Other namesPattini Deviyo
AffiliationKannaki Amman
SymbolAnklet, Neem leaves

Pattini (Sinhala: පත්තිනි දෙවියෝ, lit.'Pattiṉi Deviyō', Tamil: கண்ணகி அம்மன், lit.'Kaṇṇaki Am'man',Hindi: पत्तिनी, lit.'Devi Kannaki'), is considered a guardian deity of Sri Lanka in Sri Lankan Buddhism and Sinhalese folklore. She is also worshipped by Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus by the name of Kannaki Amman.

She is considered the patron goddess of fertility and health, particularly protection against smallpox, which is referred to as deviyange ledé ('the divine affliction') in the Sinhala language.


Goddess Pattini is the deification of Kannagi, who is the central character of the Tamil epic Silapadhikaram of Ilango Adigal, written in India after the 2nd Century CE. After a short time, it was introduced into Sri Lanka and absorbed earlier deities such as Kiri Amma ('milk mother'). Historians attribute the introduction of goddess Pattini to the island to Gajabahu I, a Sinhalese king who ruled Sri Lanka from 113 - 135 CE. As per some historians, the Silapathikaram mentions Gajabahu's presence at the consecration of a temple to Kannagi (identified as Pattini in this case) by the Chera king Senguttuvan.[1]


Pattini is honoured in annual fertility rites such as

Nursing mothers' alms-giving

Sinhalese people believe that diseases like chickenpox and measles are punishments by God for frailty. In such events as the goddess of healing, they pray to Pattini Devi. When a family member is infected, they hold Dānas (alms-givings) for her, called Kiri-ammāwarungè dānaya (Nursing mothers' alms-giving).[2]

Pattini temples in Sri Lanka

Devalaya/Temple Image Location District Province Description Refs
Halpe Pattini Devalaya Halpe Badulla Uva Province Archaeological protected monument [3]
Kabulumulla Pattini Devalaya One of the four major Pattini temples which the great 'Pattini Salamba' exists. This devale was built by King Rajasinghe I in 1582.
Lindamulla Pattini Devalaya Lindamulla Badulla Uva Province Archaeological protected monument [4]
Maduwa Pattini Devalaya The festival of the Pattini Devale is held annually during July–August season.
Mahanuwara Pattini Devalaya Kandy Kandy Central Pattini Devale is located to the west of Natha Devale close to Sri Dalada Maligawa premises. [5]
Nawagamuwa Pattini Devalaya Nawagamuwa Colombo Western As the legend unfolds King Gajabahu I of Anuradhapura (A.D. 114 - 136) came from India with 12,000 men as prisoners, bringing with him a Pattini anklet, he landed at a place close to devalaya. Devalaya was built to enshrine the anklet. [6]
Madulla Paththini Devalaya Madulla Nuwara Eliya Central Ancient Devala, Built by King Rajasinghe II

See also


  1. ^ "King Gajabahu I of Anuradhapura". Lanka Pradeepa. Retrieved 23 July 2023.
  2. ^ "The Cult of Goddess Pattini at a time of Pandemic: Gammaduwa as a Strategy of Supernatural Protection". Retrieved 29 August 2023.
  3. ^ "Ella Halpe Pattini Devalaya". Department of Archaeology. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Gazette". The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 1401. 8 July 2005.
  5. ^ "Gazette". The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. 1597. 8 April 2009.
  6. ^ "Nawagamuwa Devalaya - Dedicated to goddess Pattini". Sunday Observer. 17 April 2011. Retrieved 11 March 2018.

Further reading