Trincomalee is home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches, with Nilaveli beach being it’s most stunning stretch of coastline. Visitors can experience quiet beaches and marine wildlife, exotic temples and sample its delicious cuisine and rich culture.
Recognized as one of the best vantage points by oceanographers for whale watching, don’t miss the opportunity to spot blue whales (between March and April) and sperm whales (between August and September).
From May through August, while the whales are away, there are large groups of dolphins that can range upto about 300 that may be seen.
The Kanniya Hot Springs is believed to have first been mentioned in the Ramayana. The seven wells have seven varying temperatures of water from lukewarm to extremely hot. Tourists with religious beliefs usually come to bathe here.
Floating in the great blue 1km offshore from Nilaveli beach, Pigeon Island, with its powdery white sands and glittering coral gardens, tantalises with possibilities.
The Pigeon Island Marine Park is a must visit; snorkelling amidst the colourful schools of fish and the conserved coral reefs is an exhilarating experience! Make sure you’re well equipped and accompanied by an expert, who will guide you through the sites and even take you to a shark viewing point.
A nesting area for rock pigeons, the island is beautiful enough, with rock pools and paths running through thickets, but it’s the underwater landscape that’s the real star. The reef here is shallow, making snorkelling almost as satisfying as diving, and it’s home to dozens of corals, hundreds of reef fish including blacktip reef sharks and turtle species.
The ancient settlement of Trincomalee (or Trinco, as it’s usually called), now the third-largest city in Sri Lanka, is best known for its famous harbour, one of the world’s largest and finest deep-water anchorages. The city’s centrepiece is Fort Frederick, now used as an army barracks, though casual visitors are still allowed to stroll through it en route to Swami Rock – the commanding clifftop that dominates this coastline, topped by the modern Koneswaram temple, one of the holiest Siva shrines on the island.
On the northern edge of Uppuveli village, the pristinely kept if rather sombre Commonwealth War Cemetery holds the graves of 362 Allied servicemen of a dozen or more nationalities who died at Trinco during World War II, including soldiers and sailors killed in the Japanese air raid on Trinco in 1942.
Trinco’s historical and cultural richness is represented through the Hindus, Buddhists, Tamils, and Muslims that call this diverse city home. Sacred Hindu and Buddhist temples and shrines dot the district, inspiring pilgrimages to these ancient sites.
Thirukkoneswaram (Koneswaram) Temple is situated on top of the Swami Rock within the Fort Fredrick. It is also known as the temple of thousand pillars. The primary deity is the Hindu God Lord Shiva in the form of Konesar.
Koneswaram is one of the most ancient and holy Shiva shrines in the island with a recorded history from the 3rd century BC and attracts Hindu pilgrims from all parts of the world.
The original temple which had over 2000 years history was demolished by the Portuguese (who called it the Temple of a Thousand Columns) in 1624 and the rubble and other materials derived from its destruction were used to build a well-fortified Fort to prevent the Port of Trincomalee from falling to the Dutch.
Just a few meters before the entrance to the temple, you can see the famous “Lover's Leap” giving visitors a breathtaking and thrilling view. The 350 ft sheer drop is believed by Hindus to be
Occupying the neck of a narrow peninsula,Trincomalee Fort, also called Fort Fredrick, has been a defensively important site for centuries. A fortress was initially constructed here by the Portuguese in 1623 and later captured by the Dutch in 1639. The British took over in 1782 and royal insignias crowning the tunnel-like gateway that pierces the fort’s massively stout walls remain. It continued to be a British stronghold till 1948. Visitors can see remains of administrative buildings and coastal artillery guns that were used during the two world wars.
The Fort is fabulous with its green environment, beautiful and breathtaking landscape and romantic surroundings. It is also home to animals such as spotted deer and different species of birds. Currently, the Sri Lankan Military maintains the fort.