Lord Konesar procession begins in Trincomalee town
[TamilNet, Monday, 27 February 2006, 22:04 GMT]
Three-day procession of Lord Konesar with his consort Mathumai Ambal began Monday evening around 5 p.m. after the annual observance of Maha Sivarathiri day Sunday night in the historic Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple with heavy police security. The town was calm in contrast to the violence that plagued the town since the erection of Lord Buddha statue in the vicinity of the central bus stand, including the execution type killing of Tamil students on the second day of the New Year 2006.
Lord Konesar and his consort Mathumai Ambal in decorated vehicle.
Devotees waiting along procession route to pay obeisance to Lord Konesar.
Devotees after Monday evening Pooja carried the chief deity on their shoulders to the entrance of the Fort Frederick where it was kept on a decorated vehicle.
Thereafter the procession began while devotees chanting religious hymns. Police provided protection and controlled traffic movement. Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Navy manning sentry points along the route were also seen watching the procession, sources said.
Unlike in previous years, the decorations were sparse along the roads on the first day of the procession.
Devotees held Poorna Kumbam in front of their houses along the route and worshipped while the procession moved.
As is the custom during the procession, several Sinhalese businessmen offered flowers and broke hundreds of coconuts to keep their vows, sources said.
According to chronicles, King Kulakottan rebuilt the Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple in the 11th century. Kavi Raja Varothiyan records the date of the building of the original temple in a Tamil poem as 1589 B.C.