Peace pulls thousands to Kokkaddicholai festival

[TamilNet, Monday, 23 September 2002, 14:33 GMT]
The Chariot Festival of the Kokkaddicholai Thaanthonreeswarar Siva Temple in Batticaloa’s LTTE controlled western hinterland was celebrated Sunday. The prevailing peace between the Liberation Tigers and Colombo drew more than 25,000 devotees to the festival. According to local traditions, the temple’s original structure was built by provincial governors of the Chola Empire in the eleventh century. The island was a province of the powerful medieval Tamil empire for three centuries.

Thaanthondreesvarar temple.Kokkaddicholai is 15 kilometres southwest of Batticaloa town, across the lagoon.

There are only three entry points to the Kokkaddicholai area. All were clogged Sunday as thousands thronged for the final Chariot festival.

The main chariot in which the image of the temple’s deity is pulled by devotees was constructed with wooden sculptures in the 18th century.

 

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