The Temple of Shri Viswanatha swami & goddess shri Visaladchi Ambiga, popularly known as Putter Sivan temple is situated in the town of Putter located centrally in the Jaffna peninsula.
It is recorded in History that during the Pallavar period, there was revival of Hinduism and emergence of Hindu Literature like Thevaram compost by Saiva saints and ‘Divya Pirapantham’ by vaishnava saints. New temples were build and old once renovated during this period. There is reference to Putter Sivan temple in ‘Dakshana Kailaya puranam’. Accordingly, the temple referred to is Putter Sivan temple and the spring is Nilavarai spring which is about half a mile away. Theerthotsavam (or water cutting ceremony) was originally conducted at Nilavarai spring but subsequently a holy pond was constructed adjoining the temple.
The arrival of the Portuguese and the Dutch had a very adverse effect on Hinduism. During the Portuguese period, all Hindu temples including Putter Sivan temple were destroyed and Hindus were forcibly converted. Yet during the latter half of the Dutch period, there was religious tolerance and the time was ripe for renovating ruined temples and establishing new ones.
Most temple environments remained shrubby and grazing grounds. The village folk let their cattle graze on the grass. In Putter a gentleman Sithamparanathar by name who had agriculture pursuits had employed a boy to look after the cows. One evening while the boy was tending the cattle, he saw the vision of an old lady supported by a stick disappear into the cane shrubbery. The boy promptly narrated this to his master. The master in turn visited the spot and worshipped the goddess. On that night, the goddess appeared in Sithamparanathar’s dream and declared thus; “Among the cane shrubbery there is a jak shoot and I dwell is it. Worship me!”
Sithamparanathar made his dream known to the villagers and they all realized that it was goddess Umayal who had appeared is the dream. They cleared the shrubbery the jak shoot and started building a temple for Goddess umayal. They also discovered the ruins of an ancient temple there. The temple for Goddess Umayal was built and the villagers began worshipping the Goddess. In the course of time the devotees developed the temple further by maintaining the architecture of the original temple with the Goddess idol is the shape of the jak tree surrounded by Idols of love Shiva, Visaladchy, Amman, Lord Vinayagar and Vairavapperuman.
At the beginning ‘Alangara Utsavasm’ was conducted at the ‘Pilavady Amman Temple’ and ‘Theerthotsavam’ was conducted at Nilavarai Pond called ‘Narasaileswaram’. The temple evolved into Sivan Temple consequent to the completion of Arththa Mandapam, Maha Mandapam and Dharshana Mandapam in 1976.
The holy pond was constructed adjoining the temple in 1896 to avoid inconveniences caused by the long trip to Nilavarai ‘Aadippoora Theerthotsavam’ is conducted at this pond annually in a grand scale. In 1903, separate temples were built for the sub. Gods (‘Parivaramoorthigal’). After long process of developing the temple, the first ‘Maha Kumbabishekan’ was conducted in 1911 on saint appars Chiththirai Chathayam, from the beginning, many people of good repute had given their contribution to the renovation and development process. After 1911, Malavarayar become the managing trustee of the temple and he donated a greater part of his wealth to the temple. Malavarayar was succeeded by his son Kanthiah as managing trusee. It was during Kanthiah’s time the temple of the sub – gods Saneeswarar, Shanthanagopalar, Sooriya Santhirar, Thedchanamoorthy and the idols of Thillainadesar, Lord Murugar surrounded by Valli – Theivanai were included.
Both malavarayar and son Kanthiah did a lot to preserve the saiva thadition and hand it over to posterity. They paved the way for the continued existence of ‘Periyapurana’ culture and also founded the temple the Hindi School and the charity home ‘Annasaththiram’ in Putter. In addition, provision iwas made to celebrate the ‘Gurupooja’ of the 63 Hindu saints. With the passage of time, the 2nd ‘Maha Kumbabishekam’ was conducted is November 1939. ‘Poongavana Utsavam’ was a special feature. It was so arranged that Goddess Umayal would observe ‘Thavam’ in the ‘Nanthavanam’ 25 yards away and god shiva would come and take her along with him.
In 1951, the decorative temple car (Chithra ther) was designed by the local talents and is 1956 the ‘Thirumanjam’ was designed by the Indian talents subsequent ‘Maha Kumbabishekams’ were conducted on 18th of August 1989 and 12th June 1999 and 17th of August 2008. Special festivals of the temple include the following : April Hindi New Year, Vaikasi Visakam,Lord Shiva’s Annual festival, Goddess Amman’s Annual festival, Avani Moolam, Puraddathi Sani, Navarathri festival, Kantha Shasti, Kethara Gowry Viratham, Deepawali, Karthigai Vilakkidu, Pillaiyar Kathai,Theruvempavai, Thai Pongal, Thaipoosam, Thai Amavasai, Shivarathry, Masimaham, Panguni uththaram, Pradhosha Viratham, Full Moon Day festival, New Moon Day festival, Nadesar Abishekam, Nayanmar Gurupooja.