Renowned for its deep water natural harbour – one of the finest in the world, truly a legend since the past, Trincomalee has always been a popular resort port city which attracted many sea traders and explorers for centuries. This enchanting city, built on a peninsula on the north-east coast of Sri Lanka is 257km from Colombo. Trincomalee, a treasure with a rich historical heritage bears significance and importance pertaining to trade, maritime and religion. It has the largest Dutch Fort in the country, Fort Frederick. It was originally built by the Portuguese and fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century. The Fort houses the sacred Hindu temple Koneswaram Kovil. Although the original ancient kovil was destroyed by the Portuguese, it was newly restored on the highest point of the Swami Rock, a cliff within the fort. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Many of the artefacts that were housed by the original kovil were discovered underwater and returned. During World War II, Trinco was a British naval base, and it still home to major Sri Lankan naval bases and a Sri Lankan Air Force base.
Within the vicinity of the Koneswaram Kovil, there’s a cliff called Lovers’ Leap, which is a 350 ft drop that fascinates visitors due to the romantic legendary story behind its name – a British maiden jumping off the spot after losing her lover.
The ancient Kanniya hot springs dating back to the legendary King Ravana period is another popular attraction. The water in these springs is believed to have therapeutic value.
Its pristine beaches and off-shore Pigeon Island with shallow waters, sheltered by the bay makes it an ideal destination for swimming, diving, fishing, snorkelling and has recently developed into a great whale watching destination too.