Ketheeswaram temple is one of the five most important and ancient Lord Shiva temples of Sri Lanka. Based on ancient scriptures and literature this temple is said to be more than 1400 years old, though more exact timing has never been agreed upon. Throughout the history this temple has gone through a lot of destruction and renovation at the hands of invaders and devotees respectively.
The original site of the temple was rediscovered in 1984 and the current temple was then rebuilt there. The temple premises had been occupied by Sri Lankan army since 1983 or so. Now the premises have been vacated but the full area around still has to be made available.