A centuries-old temple, believed to have been visited by King Ravana's wife Mandodari, in Sri Lanka's north-east has been restored to its past glory by the Army.
The historic Thirukeshwaram (Mahathithamanthottam) Hindu Kovil (temple) in Mannar, which was neglected during the LTTE days, received a new facelift after de-mining and was handed over by Army Engineers to religious authorities, a statement from the Army said.
It said the temple will now conduct regular poojas.
Following a directive by Army Chief Jagath Jayasuriya, troops swung into action and commenced clearance of LTTE laid minefields in the Temple premises and its surroundings.
"The temple is said to have been venerated by King Ravana's wife Princess Mandodari as the first one to make offerings to this sacred place," the statement said.
This Hindu temple in Mannar with its direct links to Trincomalee and Galle Thirukeshwaram Hindu Kovils of historic importance records a saga that also goes back to the days of Sri Lankan Prince Vijaya.
Legends and folklore tell that the first structure of the kovil at Mannar was built by Raja Raja Cholan and Rajendran Cholan of the Chola dynasty.
The move was timed to coincide with the re-opening of the sacred Kovil which used to mark its annual feast on Marc 13 every year.