The city of Trincomalee is on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. This is the most important natural harbor 260 kilometers away from Colombo. Trincomalee has several tourist attractions. Koneshwaran temple and Gokanna Temple are within the city limit.
Trincomalee Harbor and Fortress
Trincomalee Harbor was referred to by the former Admiral of the British Navy, Lord Nelson in the 18th century AD as the finest harbor in the world. This harbor was used by all colonial powers. The administrative offices of the province are around this area.
The most important Hindu shrine in the area,Thirukoneshwaram Kovil is at the highest point in the fort. Pilgrims from all the religions worship this place.
Nilaveli, Passe Kudah and Arugam Bay
All these three locations are on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Nilaveli beach is 25 kilometers north of Trincomalee. To reach Passe Kudah from Colombo, one has to pass through Habarana, turn to east, reach Valachchena and proceed another 6 kilometers to the east. Arugambay is also on the eastern coast. It is about 4 kilometers to the south of Potuvil.
Sun bathing, deep-sea fishing, shell collecting, skin diving are the most popular activities. Another popular tourist attraction, the Pigeon Island isalso nearby this beach. It is the breeding ground for blue rock pigeon. The long stretch of Nilaveli covers Uppuveli and Kuchchaveli too.
As many tourists who visit Sri Lanka say Passe Kudah is the finest beach. It has an offshore reef which shelters the sandy beach and keeps the water shallow and calm. Water skiers, wind surfers and visitors of all ages enjoy the Passe Kudah bay as the beach which provides maximum safe length walk into the ocean.
The site is an ideal one for wind-surfing among tourists. The construction of a recent bridge between the bay and the lagoon added to the improvement of infra-structure in the vicinity. During the recent past there has been a flood of adventurers who also visit the nearby national parks such as the Kumana bird sanctuary.
Maritime and Naval History Museum
At the beginning this is a Dutch colonial building built in the 18th century. Later it has been converted into a museum. The paintings on the ground floor belong to the naval history of Marco Polo’s time. The museum provides information on country’s maritime history, marine biodiversity and the history of the local Naval affairs.
This popular tourist attraction is about 17 kilometers south of Trincomalee. There is a resort at the north end of the cove run by the air force. The south end of the beach is the ideal place to enjoy your time there.
Seruvavila is located about 30 kilometers south of Trincomalee. The route from Colombo is through Habarana and Kantale from where a drive of 56 kilometers to the east will take one to Seruvavila. The shrine complex lies within a spacious area which includes one of the most sacred dagobas in the country built by King Kavan Tissa. The frontal bone relic of the Buddha has been enshrined here.
This is the place where Princess Hemamala and Prince Dantha disembarked in the 4th century AD during the period of King Meghawarna, with the Sacred Tooth relic. The location of Lanka Patuna is a beautiful bay with a peninsula where a shrine has been built at a high elevation. Devotees can reach the shrine through a bridge or by boat. There is another shrine called Pabbatha Vihara or Kalladi temple. It 5 kilometers before Lanka Patuna.
Trincomalee War Cemetery
This is a very solemn place. This is the final resting place of the British and local soldiers who sacrificed their lives during World War II. There are six commonwealth war cemeteries. This is one of them. When you roam inside the cemetery you can get an idea how the war heroes are respected in Sri Lanka.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
This cathedral is situated within a walking distance from the beach. It is one of the colonial buildings built in 1852. Attached to the cathedral there is a school too with a gang of young children who are also eagerly waiting to be with the visitors.
Hot water springs in Trincomalee
There are seven square shaped hot water wells in the site. The wells are not that much deep. They are only 3-4 feet deep. The temperature of the water in the wells varies from time to time. There is a belief among Sri Lankans that the water in these hot water wells has a great healing power. The site is associated with the Ramayanaya epic.
Pathirakali Amman Temple
This is one of the eye-catching spots found in the heart of the Trincomalee city. Of all the gopurams of the trincomalee city, Pathirakali Amman Temple is one of the wonderful creations with unique interiors. The benevolent nature of the goddess inside the gopuram is striking. The temple is open from 6.30 am to 12 pm and the evening session is from 4-6.30 pm.
This is one of the ancient Buddhist monasteries in Trincomalee built by king Devanampiyatissa. It has a modern day monastery too. The calm and tranquil atmosphere is ideal for meditation. The site is surrounded by a jungle.
Pigeon island is situated 1 kilometer off Nilaveli beach. There are two islands. This is one of the two marine parks in Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. It has a total area of 471. 429 hectares. This is home for the rock pigeons. That is how the name came into being. During the colonial period this park was used as a shooting range. White sands, natural rock pools and the shallow water beautify the island. There are snorkeling opportunities for visitors too.
Kokilai bird sanctuary
Among the birders from every nook and corners of the world Sri Lanka is a paradise. Kokilai island is home for the thousands of birds throughout the year. This island is along the Kokilai lagoon. This is home for the endangered bird species such as Black-Necked stork.
Local fishing experience
While watching rare species of birds the visitor can enjoy a boat ride along the lagoon. They also can experience the simple lifestyle of the local fishing village. These untouched parts of Trincomalee have been haunted by monkeys, crocodiles and elephants.
China Bay Golf Club
The China Bay Golf Club is in 171 acres of land. This world-class golf course has been very well planned. This is not second to the Victoria Golf Club in Nuwaraeliya.
One of the enjoyable activities that the visitor can do in Trincomalee is whale watching. From March to August is the ideal season for whale watching in Trincomalee which is opposite to Mirissa.