When wanting to scour regions that makeup Trincomalee, one would do well to schedule a visit to the sublime shrine of Sri Thirukoneswaram Kovil which is devoted to Shiva.


The shrine which was established in honour of the Hindu god Shiva is situated on a promontory that overlooks the natural harbour of Trincomalee. Shrouded by greenery, the Sri Thirukoneswaram Kovil is at the pinnacle of Swami Rock and inside the ease of access of Gokarna Bay which is frequented by the majestic Blue Whale.

Earliest records

While the date of the shrine’s inauguration has been debated at great length by scholars and historians alike, the overall understanding is that the Kovil got here into existence in and around 400 BC. However, opinions reveal that the shrine was subjected to reconstruction efforts from as early because the fifth century and lasted up until the 18th century.


Before the Kovil fell into the hands of the Portuguese colonists, it was believed to be a effective example of engineering ingenuity that married the architectural values of South India with priceless, studded ornaments that covered its length and breadth. A 1,000-pillared hall, and an elevated platform (jagati) along with a gateway tower (gopuram) were a number of the standout features of its celebrated past.

Current position

Sri Thirukoneswaram Kovil
Image via Wikimedia Commons – Alexey Komarov, Koneswaram Temple – panoramio, CC BY 3.0

Restoration efforts concluded in 1963 and presently, an air of modernism envelops the shrine. However, as you are taking each step towards the doorway, you shall be warmly welcomed by the gold-painted statuette of Shiva which is arguably, the prized possession of the Sri Thirukoneswaram Kovil which is a crucial centre for pilgrimages. In fact, those residing at Trinco Blu by Cinnamon which is one in all the amazing resorts Trincomalee has to supply could make their solution to the shrine which is a mere 7.3 km away.


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