One of the wonders of nature! Kanniya Hot water springs (also known as Kanniya Hot Wells) are located about 1 km off Anuradhapura Road on the Trincomalee-Anuradhapura main road. Distance to the Hot Wells is approximately 10 km north-west from Trincomalee town.
There are seven hot wells at Kanniya situated in a 10 square meter area and the temperature of each well varies slightly. Each well is surrounded by a 6 ft brick wall probably of Dutch origin. Similar to many other places of historical interest, the Kanniya Hot Springs also have their legends that go back to Ravana’s time.
Hindus believe the legend which says that “Vishnu (a Hindu God) wished to prevent Ravana from setting forth on some undertaking, and he appeared to Ravana as an old man bearing the false news that Kannya (Ravana's mother) was dead. Thereupon Ravana determined to put off his project and perform the rites for the dead, asked where he could find water for the ablutions. Vishnu disappeared and the hot springs burst forth where he had stood. Since then they have been called "Kannya.” Another legend says that King Rawana, on hearing of his beloved Mother’s death, pricked his sword in several spots into the ground in grief and out came the hot springs.
The Buddhist believes that this is a part of the Buddhist Monastery and Buddhist Monks used this place as a part of their complex. At present there is a Buddhist shrine and large number of Buddhist patronize this site to fulfill their religious obligations.
It is generally believed that bathing at this hot water would cure arthritis, rheumatic pain and skin disease. During the recent times, the hot wells have become a major attraction among foreign and local tourists.
Each well is only 3-4 feet deep built in square shape and the bottom can be seen clearly. Using soap is prohibited, but there is a separate place for that nearby the hot wells. The wells are now maintained by the neighbouring Mari Amman Kovil with the support of Sri Lankan military.
A small entrance fee is charged from the visitors to maintain the hot springs and the surroundings. Basic amenities are available with vehicle parking and shopping area.