Koneswaram Temple Trincomalee - Sri Lanka

Koneswaram Temple

The famous Koneswaram Temple, locally known as Koneshwaram Kovil; (Kovil means temple) is a Hindu religious place in Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. It is also one of the oldest historic monuments of Sri Lanka and a popular tourist attraction due to its historic and scenic value. The temple is also known as Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple.

The temple is situated in one of the world’s largest natural harbours; Trincomalee. It overlooks the Gokarana Bay and provides a breathtaking view for its visitors.

Koneswaram Temple

The temple site is surrounded by the sea from three sides and creates a magnificent view of the sea and the surroundings from the summit.

The Temple Complex

Koneswaram Kovil is built on the top of a promontory named Konesar Malai in Trincomalee. It is also a remarkable monument that depicts the perfect blend of the island's religious and cultural diversity over years.

Koneswaram Temple

This historic monument houses many shrines in homage to several Hindu deities. The entrance is marked with a large statue of God Shiva. Its sight under the scattered blue sky is mesmerizing. The decorated gateway at the temple is of great artistic value.

The thousand pillar hall is also an important attraction of which you will find ruins today. The center of this religious temple complex is its main shrine to God Shiva. It is built with black granite and carved with Hindu classical sculptures.

Koneswaram Temple

The temple is popular for architecture and sculptures. The underwater ruins and the sculptures of the temple also are of great importance. It is said that these statues have been discovered at a time of digging for a water well in the site. These magnificent statues depict several gods and goddesses of Hinduism and are made of or plated with gold, silver and copper.

Ravana’s statute on East side

Koneswaram Temple Ravana’s statute

It is a magnificent idol of King Ravana erected on the East Side overlooking the beautiful sea. Those who value the Ramayana epic around the world including Hindu and Buddhist alike, consider this temple as an iconic place related to the legend.

The Sight of Deers in the Temple Premises

Koneswaram Temple

You can enjoy the sight of many deers in groups in and around the temple premises and on the way to the temple. They are social animals and very friendly with the visitors. You can also see a small statue of a deer along with the giant statue of God Shiva at the very entrance to the temple. These animals are considered sacred here and they are treated well.

Koneswaram Temple
Koneswaram Temple

Lovers’ Leap or Ravana’s Cleft at temple entrance

Lovers’ Leap at Swami Rock is known for its breathtaking view during the sunrise and the sunset. It is a beautiful cliff which rises over 360 feet above sea. It is enroute to the Koneshwaram Temple and not be missed in your visit to the Temple.

According to the legend, Ravana's Cleft has been created as a result of a clash between Lord Shiva and Ravana. It is believed that this is the place where Ravana dropped his sword. Some others believe that the cleft has got its name due to a girl who jumped off the cliff with the sorrow of losing her lover.

Believes Associated with the Temple

Koneshwaram Temple is believed to be one of the five abodes of God Shiva representing five elements. This temple represents the element space or sky.

Despite the race and religion, people from around the country visit the temple with the intention of praying to have children. They hang wooden cradles on the branches of a sacred tree in the kovil and pray.

Koneswaram Temple

Religious Festivals associated with the Temple.

If you happen to visit there during April and May; the festival time, you can witness the celebrations of Navarathri and Sivarathri functions and many other religious festivals hosted by the temple. Devotees from around the country visit this sacred place annually.

How to reach the Koneshwar Kovil

The distance from Colombo to Trincomalee town is 266 Km. The temple is located inside Fort Frederick in Trincomalee Town, Sri Lanka. Fort Frederick has once been a Dutch foretees and now an army base of the Sri Lankan government.

Koneswaram Temple

You can reach your destination via direct bus from Colombo which will take 6 to 7 hours. You can easily take a tuk tuk to the Koneshwaram Temple from Trincomalee town. If you take a train, you can also take a tuk tuk from the Trincomalee Railway Station. The distance between the Railway Station and the Temple is about 3 Km.

Koneswaram Temple

The road to the temple is an ideal walk for nature lovers. The road is also lined with various shops that sell souvenirs, traditional food and drinks, Sri Lankan traditional handicrafts, candies, fruits, Sri Lankan ayurvedic products, toys and many others.

Koneswaram Temple
Koneswaram Temple

When you reach the destination you will witness the giant statue of Lord Shiva at the very entrance of the temple.

Best time to Travel

Koneswaram Temple

The opening hours are from 6.00 to 22.00 however, it is better to visit from morning till around 19.00. The sight of the sunrise is breathtaking since this is the East coast. Therefore early morning visits will be more rewarding. You might require a minimum of 1 hour to explore this temple site.

If you wish to pray and join the “Pooja”, the rituals in honour of God, you can target the pray times.

The temple is located inside the Dutch Fort. The travelers are allowed to enter the site without approval, if you wish to walk.

Entrance fee / Tickets price

Entrance is absolutely free.

Parking is also free.

Historic Value

Koneswaram Temple is a center of hindu pilgrimage from around Asia for its religious and historic value. It is believed that the temple was built around 1580 BC.

However, it is a known fact that this kovil has been mentioned in the renowned works “Mahabharatha” and “Ramayana” written from 400 to 100BCE.

Koneswaram Temple

The temple rises with fame despite facing many turbulent junctures in Sri Lankan history, especially during the times of European invasions. Especially owing to the destruction caused by the Portuguese, the subsequent amendments and reconstructions made by the Dutch and the British have added significant historic value to this monument.