Diving for Idols

At Trincomalee, on Sri Lanka’s northeastern coast, there boasts a spectacular promontory and temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. High atop Swami Rock overlooking Gokarna Bay, home to seasonal blue whales and one of the world’s largest natural harbors, Koneswaram Temple has been a religious pilgrim center since 400 BC - and at one time as grand as any on Hinduism’s cradle of the Indian sub-continent.

The temple was raided in the 1800s when invading colonial Portuguese plundered the site, destroying much of its grandeur - razing buildings, and tossing Hindu idols into the sea below. 

Many of these statues were discovered by underwater photographer Mike Wilson and iconic science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke while scuba diving here in the 1950s, and many remain untouched below today. The experience was so profound for Wilson, he renounced his career and family and became a Hindu swami. 

Fortunately, I got the chance to see the temple and dive these same waters.



Moorish Idol

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