Though Trincomalee is famous for the Koneshvaram Shiva Temple on the Swami Rock in the first place, there are some more Hindu temples of interest in the town. The largest one is devoted to Kali. In contrast to Vishnu, who is venerated by Sinhalese Buddhists and Tamil Hindus alike, worship of Kali is exclusively Tamil in Sri Lanka. Kali is the most powerful and violent form of Shakti, the female energy of male deities. She is venerated as destroyer of evil forces in the first place. But in Bengal, where tantric practices became dominant in the 7th to 9th century, Kali is held in high esteem as the mother of the universe, too. Kali plays a role in some Buddhist traditions, too, namely in Buddhist tantric schools, particularly in Nepal and Tibet. However, Kali is of no significance for Sinhalese devotees. Among Tamil temples in Sri Lanka, Kovils dedicated to Kali are not as common as those for her husband and sons, Ishvara (Shiva), Kataragama (Murugan) and Pilliyai (Ganesha). Most temples of the mighty and often furious Kali in Sri Lanka are dedicated to one of her more delightful incarnations, the helpful and curing Amman, known as Mariamman among Tamils.
The Kali temple in the very centre of Trincomalee is dededicated to Bhadrakali in particular. A separate Kovil for Ganesha is attached. The Kovil is built in the typical stlye of Dravidian architecture of south India. The most eye-striking feature of the Dravidian style is the large gatetower known as Gopuram, which is adorned with plenty of sculptures. Colourful sculptures of deitie and other celestial beings are fond in the interior of the Kovil, too. Just as in the case of Kataragama shrines, it is a comon practice of praying for needs by breaking coconuts in front of the temple oentrance.
Access is allowed to foreigners, if they respect the local dress code. Pooja is celebrated trhee times a day, at 7.00am, 12.00 noon and 5.00 pm. Most locals venerate Kali n Tuesdays and Fridays in particular. The temple feast of this Kovil is usually the fortnight in the second half of March.
Nuwan Chinthaka Gajanayaka,