Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Ati Konanayakar Temple, Thambalagamuwa

Ati Konanayakar Temple
Ati Konanayakar Temple (also known as Aathi Koneswaram Kovil) is a Hindu shrine situated in Thambalagamuwa (Tamil: Thampalakamam) village in Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka.

The history of this temple is related to the famous Koneswaram Temple at Trincomalee (Arumugam, 1991). In the 17th century, Koneswaram was threatened with demolition by the Portuguese after they assumed control over the Jaffna peninsula (Arumugam, 1991). The temple was looted in 1624, and then it was completely demolished by them in order to employ its materials for the building of the Trincomalee Fort (Navaratnam, 1998). However, the priests and the Pandaram workers of the temple escaped from this attack and some of the valuable objects (including the statues of Konainayakara and Madumai Ambal) in the temple were taken away by them to nearby Thambalagamuwa (Arumugam, 1991). According to Thiru Konesala Vaipavam, these objects were installed at a place called Kalani-malai in 1624 (Arumugam, 1991).

Some years later,  King Rajasinha II (1635-1687 A.D.) erected a proper shrine at Thambalagamuwa to house the deities taken from Koneswaram and called the new shrine the "Konanayakar Temple" (Arumugam, 1991).

1) This image (Aathikoneswaram) has been released into the public domain by its creator, Umapathy.

1) Arumugam, S., 1991. More Hindu temples of Sri Lanka. London. p.20.
2) Navaratnam, C.S., 1998. Koneswaram: A temple of a thousand columns. North-East Sri Lanka- A compendium: 50th anniversary of Sri Lanka's independence 1948-1998. North-East Provincial Council. pp.159-171.

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This page was last updated on 4 November 2020
For a complete tourist map follow this link: Lankapradeepa Tourist Map


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