koneswaram temple of trincomalee (tamil: திருக் கோணேச்சரம் கோயில்) or thirukonamalai konesar temple – temple of one thousand pillars , dakshina-then kailasam classical-medieval hindu temple complex in trincomalee, hindu religious pilgrimage centre in eastern province, sri lanka. built during reign of cholas , 5 dravidians of pandyan kingdom atop konesar malai, promontory overlooking trincomalee district, gokarna bay , indian ocean, pallava, chola, pandyan , jaffna design reflect continual tamil saivite influence in vannimai part classical period. monument contains main shrine shiva in form kona-eiswara, shortened konesar , major place hindu pilgrimage, labelled “rome of gentiles/pagans of orient”. connected @ mouth of mahavilli ganga river footprint of shiva @ sivan oli padam malai @ river’s source, temple symbolically crowns flow of ganges river shiva’s head of mount kailash feet.
developed 205 bc, original kovil combined key features form basic dravidian temple plan, such one thousand pillared hall – “aayiram kaal mandapam” – , jagati expanded king elara manu needhi cholan. regarded greatest building of age architecture, elaborate sculptural bas-relief ornamentation adorned black granite megalith while multiple gold plated gopuram towers expanded in medieval period. 1 of 3 major hindu shrines on promontory colossal gopuram tower, stood distinctly on cape’s highest eminence. journey pilgrims in town begins @ opening of konesar road , follows path through courtyard shrines of compound deities bhadrakali, ganesh, vishnu thirumal, surya, raavana, ambal-shakti, murukan , shiva presides @ promontory’s height. annual koneswaram temple ther thiruvilah festival involves bhadrakali temple of trincomalee, pavanasam theertham @ preserved papanasuchunai holy , proximal bay sea (theertham karatkarai) surrounding konesar malai.
the complex destroyed in colonial religious attacks between 1622 , 1624 , fort built @ site debris. 1632 built temple located away city houses of original idols. worldwide involvement renewed next discovery of underwater , land ruins, sculptures , chola bronzes archaeologists , arthur c. clarke. has been preserved through restorations, in 1950s. granted ownership of villages in floruit form trincomalee district, trincomalee small town located on cape isthmus within compounds. modern temple has been source of conflict between bulk sinhalese , minority tamils due position in geostrategically of import area. revenue temple provides services , nutrient local residents.
koneswaram has many strong historical associations. shrine described in vayu purana, konesar kalvettu , tevaram hymns sambandhar , sundarar paadal petra sthalam along west coast counterpart ketheeswaram temple, mannar, birthplace of patanjali, compiler of yoga sutras , praised tradition arunagirinathar upon visit. dakshina kailasa puranam , manmiam works note dakshina/then kailasam (mount kailash of south) longitudinal position , pre-eminence, lies straight east of kudiramalai west coast hindu port town, while easternmost shrine of 5 ancient iswarams of shiva on island. mentioned popular bay temple of island in mahabharata, ramayana , yalpana vaipava malai, mattakallappu manmiam confirms sacred status hindus. kachiyappa sivachariar’s kanda puranam compares temple thillai chidambaram temple , mount kailash in saivite esteem