ANCIENT SIVAN TEMPLE IN THIRUKETHEESWARAM, MANNAR
This ancient temple is situated in Manthota in a large plot of land.
An important ritual, ‘Ko matha’ pooja’ (pooja for a cow) is performed daily in the mornings for over 40 years since the Kumba Abhishekam in 1976. There is a cattle shed about 20’ X 20’ in extent in front of the temple and the cattle is taken out for grazing every day.
In the past 5 years, the Temple management has been agitating to get rid of these animals expressing difficulty in maintaining them. It was unanimously decided at a council meeting in the year 2014 that animals should not be sold and if being sold, it could be done only after a complete screening of the buyer and the approval of the Board of Trustees. A member who has been providing cattle feed and poonac to the animals since year 2011 informed the committee that he would ensure continued supply of food at least until the year 2017.
In spite of this arrangement, key members of the management had made a decision to give them away, in other words to sell them. From the official receipts issued by the management 41 cattle (including the cattle rescued from illegal abattoirs by the Magistrate’s Court, Mannar and handed over to the temple) have been sold in the months of February and March this year for a sum of Rs. 766,000/=.
In the month of February 2016 :
• 2 male calves have been sold to an Amman temple nearby in Vettayamurrippu
• 6 males have been sold to a fisherman in Thalaimannar
• 12 males and 12 females with a calf have been tagged, numbered and sold to a cattle trader.
In March 2016 :
• 8 cows and a bull have been sold without tagging to a trader and taken away on 23rd of March 2016, the very same day the management was at a function – laying a stone for the construction of the Maha Mandapam and providing lunch to the dignitaries invited for the function.
On the 23rd of March, while they were being transported, one of the cows that escaped was found injured and traumatized in the temple premises and is now being treated. Six (6) of them were found at a midpoint and have been brought back.
Following animals (15 nos) are found to be still around :
• 2 male calves sold to the Amman temple nearby in Vettayamurrippu
• 7 nos. rescued and brought back to the temple premises on 23-3-2016
• 2 cows (aged 2 years) born to the temple cows seen at the trader’s property – bought back from the trader on 29-3-2016 by the Amman temple in Vettayamurrippu.
• 4 cows handed over to the temple by the courts were also seen at the Trader’s property on
There is confirmation that 1 bull had passed away soon after transportation and Nine (9) others have been given to meat stall owners.
There is every possibility that the balance 16 cattle have too been sacrificed in the months of February and March this year.
A vigil has been arranged at the Thiruketheeswaram Temple premises in Mannar on Sunday, the 3rd of April 2016 at 8 a.m.