Tam: மடு maṭu
‘Lake’ NP, Sri Lanka
From Tam: maṭu, ‘pond, pool, reservoir’.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu is the holiest of Roman Catholic shrines in Sri Lanka.
When Catholic communities, originally converted by the Portuguese, came under attack from the King of Jaffna, they settled first in Manthai and then moved further inland when the Dutch invaded.
The statue here has been on a pan-Sri Lankan tour three times and was officially crowned in a Canonical Coronation in 1924 by Pope Pius XI’s representative.
For related place names see Sri Lanka Place names.