Timings : 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Entry Fee : Free; open to accepting donations
The Koneswaram temple is one of the main highlights of the east coast of Sri Lanka in Trincomalee. The temple is located high above the bay, and you can view the breathtaking and awe-inspiring scenery on all sides. The site is a religious pilgrimage for the Hindus and is also known as the Kailasa of the South. The Koneswaram temple is one of the five “Pancha Ishwarams” (abodes of Shiva) which has been built to worship Lord Shiva- the supreme God of Hinduism.
The original construction of the temple dates back to 400 B.C.E., later to the 5th century and finally to the 18th century. The temple’s complex was considered to be one of the most ancient combinations of architecture and ornamentation. The original temple had beautiful features of a thousand pillared hall and a raised platform which was later destroyed. Koneswaram gets its name from the chief deity of the temple that is God Shiva, who is also known as someone who reigns over the mountains. The name ‘Konam’ is believed to have come from the Old Tamil word meaning ‘peak’.
The restoration work of the temple was completed by the year 1963, with many of the old pieces being reinstalled. Although the temple does not match up to the grandeur as the ancient times, it remains a favourite place of visit for both Hindus as well as non-Hindus. The journey for pilgrims in the town begins at the opening of Konesar Road and follows a path through courtyard shrines of the compound to the deities Bhadrakali, Ganesh, Vishnu Thirumal, Surya, Raavana, Ambal-Shakti, Murukan and Shiva who preside at the peninsula’s height.