In the coastal town of Trincomalee is the beautiful Fort Frederick which was built in the 17th century by the Portuguese and was later fully completed by the year 1624. The Fort has an exciting appeal to it as it was built on the Swami Rock-Konamamala which was formed by the debris and remains of the famous Hindu Koneswaram temple, which was also known as a temple of a thousand pillars.
Trincomalee is a great spot for not just diving but also for spotting whales and the diverse marine life the Indian Ocean offers. The whale watching season is from May to October, and July is the best time for spotting blue whales. Tourists can also spot sperm whales in the ocean here. Diving and swimming with whales is also an option if tourists can find a guide to accompany them.
Diamond hill is a reminder of the second world war, with remnants of a signal tower and a bunker offering a window into life at the harbour in the 1940s. Hiking up this hill named by the British provides access to these sights of an era long bygone. Hikers will enjoy the climb up the hill, with only rocks and trees for support. At the end of this climb is a glorious view of Trincomalee Bay, with all of the bay’s hidden coves, as well as the Prima flour factory being visible.
Named after the rock pigeons that use it as a breeding island, Pigeon Island is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular marine parks. The island is also home to hundreds of coral and fish species, making it an excellent spot for snorkelling. The waters around the island are also home to the Hawksbill Turtle, the Green Turtle, and the Blacktip Reef Shark, among others. Along with the rich underwater life, visitors also get to watch flocks of rock pigeons flying out of the rocks on the island.
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Near Fort Frederick, the official residence of the Dutch Naval Commissioner has been renovated and converted into the Maritime and Naval History Museum. Exhibits on the ground floor cover Sri Lanka’s naval history all the way back to Marco Polo’s visit to Ceylon. In addition, the first floor displays interesting information regarding the local flora and fauna, including those on the nearby Pigeon Island. Along with the exhibits in the museum, the building itself is a fine showcase of colonial architecture.
One of six Commonwealth war cemeteries across Sri Lanka, Trincomalee British War Cemetery has gravestones of more than 300 soldiers. The Japanese had attacked Trincomalee port in 1942, and the cemetery includes graves of many who had lost their lives in this attack. With green grass and trees all around, the cemetery provides space to reflect on the deaths it is a reminder of.
In the centre of Trincomalee is the attractive Dutch Bay Beach with clean golden sand and turquoise water spread across several kilometres. As local fishing boats onshore wait to go into the sea, you can go jogging, stroll the beach, ravish the tropics with ice cream or seafood like barbecued crabs and lobsters from vendors, or cool off with a swim.
In the vicinity of Ostenburg Point, Coral Cove Beach is one of the most picturesque, tranquil and family-friendly beaches in Trincomalee. The beach is named for its magnificent reefs, full of colourful fish, anemones, nudibranchs and more marine species. While this part of Trincomalee is famous for light swimming and enjoying authentic crab curry, strong undertows make snorkelling dangerous.
With many locations around the city, divers of all levels can find something for themselves at Trincomalee. Nilaveli is home to shallow reefs and vibrant aquatic life, while Swami Rock offers drift diving. With the wreckage of H.M.S. Diomede and H.M.S. Hermes, divers keen on exploring have something to look forward to as well. The waters around Trincomalee are home to octopi, nudibranchs, seahorses, frogfish and various other species and are great for photography as well.
Only a few kilometres from Trincomalee, Nilaveli Beach, offers tourists a wide range of activities. Pigeon Island, just off the shore, is an excellent spot for snorkelling, while boat tours are another great way of exploring the waters of the Indian Ocean and spotting dolphins and whales. Nilaveli Beach is very clean, making it a great spot for sunbathing as well. From Nilaveli Beach, visitors can head to Fort Fredericks or even head into the city of Trincomalee.
Pathirakali Amman Temple is a Hindu temple of the goddess Kali who is believed to be an incarnation of goddess Kali Amman located in Trincomalee which is in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. The temple is built in the classical Dravidian style of architecture which is similar to the temple styles found in South India. The temple has a beautiful design and interior along with beautiful sculptures which are nothing short of excellence. Along with temple design, there is also an appropriate description and plenty of stories which have been visualized in the statues.
Timings : All Days
Entry Fee : Free; open to accepting donations
The Kanniya Hot Springs is on the east coast of Sri Lanka in Trincomalee and includes a series of seven square shaped wells each with a depth of about four feet. The temperature of the water at these hot springs varies between wells, but the average temperature is warm to hot. These hot springs are an example of nature in its purest form where the water from the well is believed to have healing properties. The water in each of the wells is not very deep, and one can see the bottom of the well. The depth of the well is such that the water will run out by drawing 10-15 buckets from it.
Timings : 7:00 am to 7:00 pm; All Days
Entry Fee : 10 SLR per person for locals, 50 SLR per person for foreigners
This post was published by Joysurjya Hagjer
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