Koneswaram water-cutting festival held
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 12 April 2005, 00:11 GMT]
The water-cutting (Theertham) festival of historic Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple was held Monday morning in the Papanasachunai holy well located inside Fort Frederick and surrounded by barracks of the Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army. The SLA Monday allowed the temple authorities to open the holy well to conduct the Theertham festival to conclude the annual festival of the Koneswaram Temple. The fire brigade of the Sri Lanka Navy sprayed water from the holy well on thousands of devotees gathered at the site, sources said.
Holy water being sprayed on devotees
|Chief priest seen pouring holy water on trident |
|SLN fire brigade personnel spraying holy water on devotees|
|Covered holy well|
Lord Konesar with his consort Maathumai Ambal was taken to the holy well from the temple Monday morning amid chanting of religious hymns by devotees. Soldiers opened the main gate for Lord Konesar and devotees to enter the holy well area where Gajaba regiment parade ground is also located. All other sides of the area are barricaded for security reasons, sources said.
The SLN fire brigade arrived at the holy well site Monday early morning to pump the holy water from Papanasachunai well enabling devotees to perform their religious rite bathing in holy water after Lord Konesar.
The chief priest of the temple performed religious rites standing near the holy well and drawing holy water from the well, sources said.
Mr.S.Vipulanandan, Secretary of the Trincomalee Urban Council represented the UC as it was in charge of conducting the festival. Mr.M.Ganesharajah, Trincomalee Magistrate and Mr.M.K.Sellarajah, temple administrator were also near the holy well when the chief priest poured holy water on a trident which represented the chief deity of the temple.
Thereafter fire brigade personnel of the Sri Lanka Navy started pumping water from the holy well and sprayed on thousands of devotees gathered at the site, sources said.
Army soldiers were seen watching the event. Some soldiers asked photographers at the scene not to film military installations in the area but to take photographs of the deities and the crowd, sources said.
Lord Konesar with his consort Maathumai Ambal being taken from temple to the holy well Papanasachunai which is surrounded by barracks of the SLA Gajaba regiment