Trincomalee is a town that is based around a natural deep-water harbor, which has attracted great seafarers for centuries. These include traders from China and Arabia, Ptolemy and Marco Polo. The area is also famous for its wide golden beaches, the coral reefs around Pigeon Island, as well as the blue whales that swim these waters.
Close to the town is the largest Dutch fortress in Sri Lanka, which is home to one of the oldest Hindu temples. For hundreds of years, the Koneswaram temple attracted pilgrims from all over India. Unfortunately, the Portuguese, who called it the Temple of a Thousand Columns, demolished the original shrine in 1622. Some of the artifacts from the demolished temple can be seen in the Lisbon Museum including the stone inscription by Kulakottan.
There are several Buddhist historical sites around the Trincomalee, meaning that there had been a Buddhist inhabitance in the area for many centuries. The Kanniyai hot springs are well worth a visit – you can take bucketfuls of warm water from the different wells and enjoy a relaxing bath!
It is fun to explore the streets, visiting Tamil gold shops and the atmospheric vegetable market where everything is weighed in large antique fashioned scales.
Trincomalee, is an anglicized form of the Tamil word "Tiru-kona-malai", meaning "Lord of the Sacred Hill"; a reference to the town's ancient Koneswaram temple.
An Insider's Perspective
Trincomalee is a beach lover's delight - you can walk miles and miles of pristine white beaches fringed on one side by coconut trees and on the other by clear turquoise waters. It is also fun to watch the fishermen pulling their nets up the beach and seeing what is fished out of them - an abundance of different fish!
The history of the area is fascinating and diverse - from its Hindu past and the Koneswaram kovil, to the ancient Kanniyai springs and the colonial history which is represented by the Dutch Fort Frederick.
Don't miss out on blue whale watching between March and November, as well as diving with sharks off Pigeon Island.
Send us an inquiry and tell us what tweaks and changes you would like to make if any. Or
click here if you prefer to contact us by
Miguel Cunat is a Partner of Sri Lanka In Style founded in 2005 to provide visitors with insightful, engaging experiences in his adopted homeland. Recognized by Conde Nast Traveler as Sri Lanka’s Top Travel Specialist, and recently featured on Wendy Perrin’s WOW List.