The treasure of the East Coast, Trincomalee, Sri Lanka exudes history and oceanic splendour. Captivating the adventurous traveller with an array activities, the picturesque shores of Trincomalee proudly showcases some of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka.
A natural deep water harbour, Trincomalee for centuries has functioned as a significant commercial city due to its position. As a result, it has garnered the interest of seafarers like Marco Polo, Ptolemy and Sea Traders from China and East Asia since ancient times.
In early times, it was known as ‘Gokanna’ and it is the port that Baddakachayana, the consort of the King Panduvasadeva entered the country. The remnants of the region will prove that since the era of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Trincomalee has had a role in history.
As a popular seaport, for centuries it has attracted traders from Europe, Middle East, Africa and China. As a result of its advantageous position, Trincomalee has been a primary interest of the three colonial powers.
During the Kandyan Kingdom, the Portuguese captured the port of Trincomalee. The economy of the Kingdom is based commerce that takes place in the primary ports which included Trincomalee. The Portuguese controlled the economy of the region and determined, the trade relations of the Kandyan Kingdom.
The commercial significance of Trincomalee became evident to the Dutch and seized it in 1636 from the Portuguese. Dominating the imports and the exports of the East, the Dutch controlled the port with an iron fist. However, its real strategic importance was more beneficial for the imperial policies of the British, as regulating trade and distribution of Asia including India could be executed easily. The British annexed the harbour prior to submitting the entire island to the British empire.
Operating as a naval base, Trincomalee played an essential role during World War I and World War II. Even after 1948, the British kept their stronghold over the harbour for nearly a decade before releasing it.
Its geographical position was an invaluable advantage to the British then and even today, Trincomalee takes an active role in international trade and in the geo-politics of the region. .
Attractions in Trincomalee
One of the few regions in the country to have both ancient and post 20th century architecture, Trincomalee invites you to explore a whirlwind of culture.
One of the most significant Hindu temples in the country, the Koneswaram Temple traces its history to mediaeval times. The grandiose structure coupled with its intricate composition, showcases early Pandyan artistic influence.
Kanniya Hot Wells
Placed between the Trincomalee-Anuradhapura road, the Kanniya Hot Wells consists of seven hot springs. Its origins are tied with the legend of Ramayana and is of religious importance to Hindu devotees. Each spring here is of a different temperature. Its surrounded brick walls were built during the Dutch era.
Thiriyaya Girihandu Seya
Believed to be the oldest Buddhist temple in the country, Girihandu Seya is believed to be built during Lord Buddha’s time. It is said that two merchants, Thapassu and Bhalluka had constructed the temple and in its fortification, housing the Kesa Dathu or two strands hair gifted by Lord Buddha himself.
British War Cemetery
One of the beautiful sites in Trincomalee, the Biritsh War Cemetery narrates an untold story of war heroes of the Biritsh Empire. Attesting to the significant role that region played in World War II, the cemetery provides a one of a kind experience.
The very foundation of the fort is intriguing. Built on the Swami Rock, the massive boulder is to have housed a Jaina monastery during ancient times. It was demolished by King Mahasena and a temple was built by him. This in turn was destroyed by the Portuguese general Constantine De Saa and the foundation for the fort was set.
Over the years, when the colonial prowess interchanged the fort was further fortified by the Dutch and later by the British.
Jungle Beach Resort
Maalu Maalu Resort