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Gokanna Pabbatha Viharaya

  Province Eastern
  District Trincomalee
  Nearest Town Trincomalee
  Period 275-301 AD
  Ruler king Mahasen


This post is yet again dealing with another important Buddhist temple but now turned into a Hindu Kovil in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka. Unlike in the previous example where some remains of the temple (Kadurugoda Vihara in Jaffna) is still visible, in this instance, however, the place has completely been turned in to Hindu Temple. This Temple is none other than the famous Thirukoneswarm temple in Trincomalee or the previous Gokanna Vihara.


According to the chronicles the Gokanna Vihara was built by the king Mahasen in 3rd century. De Queyroz, a Portuguese historian says that the Gokana Vihara was a Buddhist temple until it was destroyed by Portugeese in the 16th century. According to him the Pagoda or the Stupa of the temple was destroyed by Portuguese Trincomalee's ruler Costantino da Sa while Buddhist monks were still in residence there. Therefore, it is clear that the Gokkana Vihara was intact until it was destroyed by Portuguese in 16th century and was until then a famous Buddhist temple.