About the City
Legend, History and Nature all combine to make this sunny East Coast of Sri Lanka come alive for those who makes the effort to visit. Blessed with long white beaches, the best natural deep-water harbour, great cuisine, and the newest attraction of whale watching Trincomalee is a great place to escape and unwind.Located 257 kilometres from Colombo, Trincomalee could be reached easily through Anuradhapura or Habarana in the cultural triangle area. This is one of the most important cities in the east coast of Sri Lanka and is a great beach resort for the sun seeking tourist due to its hot and sunny climate throughout the year. Trincomalee is one of the largest and finest natural deep-water harbours in the world and is well connected by both rail and road.
In the olden days Trincomalee was referred to as Gokanna and it has been an important sea port and a Buddhist Center. Historical records show that King Mahasen from the Anuradhapura period has built a Temple here called Gokanna Vihara during the 3rd Century. Trincomalee harbour has been an important strategic location for the sea traders since olden days and was first captured by the Portuguese, who destroyed the Hindu Temple on the Swami Rock and constructed a fort in 1624. The Dutch took over the harbour in 1639 and constructed Fort Fredrick in 1675, which was later taken over by the British in 1795 after defeating the Dutch. This was the first possession of the British in Sri Lanka. Fort Fredrick still stands in a well preserved condition and is still the center of administration in Trincomalee.
Trincomalee is blessed with some of the best beaches in the island. This is a great beach destination for visitors to Sri Lanka, especially during the period from April till October, when the south and the west costs of the island are generally affected by the south-west monsoon. The beaches in Trincomalee and the stretch of beach from Uppuveli to Nillaveli, few kilometres north of Trinco are famous, white sandy beaches, great for swimming and snorkelling due to the shallow calm waters and the beautiful coral reefs. Pigeon Island is a small uninhabited island, less than 1km in to the sea from Nilaveli beach. A boat service is in operation to take visitors to this beautiful island, the home of the rare Blue Rock Pigeon. This is also an ideal place for swimming and snorkelling.
Trincomalee is a great spot for whale and dolphin watching as many different species of whales and dolphins pass through the east coast along the Continental Shelf. Unlike at other hot spots for whale and dolphin watching in the island, here you get to see the animals very close to the shore due to the unusual positioning of the Continental Shelf where the whales and dolphins are found.
This east coast destination is one of the finest places for deep sea fishing and scuba diving. As the Continental shelf is very close to Trincomalee large number of species of Game Fish, travel with the warm currents and are found beyond seven kilometres from the beach. This is also an excellent place for scuba divers/ under water photographers as the sea is uniformly calm and warm, thus the explorer gets a variety of visual delights.
The Hot Water Springs in Kanniya, 8km from Trincomalee on the Anuradhapura road is another famous attraction in the area. Found here are seven very shallow wells of smaller sizes where the water temperatures of the wells are quite high and varies from each other. Local visitors bathe from all seven wells as they believe that the water contain therapeutic effects on the body.
The Koneshwaram Hindu Shrine on the hillock inside the Fort is another place of interest in the heart of Trincomalee. The Vata-Da-Ge (circular relic house) in Thiriyaya, one of the best of the kind found in Sri Lanka, Velgam Vehera and the Seruwila Buddhist Temple with a beautiful Stupa are places of historical interest that could be visited from Trincomalee.
Map of the City