about these sorry souls who were like the walking dead! If TRIPADVISOR can draw attention to their plight, I would be ecstatic!

Amazing cultural diversity to experience
VicksVapo... [TA], , North California

We took a jam-packed ferry out to the island. The ferry ride was an experience in itself. We were packed in like sardines - but it was a short time.
Once on the island, we visited the Buddhist temple and the museum, then walked over to the Hindu temple and went in to experience worship services there. For an American visiting both of these temples and experiencing their worship services were an exceptional cultural experience. One of the highlights of our 16 day trip to Sri Lanka.

nomadgran [TA], , Melaka State, Malaysia

Fairly well looked after opposite is a pond full of lilies and across the road is a cafe Akshathai (buddhist) does nice tea & good breakfast very cheap

Ferry ride!!!
Chathuran... [TA], , Moratuwa, Sri Lanka

It's sacred place for Buddhists since it's one of the third place where Lord Buddha visited Sri Lanka. You have to take a ferry to visit the Island. Around every 20 mins there're ferries which costs around 30rs per person. Last ferry to Island is at 4.00pm and last ferry from Island is at 5.30pm. Remember to take the Nainativu north jetty to take off from the Island. Temple jatty will only be used to drop you off.

Important place to visit
lordrodri... [TA], , Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Sri Lanka

If your a Buddhist then obviously you would go hear if not still it's an interesting journey to visit this temple as you have to take a boat ride for about 30 mins. You will get wet on the boat ride so better to take something to prevent water entering your electronic devices. Shades and sunblock recommended as well.

Must visit temple for Buddhists
sanj75 [TA], , Colombo

Tucked away in an island, this temple has enormous significance for Buddhists since it is believed that this is a place visited by lord Buddha and is only one of 3 such sites in Sri Lanka. Although this is an ancient site, the place has been renovated after the war and most parts/buildings have been newly done up.
Need to travel about 1 hour by road from Jaffna though several causeways to reach a jetty called Karikudduvan. From here you need to take a ferry ride for about the 20 mins to reach the temple.
There is public transport from Jaffna to Karikadduvan (route no 776). The first half of the road from Jaffna to Karikadduvan is smooth but the second half is a bit bumpy. There are beautiful views from the causeway.
The ferry ride to the temple can be quite an experience. Local boats are used for this service and can be crowded and noisy inside. Life jackets are given and I think the Navy overlooks the operation.I felt safe to travel in the ferry. It cost only Rs. 30 (one way) for the ferry ride. I understand that you can book boats run directly by the Navy but this could be expensive.
There is also a small museum on the 1st floor (entrance free) within the temple complex.
I think there is a small charge for foreigners visiting the site.
You need to walk to the adjoining Hindu kovil jetty (about 500 m away from the temple) to take the ferry back to the mainland.

Good experience
chathura... [TA], ,

Load budda has visited three times to Sri Lanka. 2nd time visited to Nagadeepa island. It's a peaceful and beautiful place to visit. If you traval to jaffna it's a must see place.

there is no reference in indian history or buddhas preachings of buddha visiting here
Asoka K [TA], ,

hard to get to by ferry not a very attractive complex either
better go elsewhere for dhamma or sightseeing

Old Buddhist Temple
SudarsK [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

This was famous due to, Lord Buddha have visited the place on his 2nd visit to Sri Lanka. It is situated in a small island.

Judith J [TA], ,

We came to Nagadeepa on a ferry from delft it was almost a 1.5 hour boat ride to get here.

The island is beautiful with the temple and Kovil but couldn't not find any link to history.

Temple in an Island
maheshika [TA], , colombo

It’s a 40 min journey from Jaffna to the jetty from their 20 min boat ride to the island. The boat ride is bit adventurous. Boats leave from the jetty every 30 mins from 8.00 to 19.00.
The site is known as the place where Lord Buddha came during his second visit to Sri Lanka.

A must visit in Jaffna
sujithgun... [TA], , puttalam

Little far from Jaffna town. But is a must view for travelers. Road to be traveled to reach this place is not very comfortable. But you can enjoy the trip. give it a try.

Think before you go !
Saroj S [TA], ,

Why you should visit

This place is a sacred place for Buddhists because Lord Buddha has visited Sri Lanka thrice and once to Nagadeepa (Other two being Kelaniya and Mahiyangana)but if you are a visiting there to see historical buildings and etc- Theres nothing as such as all of them has been destroyed due to terrorist activities and natural disasters.

How to go in a Bus
From Jaffna bus stand you have to take Keerimalai bus and will cost around Rs 80.00 and you should go till the bus stops and from there, there is a boat service to the island where they charge Rs30.00 .

Things to see
Other than the buddhist status and "chaithyaya" there is a room where it shows the photos of major politicians who visited Nagadeepa and there is a Museaum but foreigners this is an advice - All the descriptions are in Srinhala - which I see that as a major disadvantage.
For tourists they charge Rs 500.00

Must visit if you go to jaffna
raveen w [TA], ,

Beautiful island and the temple. there is a museum in side the temple must see it, boat ride is amazing boats looks bad but there are safe and its only 15 mins ride navy is all over the place so dont worry

You must visit if you are a buddhist
Gihan S [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Its an ancient temple which carries memories since the period of lord must catch up a ferry which are conducted by Srilanka navy and locals.they only charge LKR 30.00 for a trip.but if u are planning to go on a weekend or a public holiday ferries can be crowded since they carry local people in nagadeepa and the visitors.boat journey takes around 15 minutes.temple is consisted of artwork of lord buddha's visit of srilanka.

Jewel of the Ocean
Ajesh4 [TA], , Hyderabad

Sprawling complex. The monastry is beautiful . As in other budhist places , this too is very peaceful . One can pray for long time without any disturbance .

So so
macedonbo... [TA], , United Kingdom

I can't really see why this temple is so highly rated. The statues are so so and the temple buildings are simple and devoid of anything architecturally interesting. There's also a heft 500 LKR charge for foreigners which means it's not really worth the visit.

Wonderful place to visit
LayanAsir... [TA], , Singapore, Singapore

Looking at history this is wonderful., better to read history before you visit. it is small island but fantastic view around and Buddhist culture over 2500

A sacred place visit before it get's ruined
Peshele R [TA], ,

One of the most sacred places for a buddhist to visit. Try to arrange a boat before you go by talking to the Navy. It;s easier and faster. I was looking forward to the visit but was rather disappointed to see how the place has got "politicalised" with temple is full of pictures of the ex president and his brothers and all ministers . I didn't expect that at a temple of worship. However the historical value of the place still remain and a must visit place.

Must go to Nagadipa as a buddhist even once in life
ysa1234 [TA], , Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

One of the most historical,sacred temple in our motherland. It is an unforgettable experience that one can have in his life. Going to temple with flowers in a boat.! :) :) :)
The temple is very well maintained. Very beautiful view.
A very calm place and I think Nagadeepa is suitable for someone to meditation also.
But the boats are often crowded and dirty. I think better boats facilities must be there.

Beautiful place but boat ride was awful
Nadheera... [TA], , Sydney

Due the the histrical and religious significance this is a very important place in the history of Sri Lanka. It is beautiful and with wate around it. Getting there is difficult as the boats are crowded, dirty and don't look very see worthy. There didn't seem that there's much transport to go rounf the island either.

Would benefit from a decent cafe, and better boats.

An Important Temple for all Buddhists.
Dilrukshi... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

This temple is considered one of the most sacred, out of the 16 most sacred temples for worship in Sri-Lanka. This temple is full of history. Make sure to take a guide or guidebook as language can be a problem. Also be appropriately dressed as a mark of respect to Buddhism.

Well maintained temple. A must visit for all Buddhists at least once in a life time.

The Boat ride to the temple is terrible & something should be done regarding this dangerous transportation of humans. No one seems to care about it. People are stacked inside & it really was a terrible experience.

Better boat facilities are a must.

Memorable experience
Brian D [TA], , Elliston, Australia

I travelled by bus to the ferry terminal. Be prepared for a very rough trip on bumpy bitumen roads. The short boat trip is a bit scary particularly when the locals decide to almost all sit on one side unbalancing the boat somewhat. Be prepared for a very small boat and be prepared to wear a lifejacket.
The Buddhist temple is very clean and modern renovated with the aid of the navy who were stationed there during the conflict to protect the sangha. The temple sangha remained continuously there helping both Singhalese navy and local Tamils. They are building a large Buddha statue within the grounds.

Must Visit at least one time in life !!!
Krishan J [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Beautiful ancient temple,you must visit at least one time in your lifetime.located in an island named Nainathiv. Boat journey is very intersting,where you can see a beautiful view of the island.

An experience!
SharmilaJ... [TA], ,

Well getting here sure is an experience. You have to squeeze in to a boat with another 150+ people and travel for 20 minutes to get to this spot unless the ferry is available which really doesn't make it much better. Supposed to be an iconic location for Buddhists as Lord Buddha visited this location.

Ancient historical site
godfather... [TA], , Canberra, Australia

Must see if you are around Jaffna area. A ferry service operates two islands away from Jaffna. One of the 3 main sites Lord Buddha had visited. Regarded as sacred.

Famous Landmark of sri lanka
TravelerR... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The ride to the temple is a joyful, takes about 20mins to get there by boat , once in the island the historical value of the place is impressive, it is said lord Buddha has visited to this island once

Nagadipa Purana Vihara
Rohan A L... [TA], , Gampaha, Sri Lanka

Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya is an ancient Buddhist temple situated in Jaffna district of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It is among the country's sixteen or seventeen holiest Buddhist shrines (Solosmasthana). According to contemporary history, the Gautama Buddha visited the site after five years of attaining Enlightenment to settle the dispute between two warring Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara.

Ancient history according to the Mahavamsa chronicles and the Tamil Buddhist epic Manimekalai mentions a gem-studded throne and a stone with the Buddha’s footprint at the island Nainativu, (also known as Nagadeepa) which pilgrims from India visited

Buddhist Temple
Aadhes [TA], , Suva

This is situated in an island called Nagadeepa or Nainativu From the Jaffna you have go by road to Pungudutivu ( Kattuvirichchan) (Presently the road is under construction therfore it take nearly 1 1/2 hours to reach once it s done you may be able to reach less than 45 minutes) and catch a boat to go to this place. There are two temples here one is this and the other is Nagapoosani amman Hindu temple.
Lord Buddha visited here (he visited only three places) hence this is most venerated. The temple comparing with other places I confess little small and commercialized. When you sit and meditate of course you feel some good vibration.
There is no entry fees to this place and if you want you can make donation but not compulsory.
There are several boat services regularly available to go and come Navy looks into the safety issue now all have to wear Life Jacket but in my view all boats are over crowded and safety of the passengers are compromised the boat people charge between Rupees 30 to 50 for one way. You can get down near the Buddhist or Hindu temple and walk back to the other temple. Good experience.

Surreal Experience
Joey613 [TA], , Battambang, Cambodia

The boat ride was scary, that was my first impression. Having a small worry that I wouldn't make it. But I did. And the temple was remarkable. Beautiful and one of the best places I ever meditated. The whole experience was quite surreal. One of my fondest memories of the newly opened northern Sri Lanka.

Buddhist Pilgrimage site
Megha07 [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

A definite must visit for buddhist pilgrims.

The harmonious co-existence of a tiny yet significant buddhist temple along side a charming kovil is very impressive.

Observe the locals as they pay homage to both shrines showing equal respect irrespective of race/religion.

a special place of worship
Margaret... [TA], , Colombo, null, Sri Lanka

the temple is not as big as I thought it to be, but the environment is ideal for one to meditate, ever though there were so many people worshiping you could hear only the occasional chanting but otherwise so quiet

Lord Buddha's land mark
460kismet [TA], , Galle, Sri Lanka

It is in city center of jaffna. Glad to know all religious beliefs in jaffna too. Very beautiful temple and anyone else can go there and can do meditation too.

Buddhist temple
Tharaka C [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

According to legend load Buddha has visit this place once. You'll have to have around 10 - 15 min boat ride to reach this place. Apart from the Buddhist temple, there are few kovils near by this place. Since it's sunny for most of the months in the year for Nagadipa, don't forget to bring sunglasses, hats, sun creams etc if required.

Leoninny [TA], , Australia

Getting there by boat is half the fun of it all. Great to visit a temple in one of the lesser tourist end areas.

Historical Island
mahesaabe... [TA], , Jakarta

a must see historical site important to buddhist and Sri lankans the boat trip is and experience. Be ready for a squeeze.

Purana Raja Maha Viharaya, Nagadeepaya, Naintivu , Jaffna ,Sri Lanka
Hemal M [TA], , Gampaha, Sri Lanka

Nagadeepaya or Naintivu is a very religious place among Buddhists of all parts of the world.Not only for Buddhists Hindus most sacred hindu kovil "Naga Pushani Amman Kovil also situated close proximity from nagadeepaya temple. Not only for Buddhists or Hindus there are worship sites for Muslims as well as Catholics in the same island. With in close proximity of each other.

Sizeof this picturesque island is just 4 Sq Kilometers. Its situated 1.8 Km from mainland or Punkduthiv Island. Nagadeepaya is not connected to main land. But it is closer to seval other tiny islands as well.

Buddhists believes that lord Buddha has visited this island in ancient time.

Interesting temple and nice day tour from Jaffna
Doron_J [TA], , Haifa, Israel

This Hindu temple is interesting by itself and worth a visit. It's large and it was interesting to attend the puja. (note that men need to remove the shirt before entering the inside). Even more important, given its distance from Jaffna, it's a reason for a nice day tour to the islands near Jaffna.
We hired a car for the day. After driving for an hour or so we reach the water front where you need a short (15-20 minutes) boat ride to the temple. Nearby is a Buddhist temple which also worth a visit.

A Must see!
Pamila75 [TA], , Kurunegala, Sri Lanka

Journey to the temple is very memorable! There is a 15 min ferry travel through the Polk Straight.However the ferries are overloaded. Had a long waiting time for the ferry.
Temple had a very peaceful atmosphere. However no basic sanitory facilities are available.

Calm, serene environment and great boat ride
JennySil [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

This Buddhist temple is quite different to the Nallur Kandswamy temple in Jaffna. The boat trip to the island is an experience itself, and is lovely. The walk from the jetty to the temple is quite enjoyable and pictureseque. The temple itself is serene, calm and a far cry from the hustle, bustle and bright psychedelic colours of the Hindu temples in the area.

most sacred place
Manohari... [TA], , Colombo, null, Sri Lanka

The boat ride was horrid if you have contacts with the Sri Lankan Navy my advice is to get arrange one of their boats. temple is very sacred. though I missed the podi bodhiya it is another sacred place in the island

manesh g [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

traveled with srilanka navy... was a good experience travaling in a navy boat and from nagadeepa temple to nagadeepa kovil we took a dimo batta was a facinating ride

Visit to Nagadeepa
GPJ1951 [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The ferry's did not have life jackets , except the navy boats where life jackets were provided. The entrance to the temple has been done up very well is is looking very nice.

Historic temple worth visiting
Dinithi_P... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

Must visit this beautiful island in Jaffna peninsula. The temple is surrounded by the sea and must visit by the boat, The walking towards the temple from the boat was fantastic. Any one could not ask for more. Ideal location for a temple. Must pay a visit. You feel very peaceful once you are near the Bo tree.

Temple in the middle of the sea - Nagadeepa
madushi10... [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The most beautiful surrounditngs a temple could have. The sea around the temple is spetacular. The time i visited there the toilets had only salt water from tap lines connected from the sea itself. But it wont take so long to pay a visit to this temple so that would not be necessary.

Peaceful and Religious
Prashanth... [TA], , Ragama

Nagadeepa Purana Rajamaha vihara is a peaceful and religious place where you can pay homage to lord Buddha and learn about the ancient visit of Lord Buddha to this location. Can reach from Kurikadduwan pier at Pungudutivu island by ferry/Navy boat.

Adrian C [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka

The vihara is a must see site on a visit to Jaffna. The boat ride is an adventure in itself and the faint hearted may need a bit of reassurance.

Festival July
TravelJun... [TA], , Colombo

This was a breath taking experience. This temple is truly beautiful and definitely a place to visit if you go to Jaffna. We were lucky to have been apart of the festival held on the day we went there. There was over 20,000 people when we arrived but we were never kept waiting in line for the boat ride. Its about an hours drive from Jaffna town and then a 20min boat ride to the temple.

The whole experience was overwhelming. The colours and architecture was what I focused on the most.

Journey better than destination
Dmm83 [TA], , London

You will need an entire morning or afternoon to do this. Involves travel across three smaller islands and a boat ride to get to. Will get a feel for the aftermath of the war on your visit.

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