Konesar procession concludes in Trinco
[TamilNet, Saturday, 24 February 2001, 01:37 GMT]
Amidst tight security provided by armed police personnel, the chief deity of the historic Trincomalee Koneswaram Temple, Lord Konesar, was taken in a colorful procession throughout the port city on Thursday night. Streets of Trincomalee town were gaily decorated to receive the chief deity Lord Konesar. Thousands of Hindu devotees assembled along the roadside to worship the deity of Konesar Temple.
The procession started from the temple on Thursday evening. The deity was first received by government officials working in the government offices inside the Fort Frederick which was built in 1624 AD by Portuguese.
The date of the original Koneswaram Temple is recorded in a Tamil poem by Kavi Raja Varothiyan as 1589 BC. King Kulakottan, South Indian Prince, rebuilt and enlarged the Koneswaram Temple in the fifth century A.D.
The beautiful temple at Konesar Malai was demolished by Constantine de Sa, a Portuguese commander and its sculptured stones and pillars formed into the ramparts of Fort Frederick. Now the Konesar Rock and the newly built Koneswaram Temple are inside Fort Frederick where the Sri Lanka Army's Gajaba Regiment is currently stationed.
The newly rebuilt Koneswaram Temple was consecrated in 1963. Since then, the deity of Lord Konesar was taken out of Fort Frederick for a three-day procession in the town every year. Now it has been reduced to one-day procession in the town due to security reasons.
As usual, the town procession of the deity of Konesar Temple started on Thursday evening and concluded around Friday noon.
Hindu devotees are allowed to visit this historic temple for worship by the SLA sentry situated outside the Fort Frederick on surrendering their national identity cards. After dusk no one is allowed to visit the Temple except on special occasions like Maha Sivarathiri day. Evening poojah is concluded before 6 p.m.