TRINCOMALEE TOURISM | TOURIST PLACES TO VISIT & TRAVEL GUIDE TO TRINCOMALEE
Beach | Pilgrimage
#10 of 10 Places to visit in Sri Lanka
Ideal Trip Duration: 1-2 Days
Nearest City to Trincomalee: Trincomalee, Colombo (269 Kms)
Best Time to Visit Trincomalee: May to September & December to February
Peak Season: July to August
At a distance of 100 km from Sigiriya, 106 km from Anuradhapura, 108 km from Dambulla, 133 km from Polonnaruwa, 182 km from Kandy, 236 km from Jaffna and 269 km from Colombo, Trincomalee is a charming coastal town on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Trincomalee district and among the must include destinations in Sri Lanka trip.
Sitting prettily on a remarkable natural harbour, the charming town of Trincomalee with oodles of history and interesting sites is a great escape from the touristy south. The port town is built on a peninsula of the same name, which divides its inner and outer harbours. The town got its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai from Koneswaram Temple situated on the Swami Rock. Trincomalee is an anglicized form of the old Tamil word 'Thiru-kona-malai', meaning 'Lord of the Sacred Hill'. Trincomalee has been one of the main centers of Sri Lankan Tamil language speaking culture on the island for over two millennia.
Trincomalee known as Gokanna, Gokarna or Siri Gonamala, has a recorded history of more than 2500 years, beginning with the civilian settlement associated with the Koneswaram temple in the pre-modern era. One of the oldest cities in Asia, it has served as a major maritime seaport in the international trading history of the island with South East Asia. In the ancient world, it was successively the capital of eastern kingdoms of the Vanni country, developing under the Anuradhapura Kingdom, Pallava Dynasty, Chola Dynasty, Pandyan Dynasty, the Vannimai chieftains, and the Jaffna kingdom through the Koneswaram shrine's revenue. Trincomalee's urbanization continued when made into a fortified port town following the Portuguese conquest of the Jaffna kingdom. The port's harbour changed hands repeatedly among the Danish in 1620, the Dutch, the French and the British in 1795. The British continued to hold the harbour after Sri Lanka's independence in 1948 but relinquished it in 1957.
From ancient temples & forts to breathtaking beaches, and museums, Trincomalee has a lot to offer to the discerning travelers. Koneswaram Temple, from where it developed and earned its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai, Pathirakali Amman Temple, Pigeon Island National Park, Velgam Vehera, Maritime and Naval History Museum, Uppuveli & Nilaveli Beaches, Trincomalee War Cemetery, Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara and St Mary's Cathedral are the top places to visit in Trincomalee. Recently Trincomalee has become popular as a Whale Watching destination as well.
Owing to its long history of civilian settlements, the town is quite prominent for its culture and tradition. Ther Thiruvazha or Chariot Festival celebrated in the month of April in the Koneswar Temple is the popular festival celebrated in the port town of Trincomalee. The procession of the extravagantly decorated chariot of Lord Konesar followed by the chariots of Pillaiyar and Murugan is the main highlight of this festival. Besides, Sivarathri, observed in the month of February, is another festival celebrated here with much pomp and fervor.
Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo is the nearest airport which is about 235 km from Trincomalee. It has well flight connectivity with India and other parts of Southeast Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the United States. Trincomalee Railway Station (TCO) is the terminus of Trincomalee-bound rail services, the majority of which originate from Colombo Fort. Besides, Trincomalee has regular trains from Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, and Habarana. About 1.5 km from Trincomalee Railway Station, Trincomalee Bus Station is well connected by bus with Colombo, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Jaffna, and Ampara.
Being a coastal town, Trincomalee experiences warm weather throughout the year with average rainfall. The best months to visit this port city are from May to September and in the winter months from December to February when the temperature is pleasant with a low chance of rainfall. However, the city witnesses massive tourism from July to August, as the climate is pleasant and perfect for those who would like to soak in the warm sun and indulge in water activities.