In 1980, Sanmugam Arumugam (1905 - 2000) wrote a book titled ‘Ancient Hindu Temples
of Sri Lanka’. There was a good demand for the book and a second revised edition
was published in 1982. This second edition had two additional maps giving the locations
of the temples and an Appendix giving details of the original Patrons of the temples.
A Glossary of Tamil terms relating to temples was also included.
Encouraged by the warm reception accorded to the book, Sanmugam Arumugam wrote a
second book which was published in 1991. It was titled ‘More Hindu Temples of Sri
Lanka’. The book gave details of additional ancient, medieval and modern Hindu Temples
in Sri Lanka. Together, these two books contain details of over 100 Hindu Temples
in Sri Lanka.
These two books have been out of print for quite a while, but there appears to be
a continuing and growing interest in the subject. It was therefore considered worthwhile
reprinting the two books, merging the contents of the two books into a single volume.
The texts of the two books were written twenty-five to thirty-five years ago, so
it is possible that some of the temples described have new buildings constructed
in them since the text was written.
The beautiful hand-drawn sketch on the front cover has been drawn by Darshan RajaRayan,
grandson of Sanmugam Arumugam. It is a sketch of the five-tiered Gopuram of the Thiruketheswaram
Temple, which is near Mannar. The sketch used as a guideline the photograph of this
Gopuram which is in the text of the book. Dharshan was also responsible for the cover
Thanks are also due to our publishers, Ohm Books and to Seggy T Segaran. If not for
his enthusiasm, initiative and ebullience this volume would not have seen the light
Sanmugam Arumugam, B.Sc.(Lond.), B.Sc.(Eng.), F.I.C.E.,F.I.E., was born in 1905,
in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Graduating in Engineering from King's College, London, he was
an Irrigation Engineer for over thirty years. Ruins of many historic sites and ancient
temples were visited when he had to visit irrigation works for restoration.
On retirement he wrote about Hindu Temples. He made a tour visiting the Hindu Monuments
of ancient Java, and Hindu Agamic Temples of Bali and Lombok.
He passed away in 2000.
His other works: ‘Lord of Thiruketheeswaram’, ‘Koneswaram’, ‘Lombok and Its Temples’,
‘Stone Sculptures in Colombo Hindu Temples’ and ‘Dictionary of Biography of the Tamils
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