Trincomalee Koneswaram temple festival begins

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 March 2003, 22:29 GMT]
The annual twenty two-day festival (’Mahotsavam’) of the historic Koneswaram Temple in the east port town of Trincomalee began Tuesday with the flag hoisting ceremony. The water cutting festival will be held on April 4 at "Papanasa Theertham" (sin destruction holy well), which is located inside the Fort Frederick where Koneswaram temple is also situated. The "Boat Festival"(Theppath Thiruvizah) will be held on April 6, temple sources said.

However the holy "Papanasa theertham" well is surrounded by the barracks of the Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), which is also located in the Fort Frederick.

The history of the original Trincomalee Koneswaram temple goes back to 1589 B.C as recorded by a Poet Kavi Rajavarothiam in his Tamil poem.

King Kulakottan was an Indian Prince who, in the 5th century A.D. rebuilt and enlarged the Koneswaram temple, which was later destroyed by the Portuguese in 1624 on the Hindu New Year day, according to historical records.

The carved stones of the destroyed ancient Koneswaram temple can be seen today in the ramparts of Fort Frederick.

"A walk round the ramparts of Fort Frederick today will reward the interested searcher with many treasures in the shape of granite blocks and carvings. There are the undoubted remains of the old Koneswaram temple," said Lt.Colonel G.P.Thomas in his book "The history of Trincomalee".

Lt.Colonel G.P.Thomas wrote this book when he was serving in Trincomalee during 1940s.

"Whatever its actual date, however, the fact of the Temple's existence is incontrovertible, and it is impossible not to feel the awe-inspiring romance of these aged stones over which Time and War have flawed unavailing," said Lt.Colonel Thomas.

Three hundred and nineteen years later the new Koneswaram temple was built and consecrated in April 1963. Since then the temple was consecrated twice.

Koneswaram temple, Trinco.
Koneswaram temple, Trinco

 

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