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Tourist Places To Visit In Trincomalee
One of the best deep water ports in the World, 257 km on the north-east side of Colombo and home to some of the finest beaches of Sri Lanka, is Trincomalee, which has recently earned the best destination recognition for whale watching. Since the reign of King Dutugamunu in 161-137 BC, Trincomalee has provided space to several Buddhist temples and monasteries and is peppered with their ruins, making it a significant Buddhist cultural and archeological location in the country. Some of the best tourist places to visit in Trincomalee are as listed here below.
Surrounded by the historic Swami Rock and Gokarna Bay, if there’s just one place you’d visit when in Trincomalee, then let it be the colorful Koneswaram Temple, an old fashioned complex that is one of the most popular attractions in the city as a significant Hindu Pilgrimage center and one the five abodes of Lord Shiva, built here to honor the Lord
Constructed by the Portuguese, refurbished by the Dutch and finally seized by the British, Fort Frederick is an ancient fortification occupied by the Sri Lankan military now. This historic landmark with a daunting entrance is a crowd puller in terms of history and nature sightings. As interesting as its history is, you won’t miss the free-roaming spotted deer whilst strolling through the fort’s premises. The fort also houses a sacred Hindu temple along with a Buddhist Vihara. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the sunset and panoramic sights of the Trincomalee Bay from here.
British War Cemetery
After the Japanese defeated Singapore in World War II, Trincomalee became the main base for both naval and air forces for the British & allied powers in South Asia. The final resting place for 364 soldiers from that war under the British Empire. The buried include soldiers from Sri Lanka, India, Canada, New Zealand, France, East Africa, South Africa, Italy, Pakistan and Myanmar. The War Cemetery is established in the premise of a well-preserved garden, as part of the 6 Commonwealth cemeteries in Sri Lanka. A quiet and solemn place, it evokes a sense of loss when the price of freedom against the loss of lives is weighed.
Pigeon Island National Park
Off the coast of Nilaveli Beach is the untouched and beautiful Pigeon Island National Park, home to endangered species of rock pigeons, stunning rock formations and colorful aquatic animals. A unique natural marvel made of two islands known as the Large and Small Pigeon Island, the Pigeon Island National Park was declared a marine sanctuary way back in 1963 and labeled a national park in 2003. With a 200 m long and 100 m wide coral reef with nearly a hundred species of gorgeous corals, the Large Pigeon Island has an unmatched live coral reef with a high ecosystem and significant reef habitat. Its flora includes Mussidae, Poritidae, Faviddae, Acropora spp and Montipora spp coral species in addition to some soft coral as well.
This coral abundant habitat with a labyrinth of tiny islets and rocky boulders in the Small Pigeon Island’s vicinity, makes it a promising ground for feeding and breeding over 300 varieties of coral reef fish, thereby establishing a vibrant underwater masterpiece! Here you’ll find different specifies of fish that include the Blacktip reef shark both adult and infant variety, as also some endangered species like the Ragged fin parrotfish, Mellon Butterflyfish, Bi-color cleaner wrasse, Moorish Idon, Humphead Wrasse, Emperor angelfish and the Blue-ringed angelfish, along with Hawksbill sea turtle, Leatherback, Green sea turtle, Olive Ridley and Loggerhead with other unique varieties of vertebrates and invertebrates.
Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple
Magnificent, inimitable and bright, Sri Pathrakali Amman Temple was built in honor of Hindu Goddess Bhadrakali in the 11th century and is a spectacular and immensely picturesque site. The stunning gopuram of this Kali temple with its countless sculptures and beautiful colors attract tourists from far. Also known as Kali Kovil, the temple exudes a powerful and compassionate vibe that implies the Goddess’s energies, leaving many awestruck. The temple’s open for reverence and visits from 6.30 in the morning till 12 noon and then from 4 pm till 6.30 in the evening.
Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara
Considered one of the most sacred sites in the country, the Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara is a significant tourist site in Trincomalee. With its 2nd century Stupa built originally by King Kavantissa, the temple holds the sacred frontal bone of Lord Buddha. Large crowds of people visit the temple every year to pay their respect and seek Divine blessings.
Maritime and Naval History Museum
Set in a beautifully reinstated 17th century Dutch Mansion, the Maritime & Naval History Museum provides an important insight into Sri Lanka’s maritime past. The museum’s ground floor holds information about the country’s naval history dated during Marco Polo’s time with naval scenic models and video presentations, while the first-floor space exhibits items regarding the marine ecosystem highlighting the east coast’s flora and fauna. The museum also offers breathtaking views of the bay.
One of the best tourist sites in Trincomalee, the Velgam Vehera is an ancient Buddhist site with a modern monastery, ideal for some quiet contemplation. Amidst the beautiful setting of tall trees and lush green lawns, strolling by the ancient ruins of the Buddhist temple built by King Devanamiyatissa is quite a calming and tranquil experience. The original and glassy Buddha Statue stands tall even after so long, along with intriguing engravings and a gorgeous forest surrounding the site.
Saint Mary’s Cathedral
A small Catholic Church tucked away in the city’s quiet corner, Saint Mary’s Cathedral is at a walking distance from the beach and was built in 1852 with a beautiful white & blue portico and a tiled, towering back. A well-preserved site, the cathedral houses a small school for young kids who love interacting with visitors.
The fish market in Trincomalee is a boisterous representation of the city’s booming fishing industry with vendors selling varieties of fish that include squid, barracuda and tuna, from the waters off the city coast, during early mornings. Take a quiet walk along the beach at Manayaweli Bay after the fish market, where a majority of the city’s fishermen come ashore before going to the market to sell their stuff.