There is an ancient temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, on a special development, one of the largest natural harbors in the world. It is home to the seasonal home of blue whales, located in the Konasar Malai (Lord Rock) of the dramatic Gokarna Bay. Known as Thirukonswaram or Holy Konaswaram Kovil, it is located in Thirukonamalai (Trincomalee) on the east coast of Sri Lanka. The temple is located on a high rock surrounded by three sides of the sea. It bears a history of over three millennia with its records indicating its roots in 1580 BC. This place is a center of religious worship and is one of the five “Pancha Ishwaram” (Shiva abodes) built in the coastal areas of Sri Lanka in honor of the supreme deity of Hinduism.
An inscription from the 17th century BCE It is said that the temple began its history in 1580. Although this has not been confirmed, the truth remains that the ancient cave temple at the foot of the hill dates back to pre-Sangam times. It is also a testament to the fact that Koneswaram was a well-established and popular temple during the arrival of Prince Vijaya, the exiled Indian prince in the 6th century BC. On the other hand, according to legend, King Ravana and his mother were devout worshipers of Konaswaram. It is believed that Ravana created the Kanniya hot springs as part of the Thirukoneshwaram for his mother’s last rites. King Ravana is a popular emperor of Sri Lanka who is believed to have lived 5000 years ago. If this legend is true, it indicates that the temple was alive and well for more than 5,000 years.
At one time the complex was as large and grand as any in India or Sri Lanka. The grandeur was mostly lost in the 17th century at the hands of the colonial Portuguese, who razed structures, dumped some into the sea, destroyed objects, and smashed ornamentation. To salvage what they could, priests and devotees of the temple scrambled to bury their sacred objects, an event taking advantage of the sea themselves rather than seeing them crushed in the raid.
The Koneswaram temple is well known for its celebration of the traditional Ther chariot festival, the Navaratri and Sivarathri function. The Ther Chariot Festival lasts for twenty-two days in April and focuses on preparing the deities and the community for Puthandu, the Tamil New Year. Navaratri lasts for nine days and is dedicated to various aspects of the presiding goddess, whereas Sivarathri is dedicated to Siva. Devotees visit the temple to attend the daily pujas and make their offerings. Booths are erected outside for the sale of food, drink, brassware, pottery, cloth, and holy images. These functions primarily attract Hindus to the temple.[envira-gallery id=”4064″]
Some say that the original temple was the greatest building of its era, both in architecture and beauty. It combined the main elements to form a South Indian plan, such as a hall with a thousand towers (similar to the famous Aayiram Kaal Mandapam in Madurai, India) and the usual stage (or “Jagati”) layout, ruined elements. It was said that its gopuram (gateway tower) was visible to sailors approaching Sri Lanka from the sea.
Evidence of this astonishment can be found in the discovery of buried remains as well as the discovery of keys at the bottom of the bay. Photographer Mike Wilson and science fiction author Arthur C. They were discovered by Clark. In 1956, Wilson and Clark discovered masonry, statues, carved columns with floral emblems, and elephant head carvings during scuba diving. There are underwater fragments found, as well as some of the earliest paintings by Noronha, the Portuguese governor responsible for the destruction. Renovation work was completed in 1963 with the restoration of the old parts. Today the site is reborn and has somewhat modern construction. The present site does not fit into the temple before 1624, and is still a awe-inspiring place for both Hindus and non-Hindus to visit.
This temple is located on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka at the end of Kovil Road. Go past Frederick Box and follow the path that leads to the shops. You walk through the various courtyard shrines and finally reach the giant statue of Shiva. The temple urges all visitors to respect religious customs and ownership, including appropriate attire. Get ready to take off your shoes.