A scenic ocean view drive up a picture square avenue lined with large over hanging shady trees marked the entrance to an old fort that dates back to over two hundred and fifty years. The fort was not my destination, but driving through the arched gateway of the fort was the pathway to the temple of Shiva, Lord and Master of the Heavens in Hindu mythology. The winding road ascended a steep hill until finally I had reached the space allocated for vehicles to be parked.
On stepping out of the card, a few feet away was a bustling bazaar of sorts. Trinkets of every variety, signifying the closed , closeted, unimaginative objects of years bygone were being sold at this bazaar. One could also find food and drink to quench the thirst created by the scorching sun. The tender coconut drink and the edible kernel was popular with visitors to the temple. After quenching my thirst thus, I set forth to mount the steps to the peak of the hill and along the way was treated to the view down the steep cliffs of Koneswaram. Down below were the lovely crashing waves and their strong lovers, the rocks that kissed them constantly. The spray of foam and froth that is evoked by this passion signifies the embodiment of creation that is the essence of Lord Shiva.
Shiva is represented by phallic symbol that seems to be conjoined with the female genitalia. This is known as The Lingum. The steep hill embodies the Lingum of Shiva. The crashing waves signify the turbulent passion of creation. The energy expended signifies Shakthi. Shakthi being the consort of Shiva is given pride of placement in all Shiva temples across the Hindu World.
The temple has its entrance a thirty foot statue of Shiva in his resplendent glory. The temple is carved out of rock and many idols of Hindu pantheon abound within the confines of the temple. I was asked to remove my baseball cap within the temple by priest with a shaven head and tuft of protruding hair at the back of his cranium. As a priest, his world has become so mundane that the chants the slokas or incantations in a memorized mechanical manner, his body facing away from the Lingum and his eyes on the caps and hats of visitors.
The experience of visiting this temple that was build around 205 BC was amazing and outstanding. I urge history buffs and all who enjoy visiting sites of ancient dynasties and civilizations to enter and stroll the premises of Lord Shiva at his sacred temple of Koneshwaram. I Departed to continue my journey across Sri Lanka with a feeling of wonderment in my mind and peace within my soul.