• 11. March 2016

Koneswaram temple
in between heaven and the ocean

On our recent trip to Sri Lanka, our host showed us the Koneswaram Temple during our stay in Trincomalee.
The Hindu temple is enthroned on the Swami Rock high above the sea, and can be seen even from far away.
Travelling up, first we cross Fort Frederik which was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century, then the path leads us up the rock, walking between colorful stalls and stands. Once arrived we were received by a majestic blue Shiva.

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The view is stunning!
And with a little luck – and getting there in the early morning hours – you may catch a glimpse of the whales or dolphins, that resident in the waters around the rock Swami.

Not log ago, the temple has been restored for many months, its appearance is splendid and very impressing. Colourful mural paintings are telling the stories of its moving past. Over 2000 years of history, including the destruction by the Portuguese conquerors and the subsequent reconstruction. Those bright and intense colours and figures fascinated us.
We were lucky, the temple architect is a friend of our host, and we were allowed to take a few pictures of the beautiful interior of the temple. These will be inspiring memories for us.

But also outside of the temple, there is a lot to discover.
Collected coconuts are lying on the ground in the sun, they will be given to the gods and used in the Pujas.
Stairs are surrounding one part of the rock and it is beautiful to walk along colourful ribbons that hang from the trees, enjoying the cooling sea breeze and the view, while discovering further statues placed within some rock corners.

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Our companion told us the reason, for all those tiny and lovely decorated baskets that are hanging in the trees, outside the temple area. These symbolise little cradles, hung by married couples in the wind, so the gods may hear their wish for a child.

The mix of the ancient history and colourful life mostly fascinated me at this place.
And who knows, maybe we will come back one day and also hang up a tiny basket in the trees …

 

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