Nestled on one of the world’s finest natural harbours, along the east coast of Sri Lanka, the less-travelled banks of Trincomalee beckon travellers with an intriguing medley of fascinating people, mysterious temples and Buddhist ruins, a charming town, and virginal beaches. To list a few, here are a handful of attractions and activities in Trincomalee, that you need to revel in.
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Ensconced amidst lush trees, grassland, rocks, rustic huts, restaurants, and the quiescent, blue sea, Marble Beach is the perfect place to loosen up under the sun! Easily one of the most riveting beaches of Sri Lanka, the lucid waters of Marble beach are ideal for a string of exhilarant activities like snorkelling, boat riding, and swimming. What’s more, the exciting surroundings of the beach also ensure you have a lot going on while you’re there – think bird-watching, rock climbing, photography, nature trails, and the likes!
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One of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka, Pigeon Island National Park stands out with its shimmering coral reefs and powdered white sands. Located about 1 km off the coastal town of Nilaveli, towards the north of Trincomalee, Pigeon Island is named after thousands of rock pigeons, who consider the island as a nesting area. The reef here is shallow, teeming with glossy corals, turtles, and hundreds of reef fish, making it a haven for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. Replete with enchanting rock pools, cerulean waters, and charming trails, missing out Pigeon Island from your Trincomalee itinerary will be a huge mistake.
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Perched proudly on to top of the famous Swami Rock, standing within the confines of Fort Frederick, the Koneswaram Temple is one of the most sought after Hindu Temples in Sri Lanka. Built eons ago, this sublime temple overlooks the vast Indian Ocean reaching out to the horizon, from its enviable base on Swami Rock. Earlier known as the ‘Temple of a Thousand Pillars’, Koneswaram Temple is known for its soaring Shiva shrine, a fascinating history, and of course, the surreal panoramic views of the surroundings.
No trip to Trincomalee would be complete without visiting the splendid coastal resort town of Nilaveli. Located around 16 km towards the north-west of Trincomalee, Nilaveli is certainly one of the most desired tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. It is an ultimate tropical getaway for those looking to romance the soft, white sands and the gentle tides spewing out from the ocean.
Constructed in the early 1600’s, Fort Frederick was built using debris of the original Koneswaram Hindu temple, which was destroyed by the Portuguese. The main attraction of Fort Frederick is the Koneswaram temple which has been reconstructed ever since. Don’t forget to marvel at the mounting shrine of Lord Shiva at the temple, and soak in the staggering panoramic views of the azure ocean, and Trincomalee town folding out beneath.
Off late, Trincomalee is rapidly emerging as an internationally-renowned destination for sighting blue whales in their natural habitat! Blue whales, as well as sperm whales can be regularly spotted on the East coast of Sri Lanka, towards the east of Trincomalee. If you’re lucky, you might even spot whales from land – from Swami Rock, which is easily one of the best vantage points in Sri Lanka. What’s more, Swami Rock has also been declared as the world’s greatest vantage point for watching blue whales!