It’s getting closer. Beyond the New Horizon; Desperate Times is up and available for pre-order. For some reason, the page count is way off or maybe it hasn’t had time to update, but the fact is there are 334 pages or 103,000 words.

I’d like to address speech. This is something I have been asked about several times and comments how realistic my conversations between characters are. I put myself in every characters space. Taking into consideration the character and their person… See More


Dominika Krunčíková – The Czech Republic

Dominika Krunčíková – The Czech Republic

Before my sister Kamila and I came to the Horizon Lanka foundation, we were traveling for 2 weeks through Sri Lanka and were very curious about the real life. If you have ever traveled in some exotic countries, you would know that you seem to the local people as somebody who has money, and for them, a lot of money. This doesn’t include everybody, but many people would like to get from you as much money as they could. Whenever you travel, and your role is a tourist of different skin and culture, it is quite difficult to be able to get in touch with the real life and culture of the people. For sure you can see it, feel it, try as hard as possible to assimilate with the locals, but until you live with a local family for a while, you can’ t live it. It was one of the reasons why I wanted to come to Mahawilachchyia. The second one was that as a future teacher in the Czech Republic, I was enthusiastic to see how different the schooling is in a completely different country.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful country! (Lipton´s Seat)
Horizon is an organization which helps local children spend their time meaningfully. Many children here just sit and do nothing. Literally! They easily don’t know how to play. I expected that the children there are used to playing in nature, but they are not. Some of them visit dancing lessons or extra after school lessons, but the rest of the day they usually either sleep, tidy or sit and chat with family or friends.
Teaching English to local pupils in Horizon Foundation
Horizon Lanka foundation provides the local children different kinds of activities. They enable them to learn how to work with a computer, learn English, practice dancing or singing, play sports, visit places in Sri Lanka, etc. The only problem there is the schedule organizations and nowadays funding, too. As a volunteer from Europe or other developed countries you are used to have planned schedule with given tasks. Here everything is free. You have to decide what you do with the children so that the lessons are effective. But also the children are free so it can happen that sometimes there are 20, and sometimes only 5. Just to be prepared for that, you do not get any exact tasks.
With my sister at a pond during a trip with Horizon
Living with the families in Mahawilachchyia is a great experience for people from developed countries. The time stopped here so when the toilets came indoor in Europe, they stayed outdoor in Sri Lanka (as a small outhouse outside the house). Getting a proper outside shower, bucket or lake for bathing depends on your family. Also, the housing there is completely different. The same with food. Loads of rice and curry, homegrown fruits and vegetables, coconut rotti… everything very delicious. But to experience all these you must come and try!My Family in front of their house
The people all over Sri Lanka are very kind, cheerful and helpful; much more so in the village because here you are not a tourist, but a teacher; a white skinned person attracting the attention of all locals wherever you are. You will always get your smile and wave back.

Make a diffrance.

Current Opportunities

Dancing girlsHorizon Lanka is currently seeking volunteers in the fields of:

  1. English
  2. ICT (Information and Communication Technology)
  3. Science
  4. Mathematics
  5. Arts (dancing, singing, music, painting, photography, videography, etc.)
  6. Marketing and fundraising
  7. Web Designing
  8. Graphic Designing
  9. Audio Editing
  10. Video Editing

Volunteers will typically teach English at one of Mahawilachchiya’s pubic schools in the mornings and lead different educational and leisure activities at the foundation in the afternoons.

Food and accommodation are provided free of charge to our volunteers. You will be hosted by a Sri Lankan family and will delight from living by local customs.

Students’ English and ICT knowledge has improved remarkably due to the volunteers’ help over the past few years and we encourage more volunteers to help the students and the youth in the village.

Submit Application

*Members of AIESEC can apply directly on

Read what our volunteers to date are saying.


wealth of Jaffna

Nallur Kandaswamy temple

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nallur Kandaswamy Temple
Entrance to the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Entrance to the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

Nallur Kandaswamy Temple is located in Sri Lanka

Nallur Kandaswamy Temple
Nallur Kandaswamy Temple
Location in Sri Lanka
Proper name Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil
Coordinates 9°40′28.82″N 80°1′46.61″ECoordinates: 9°40′28.82″N 80°1′46.61″E
Country Sri Lanka
Province Northern
District Jaffna
Primary deity Lord Murugan
Architectural styles Dravidian Architecture with a slight mix of Mughal style
History and governance
Date built 1734
Creator ‘Don Juan’ Ragunatha Maapaana Mudaliyar

House of temple car, where temple car preserves or rests during non-function.

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil (Tamil: நல்லூர் கந்தசுவாமி கோவில் Sinhalese: නල්ලුරුව ස්කන්ධ කුමාර කෝවිල) is one of the most significant Hindu temples in the Jaffna District of Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It stands in the town of Nallur. The presiding deity is Lord Murugan in the form of the holy ‘Vel’ in the Sanctum, the primary shrine, and in other forms, namely, Shanmugar, Muthukumaraswami, Valli Kaanthar with consorts Valli and Deivayanai, and Thendayuthapani, sans consorts in secondary shrines in the temple.


Origins – The earlier shrines of Kandaswamy in Nallur

The original, Kandaswamy Temple was founded in 948. According to the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, the temple was developed at the site in the 13th century by Puveneka Vaahu, a minister to the Jaffna King Kalinga Magha. Sapumal Kumaraya (also known as Chempaha Perumal in Tamil), who ruled the Jaffna kingdom on behalf of the Kotte kingdom is credited with either building or renovating the third Nallur Kandaswamy temple.[1][2] Nallur served as the capital of the Jaffna kings, with the royal palace situated very close to the temple. Nallur was built with four entrances with gates.[3] There were two main roadways and four temples at the four gateways.[3]

The present rebuilt temple that exist now do not match their original locations which instead are occupied by churches erected by the Portuguese.[3] The center of the city was Muthirai Santhai (market place) and was surrounded by a square fortification around it.[3] There were courtly buildings for the kings, Brahmin priests, soldiers and other service providers.[3] The old Kandaswamy temple functioned as a defensive fort with high walls.[3] In general, the city was laid out like the traditional temple town according to Hindu traditions.[3] Cankilian Thoppu, the facade of the palace of King Cankili II, can still be found in Nallur.[4] The third temple was destroyed by the Portuguese Catholic colonial Phillippe de Oliveira in 1624 AD. The original kovil was located where St. James’ Church, Nallur is located today. Part of the original Shivalingam of the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple was located in the Vicarage till 1995 when it was destroyed during the recapture of Jaffna by Sri Lanka armed forces and the platform where the shivalingam was mounted on can still be seen in the hallway of the vicarage.

Present Temple

The fourth and the present temple was constructed in 1734 A.D. during the benign Dutch colonial era by ‘Don Juan’ Ragunatha Maapaana Mudaliyar, who served as a Shroff in the Dutch Katchery, in a place identified then as the ‘Kurukkal Valavu. Krishnaiyar a Brahmin, served as the first priest of the temple.

Initially the temple was built using bricks and stones and had a cadjan roof, enshrining a ‘Vel’ in the middle. The original shrine had only two small halls.

Ragunatha Maapaana Mudaliyar’s descendants continued to administor the temple as Custodians of the temple over the past centuries and to date many additions have been made to bring the temple to its present Glory.

The start of the ‘Golden Period’ in the history of Nallur Temple is recorded as post 1890, soon after the taking over the temple administration by Arumuga Maapaana Mudaliyar, the 7th Custodian. The first Bell tower was erected by him in 1899 and he made many improvements to the temple including the main Sanctum, renovating it using granite to pave the floor of the Sanctum in 1902. The first enclosing wall was erected in 1909 by him. Likewise, the temple has been gradually renovated from time to time by his successors to date. After the year 1964, the year the present and the 10th Custodian, Kumaradas Maapaana Mudaliyar took over office, extensive improvements have been made to date, virtually rebuilding the entire complex and making it physically the largest Hindu Temple Complex in the country. The custom of annual ‘Thiruppani’, introduced by him, has seen the temple growing into its present splendor. Today the temple has four Gopurams and six Bell Towers, along with its fortified walls, giving it an appearance of a citadel in Nallur.

The temple has the main entrance facing the east. It has an ornately carved five-story tower or gopuram in the Dravidian architecture style at the main entrance.

In the surrounding inner veethy or circumbulatory path, it has shrines for Lords Ganesh, Palliyarai, Sandana Gopalar, Goddess Gajavalli Mahavalli, Vairavar and Sooriyan with Consorts, and Vairavar.

In the southern part of this temple, the holy pond and Thandayudhapaani shrine can be seen. In the northern side, one finds the ‘Poonthottam’ the holy garden.

Social significance

The temple is a socially important institution for the Sri Lankan Tamils Hindu identity of north Sri Lanka. In the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora, many temples have been built in Europe and North America using the same name as a cultural memory. Thanks to its Administration and strict decipline admired and revered by the devotees, Nallur Kovil is the epitome of punctuality, order and neatness, and provides a model for all Saiva temples. Above all it is the manner in which religious ceremonies are conducted with such impeccable timing and strict discipline that makes it a favourite amongst devotees.

New Maha Raja Gopuram Additions

Newly built gopuram at the southern side

On 21 August 2011 the temple unveiled its new Nine storey Raja Gopuram, Named ‘Shanmuha Raja Gopuram’ with an entrance called ‘ Swarna Vaasal’ ( The Golden Entrance ) at 7:00am local time.

Another New Raja Gopuram was unveiled on 4 September 2015 at 07 a.m. local time, creating a new Northern entrance to the temple complex. It is known as ‘Gubera Raja Gopuram’, and the entrance named ‘Kubera Vaasal’. This tower, slightly over powers the Southern tower and to date recorded as the biggest Gopuram in the Island. ‘Guberan’ is the deity for wealth and he protects the Northern direction. It is believed by the local people that this Gopuram will attract more wealth to the people of Jaffna peninsula.


The temple hosts the annual festival which begins with the hoisting of the Holy flag – the Kodiyetram.[5] The cloth for hoisting is ceremonially brought to the temple in a small chariot from a family belonging to the ‘Sengunthar’ dynasty, for centuries.

The festival is spread over a period of twenty five days during which various Yāgams Abishekams and special poojas are conducted. The major religious festivals people flock to witness are the Manjam, Thirukkarthikai, Kailasavahanam, Velvimanam, Thandayuthepani it’s a am, Sapparam, Ther – The Chariot festival, Theertham – the water cutting festival, and Thirukalyanam – The holy wedding. The Ther Thiruvila (chariot festival) is the most popular of all events is very colourful and commences at 6.15 am . The glamorously dressed Lord Shanmuhar and his consorts are carried out on a Silver Throne called ‘Simmasanam’, an intricatetly carved masterpiece created by the 7th Custodian, Arumuga Maapaana M

Commonway Institute Creating a World That Works for All [Note: This is a truncated, 300 word version of a 750 word article. For the full version, click here: ] FEELING DESPAIR – TAKING ACTION I was recently talking to a Commonway supporter whose city had just taken the step of becoming a “sanctuary city” … When I commended him on helping his city take these actions, he sounded depressed. “It’s not enough. In the face of all that needs to be done, I sometimes question whether our actions are comprehensive enough to really make a change in how things are going. Sometimes I feel helpless and hopeless.” “Hopeless and depressed” or “grateful and optimistic” are two emotional states that depend on your perspective. I am pretty much the opposite of “hopeless and depressed”. In these crazy times, I am feeling a new sense of solidity and optimism. My reason has several parts to it: Take Action? Take WHAT Action? The Women’s March that occurred the day after the Inauguration was impressive. In city after city, the march organizers reported numbers more than double their expectations. … Like the Occupy Phenomenon before them, the marchers proved that people want profound change. … However, it’s a bit harder to transform anger into a positive force for social change. … … From Caterpillars to Butterflies … The problem is that Donald Trump represents the caterpillar. (And Hillary Clinton represented just a different caterpillar.) The solution is that we need the BUTTERFLY. We can spend all of our time protesting the dying caterpillar. (Protest won’t make it die faster.) Or, we can become the seeds, the “imaginal cells”, of the new, emerging butterfly. And please remember: in the transformation from the caterpillar to the butterfly, THE BUTTERFLY ALWAYS WINS. A caterpillar never walks out of a chrysalis. NEVER. It’s inevitable. It’s one of the really great things about being an imaginal cell… our victory is assured.*** Peace, Shariff Over the next month, I will be laying out the groundwork for how we can all start moving from hopelessness, anger and despair to positive action for societal transformation. This is our time! It’s time to get our butterfly in gear! This message was sent to from: Shariff Abdullah | | Commonway Institute | P. O. Box 12541 | Portland, OR 97212 Email Marketing by iContact – Try It Free! Manage Your Subscription Click here to Reply or Forward 2.68 GB (17%) of 15 GB used Manage Terms – Privacy Last account activity: 5 hours ago Details