Trincomalee Trincomalee, one of the finest natural deep-water harbours in the world is located 257 km north-east of Colombo, which is considered as the commercial hub of Sri Lanka. Trincomalee is home to the fine beaches of Nilaveli, Uppuveli and the off-shore Pigeon Island. Recently Trincomalee has become popular as a Whale Watching destination as well. The Dive centres at Nilaveli and Uppuveli offer touriststhe opportunity to enjoy their holidays in diving, snorkeling and swimming. The Trincomalee district, referred as Gokanna or Gokarna in the historical chronicles and inscriptions, is studded with a multitude of ruins of ancient Buddhist temples and is considered a major Buddhist cultural and archaeological site of Sri Lanka. The seven hot springs at Kanniya located a mere 8km from Trincomalee attract regular crowds throughout the year in view of the therapeutic properties of the water as well as the varying temperatures from one well to the other.
This revered temple at the summit of a rocky outcrop is one of Sri Lanka’s pancha ishwaram, five historical Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and established to protect the island from natural disaster. It houses the lingam (Hindu phallic symbol) known as the Swayambhu Lingam. It’s an ancient place of worship, but the current structure dates to 1952. Pilgrims from across the nation flock here; its puja (prayers) at 6.30am, 11.30am and 4.30pm are always well attended.
Occupying the neck of a narrow peninsula, Fort Fredrick has been a defensively important site for centuries. A fortress was initially constructed here by the Portuguese in 1623 and later rebuilt by the Dutch. The British took over in 1782 (look out for royal insignias crowning the tunnel-like gateway that pierces the fort’s massively stout walls).
Trincomalee is the gateway to a few of the finest beaches in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka, namely Uppuveli and Nilaveli located 6km and 16km away from the town area. The beaches with knee deep shallow waters that runs hundreds of feet into the sea, afford ample opportunities for surfing, scuba diving
, snorkelling, fishing and Whale Watching
Right in the centre of Trinco is the attractive and picturesque Dutch Bay. Swimming is possible despite sometimes dangerous undertows. However, it’s more a place for strolling, and ice-cream sellers cater to the evening passeggiata .
St Mary’s Cathedral
Of the city’s churches, the 1852 Catholic St Mary’s Cathedral is particularly attractive, with a sky-blue neo-baroque frontage and a tiled, towered rear.
Manayaweli Cove is an appealing curl of fishing beach reached by strolling past Dhoby Tank, where local washers do their laundry.
Kali Kovil has the most impressive, eye-catching gopuram of Trinco’s many Hindu temples.