Munneswaram Temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Shiva is the most prestigious and biggest and is popular amongst Hindus. The other temples are dedicated to Ganesha, Ayyanayake, and Kali. The Kali temple is popular with Buddhists and Roman Catholics. This important Buddhist temple is an important Hindu temple in Sri Lanka, a mainly Buddhist country. It has been in existence at least since 1000 CE, although the surrounding tales that the temple associate it with Ramayana, and its hero-king Rama. The temple is one of five ancient temples dedicated to Shiva. Post-19th century, most of the devotees of all temples in the complex belong to the majority Sinhala Buddhist ethnic group; the temples, excluding the Ayyanayake and the Buddhist temple, are administered by Tamils. The temple is located in Munneswaram, a village with mixed Sinhala and Tamil population situated in the region in the Puttalam District. The temple was destroyed twice by the Portuguese, who handed over the properties to the Jesuits. Although the Jesuits built a Catholic chapel over the temple foundation, local Sinhala and Tamils reconstructed the temple both times. Due to religious and demographic change after the late 18th century, most surrounding villages and towns are not directly associated with the temple administration and maintenance but the villages of Maradankulama and Udappu are linked with organizing the main temple festival.