Koneswaram water-cutting ceremony draws devotees

[TamilNet, Saturday, 05 April 2003, 08:22 GMT]
The water cutting ceremony ('Theertha Thiruvizah') of the historic Trincomalee Koneswaram temple was held Friday morning at the 'Papanasa Theertham' (holy water that destroys sins) well, which is located inside the Fort Frederick in the Eastern port town. Several thousand devotees participated in the Theertha Thiruvizah, sources said.

The 'Papanasa Theertha' well was earlier a pond. The Portuguese rulers Filled the pond to the ground level and allowed a small opening at the end of the pond in the shape of a well after they destroyed the magnificent ancient Koneswaram temple with one thousand columns in AD 1624 and used its remains To construct the Fort Frederick, sources said.

Since the consecration of a new Koneswaram temple in 1963, the water cutting ceremony has been held annually at the 'Papanasa Theertham' well. The chief deity of the temple Lord Konesar, with consort Maathumai Ambal, is taken in a procession from the temple to the site where the holy well is situated. This year too, on Friday morning Lord Konesar was taken to the holy well.

The buildings surrounding the holy well are now under the control of the Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army. The SLA uses these buildings as its barracks. The SLA allows the temple management and devotees once a year to use the holy well to conduct the water cutting festival. During the rest of the year, devotees are not allowed to visit the holy well for security reasons, sources said.

The fire brigade of the Sri Lanka Navy continuing its tradition on Friday helped the devotees bathe in the holy water. The navy personnel operating the SLN fire brigade engine drew water from the holy well and sprinkled the water on the devotees.

water cutting ceremony.
Devotees worship Lord Konesar.


Lord Konesar after the water cutting ceremony was kept at a special dais close to the parade ground of the SLA Gajaba Regiment till around noon for the devotees to pay homage, sources said. Special Nathaswaram recitals were held. Nathaswaram artistes were later honoured by the Trincomalee Judge Mr.S.Thiagendran, who conferred on them golden shawls.

 

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