Shankari Devi Shakthi Peetam
Shankari Devi temple in Tricomalee, Srilanka is a prominent temple for Hindus. But, it is most rarely visited and it is very least popular in all AstavaDasha Shakti peethas. Shanakri Devi Temple is situated in an east coast town of Srilanka, Tricomalee (Tri – Cona – Malai = a triangular hill).
Along with the temple of Shaankari Devi, there is a temple of Lord Shiva – TRIKONESHWARA Temple.
Portuguese people demolished these temples in 17th century.About Temple
Koneswaram temple also Thirukoneswaram is a Hindu temple which is located in the town Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. It is dedicated to main deity in Shaivism namely Lord Siva and is one of the five ancient Sivan templearound the island.
Trincomalee is a natural deep-water harbor that attracted great sea farers like Marco Polo, Ptolemy and sea traders from China and East Asia from the ancient times. The local name Thirukonamalai means "Holy East Hill". Kona is a derivative of the 1st Century Tamil word Kuna meaning East. Trinco as it is commonly called has been a sea port since the days of the ancient Kings and one of the British Empire's most important ports in Asia during the second world war. From 1941-45, Trinco had been the headquarters of Lord Louis Mountbatten Allied Southeast Asia commander. The Koneswaram temple is believed to have been a major religious shrine since before the arrival of Prince Vijaya 2500 years ago. Many inscriptions found in the surrounding area speak of Indian Pallava, Chola and even Pandya kings making contributions to the upkeep of the temple indicating an origin in antiquity. Local legend has it that it was renovated by a Tamil Chola king from South India named Kulakottan. This temple is one of the four important Saivite temple connected to the revival of Hinduism in Sri Lanka. The other three temples are situated in Ketheeswaram, Munneswaram and Galle
There is evidence that indicates at least some of the later Sinhalese Buddhist kings too maintained the temple although Buddhist King Mahasena was reported to have destroyed it and built a Buddhist temple and Dagoba in its place.
This shrine was demolished in 1622 by the Portuguese (who called it the Temple of a Thousand Columns), who fortified the heights with the materials derived from its destruction. Some of the artefacts from the demolished temple were kept in the Lisbon Museum. The stone inscription by Kulakottan has a dual fish emblem and is engraved with a prophesy stating that after 1500s, westerners with different eye colors will rule the country for the ensuing 500 years and at the end of it, the rule will revert back to Vadugus. Trincomalee was next held by the Dutch and subsequently by them and the French alternately, till the capture of Sri Lanka by the British in 1795.
The hill face is rugged and is called 'Ravanan Veddu'. As Trinco is full of seismic and volcanic activity as seen in Kanniya Hot Springs area, this rugged face of rock is a reminder of the movement of Earth's crust in this area.
Along with Ketheeswaram in Mannar, this temple was mentioned by one of the Bhakti era Tevaram literature by one of the Nayanmars, namely Sundarar in South India, indicating its popularity even in India.
Thirukonasala Vaipavam, written by the poet V. Akilesapillai is an important literary work in Tamil on the history of this temple. After 1505 A.D, the temple was destroyed by Portuguese catholic colonialists (along with countless Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim places of worship around the island), while the main statue was taken out to town for a festive occasion. At this time Portuguese soldiers entered into the temple dressed as Iyer priests and robbed the temple. The temple was destroyed and its building materials were used in the construction of a nearby fort by the Portuguese.The present statues were found when digging a well in Trinco. During the time of Portuguese rule the statues were hidden in a silted well and were later forgotten. During independence, the ancient statues were finally di
After a gap of almost 450 years, after the Sri Lankan independence, some Sri Lankan Tamil hindu people of Trincomalee came together and built the present temple in 1952. In size it's very small compared to the original temple. The annual festival at this temple attracts pilgrims from all parts of India.Legend
“I want a house Swami. I want to live in a lovely mansion, attended by Yoginis and playing with our children. Please grant me this wish” said Parvathi. Shiva laughed. “Shakthi, who are you speaking to? Have you forgotten that you are talking to me, who is extolled as the yogi of yogis, who has achieved supreme control over his senses and who sees no difference between the luxurious and the mundane.”
“I fully understand Swami, but it is you who does not understand my intentions for the goodness of this world. I want a house and I want it now.” said Shakthi with a hint of finality.
Shiva realized the thought behind Shakthi’s request and finally he gave his assent. Waving his hands in front of him he said, “Vishwakarma, I am in need of your help”. Lo, before him stood the Devaloka Architect, with a chisel in one hand and a hammer in the other. He bowed to the divine couple and awaited his instructions.
“Vishwakarma, build me the best palace ever seen in this world so that Uma can have her desire satisfied.” intoned Shiva. In an instant Vishwakarma flew southwards and chose a beautiful spot on the island of Lanka. There he raised a magnificent structure, gleaming with gold and gems, cooled with water fountains and filled with the smell of many divine flowers in the garden, a palace that qualified to be the residence of the Mother of the three worlds.
Parvathi was extremely pleased with the outcome and wanted to perform the Griha Pravesha of this beautiful palace with the help of the best of the Brahmanas. Shiva and Shakthi came down to Lanka to find a suitable brahmana for the Grihapravesha. It was then that the distant but powerful chant of “Om Namah Shivaya” reached their ears. Following the divine sound they came to a place where they beheld a ten-headed man, performing austere tapasya invoking Shiva. Shiva smiled at Shakthi and then spoke out.
“Ravana, you have achieved the purpose of your tapas. So strong was your tapa that it not only drew me to you but also attracted Shakthi along with me to the place of your penance. You will achieve all that you desire.” he blessed.
Realising that Ravana was the son of the great saint Vishravas and very well versed on all the four Vedas, Parvathi was suddenly sure that he would be the right brahmana to perform the Grihapravesha to her house. Ravana gladly accepted the invitation and set a date for the auspicious entry into the palace (Ravana is believed to have been an authority in Astrology too and is said to have authored a separate book on Astrology titled Ravana Samhita)
On the prescribed date, Ravana performed the ceremony with much grandeur and splendor, with the correct usage of all the mantras and shlokas. Shiva and Parvathi entered their mansion and added further sanctity to the spot. Parvathi was extremely pleased with Ravana’s prowess in the Vedas and offered him any boon that he wanted as dakshina for performing the ceremonies.
Shiva, however laughed silently besides Parvathi. “It is not proper for a Brahmana to ask what he wants for dakshina. He should be pleased with what the Yajamana or Yajamani gives him. However, as Shakthi herself offered you the boon, you may ask whatever you please.”
Ravana demands the Palace as a giftRavana smiled at the couple and realized suddenly what he wanted. He had fallen in love with the palace itself. He had admired every piece of woodwork, every carving and every room that had been designed by Vishwakarma. “Jaganmata, I would like this house of yours in return for my ceremonies.” He asked.
Parvathi smiled at the play of fate and granted him his wish. Ravana was visibly thrilled but at the same time guilt rattled him. He felt ashamed at robbing Parvathi of her house. “Devi,” he exclaimed, “do continue to live in Lanka as long as you please. This land is but equivalent to one speck of dust on your feet. Please give your consent to stay here and bless this land forever.”
Parvathi smiled again. “Ravana, I accept your invitation. My shakthi will always pervade this place. But on one condition- I will go away from the island the moment you disobey any of my commands.” Ravana agreed to her condition and with one last Tathastu, Parvathi returned to Kailasha.
Ravana built a gigantic temple, replete with architectural details, dedicated to the goddess Shankari Devi. The temple was located on the top a cliff that fell sharply into the magnificent sea below. Around the temple, Ravana set up a beautiful garden, the best in all of Lanka. The goddess smiled on the people of Lanka and the kingdom prospered.
Trouble began when Ravana, overcome by carnal desire, kidnapped Seetha and brought her to Lanka. Shankari devi was angered by this base action of Ravana. She asked him to leave Seetha and return her to Rama. But lust clung to Ravana like a leech and he did not obey Devi’s advice. Highly disappointed, Shankari left the island country and with her left all the peace and prosperity of the kingdom.
We are of course familiar with the remainder of the story detailing the Rama-Ravana war and the subsequent defeat of Ravana. When Vibheeshana was crowned by Rama as the emperor of Lanka, he prayed that Shankari devi once again take residence in the island nation. Shankari Devi accepted his prayers and re-entered her temple, bringing glory to Lanka once again.
Shankari Devi as described in the Dhyana ShlokaThe place where Ravana had built Shankari Devi’s temple is believed to be the exact spot where the groin of Sati is said to have fallen. The magnificent cliff where the temple was built is by itself considered to be a part of Kailasha.
【Text by Lakpura™. Images by Google, copyright(s) reserved by original authors.】