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KONESWARAM IN TRINCOMALEE

September 13,2021 

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ThirukonamalaiKonesarKovil or 'Dakshana Then- Kailasam' is a classical - medieval Hindu Temple Complex in Trincomalee. It is a world famous Hindu Religious Pilgrimage Centre in Eastern Province in the island of Sri Lanka. It is the most sacred of the PanchaIshwarams in the island. It was built during the reign of the early Cholas and the Five Dravidian of the early Pandiyan Kingdom on top of the KonesarMalai, overlooking Gogarna Bay and the Indian

Ocean.

Its Pallava ,Chola ,Pandiya and Jaffna architecture and design reflect the continual Tamil Saivite influence in the Vannimai region since the classical period. It is a shrine devoted to Lord Shiva Developed from 205 B.C, the original Kovil combined key features to form its basic Dravidian Archtecturetemple plan. It is well known for the gold plated gopuram towers that stand distinctly on the cape's heighest eminence.

Koneswaram has many strong historical association. The shrine is described in the ' KonesarKalvettu ' and Thevaram hymns by Sambanthar and Sundarar as'PadalPettaSthalam' along with its west coast counter partThiru Ketheeswaram Kovil ,Mannar and was praised for its tradition by Arunagirinathar upon his visit to this shrine.

Contemporary historians such as S. Pathmanathan and Paul E. Peiris suggest Koneswaram temple has a recorded history from 300 B.C, when it find mention in the 'Vayu Purana' and the 'YarlpansVaipavaMalai.' Peiris notes that Koneswaram was one of the five recognisedIshwarams of the Hindu deity

Lord Shiva in the island before the sixth century B.C, a widely famous centre of deity long before the arrival of the mythical exile of Vijaya to the island attributed to the period 543-505B.C. The Chola Royal Kankan(Kulakkottan) restored Koneswaram temple at Trincomalee and the Kantalai tank after finding them in ruins.Kulakkottan visited the MuneswaramKovil on the west coast, before settling ancient Vanniars in the east of the island. According to the chronicle, he extensively renovated and expanded the shrine, constructed several lofty gopuram towers and lavished much wealth on it. He was crowned with the epithet 'Kulakkottan' meaning 'Builder of Tanks and Temples

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