The most prominent building in the town centre, however, is a Hindu temple. It is close to the main road. So you will easily recognize its large tower. It’s a tower above the main gateway. These tall towers exuberantly decorated with hundreds of sculptures of divine beings are called Gopurams. Gopurams are the most characteristic feature of Tamil Hindu temples in southern India and Sri Lanka. By the way, “Gopuram” is a Sanskrit term meaning “cow city”. 

The main Hindu temple in Matale is dedicated to Muthumariamman. The goddess Mariamman (speak “Muri-um-man”) is very popular among Tamils in India and Sri Lanka. “Amman” The prefix “Muthu”, literally meaning “pearl”, is an honorific title, similar to “Sri”. The last part of the name, “Amman” simply means “mother”. "Mari" means "rain". The name recalls that this deity was originally an ancient Tamil fertility goddess. For today’s devotees, Mariamman is as a helper against all febrile diseases. In particularin she is the smallpox goddess in southern India.

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