Thirukoneswaram, or Holy Temple of Koneswaram, is a temple complex in Thirukonamalai (Trincomalee) on the east coast of the island. The temple sits on a large rocky promontory, framed by the sea on three sides. It has a past of over three millennia with documents revealing its origins in 1580 BC. This, still magnificent, historical landmark is what survives of what was once a massive temple city equivalent to the historic capital of Madurai, India.
Holy Koneswaram is a temple visited by people from various communities and nations. Widely known all around the world, tourists come every day by boatloads to see the ancient site. In the shrine and around it, many visitors are trying their utmost to honor God Shiva; whether it’s something as easy as packing little paper packets with Sacred Ash, or something even more complicated as sweeping the grounds.
The Elements of the Holy Koneswaram Temple in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka:
- Embedded in the outer walls of the moolasthanam in order: Dancing Ganesh (Narthana Vinayagar), Dakshinamoorthi, Lingotpavar,
- Shrine with smaller bronze Sivalingam
- Bronze statue of Nataraja (Shiva)
- Brahma, Thurkai
- On the wall: A painting of Shankari Devi
- Shrine of Ganesha
- Shrine of Parvati Amman
- Elementaruli in the Vasantha Mandapam with smaller metal statues
- Vairavar – Guardian god
- Shrine of Murukan with his consorts Valli and Deivanai
- Mini shrine of Sandeswarar
- Moolasthanam – Svayambu Lingam
- Moolasthanam – Mathumai Ammal
Distance from Trinco – 4.5 km (13 minutes)
Koneswaram Temple Quick Facts:
- The Temple of Koneswaram was destroyed by the Portuguese and restored in the 17th century.
- This renowned temple sits on a massive cliff known as Swami Rock, rendering it an icon of Trincomalee.
- This holy temple is a famous attraction that draws a lot of visitors apart from devotees.
- The temple is enhanced by South Indian Dravidian architectural elements and Hindu designs.
- This temple hosts the annual Hindu cart festival or Vel Perahera during April and May.
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The Koneswaram Temple – Overview & Experience Explained
So, for those who are still planning to visit the shrine, you would first have to follow the first pilgrim’s trip. When you stroll along, you’ll see several shrines and ponds along the way – they’re usually near unless it’s the month of April. When you enter the entrance of the temple, you will be met with the beautiful face of the litany of the Hindu gods, such as the all-powerful Lord Shiva.
If you find your way inside, you will be treated to the complete splendor of ancient Hindu architecture – from finely sculpted sculptures to beautifully-colored roof tiles. You can also venture outside the temple to get an incredible view of the bay and the outcrop of the sea beyond.
There are several constructs for you to enjoy out here, including the golden idol of King Ravana, which stands in the temple in the devotion of the Svayambu Lingam. Koneswaram Temple is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Trincomalee, as nations who pay respect to the Ramayana Epic consider it one of the most-related places of the legend.
Why Visit Koneswaram Temple in Trincomalee?
On a magnificent rocky outcrop facing one of the biggest natural harbors in the country, there is an ancient temple dedicated to the mighty god Shiva. It’s at the head of Konesar Malai (Swami Rock) in the spectacular Gokarna Bay, the annual habitat of the blue whales.
Encircled by jaw-dropping landscapes in all directions, the spectacular Koneswaram Temple sits high above the sea, a traditional-medieval structure in the eastern province of Trincomalee. The place is a holy pilgrim center and is among the five “Pancha Ishwarams” (abodes of Shiva) established in the coastal regions of Sri Lanka to worship the ultimate god of Hinduism.
Legend of Koneswaram Temple
As per the tale of Ramayana in Sri Lanka, this is a marvelous temple on a rock promontory founded by Rishi Agastya on the orders of Lord Shiva, who was inspired by the commitment of King Ravana.
It is also mentioned in the epic of Ramayana that Lord Rama constructed the second lingam here and got rid of the Brahmahathi Dosham, induced by the curse of killing Ravana, who was a Brahma. It is also claimed that Lord Rama gave his prayers here to get rid of such a Dosham. This temple is regarded as one of the Pancha Ishwarams in Sri Lanka and the relevant Ramayana sites in Sri Lanka. Every year, many locals and tourists visit this majestic temple and pay their respect and tribute.
When you visit Trincomalee for your next holiday, make sure you visit this ancient temple Koneswaram. Contact us for more information about Trincomalee holidays and attractions!