Trincomalee, the capital city of Eastern Province, is located approximately 264 km north-east of Colombo. It is one of the the major port cities of Sri Lanka, known to the world as the finest natural deep-water harbour in the world. Trincomalee gets its Tamil name Thirukonamalai from the “3 Cornered Hills” namely Swamy Rock, Residency Rock and Ostenberg Rock. 

Trincomalee city is considered one of the oldest cities in Asia and a major commercial hub of Sri Lanka. The written history of Trincomalee goes back to at least the 5th century BC, beginning with civilian settlement associated with the pre-modern era. And the city of Trincomalee had served as a major maritime seaport in the international trading history of the island with South East Asia. The city is home to the famous ancient Koneswaram temple.   

Trincomalee’s strategic location made it a flash point during the colonial era. The Colonial Powers such as the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the British occupied Trincomalee in turn for its strategic naval base. During the First and Second World Wars, Trincomalee became the naval headquarters of the British and the Allied Powers for the entire South East Asia and Far East Asia Command.

The city is rich in historical, cultural and religious diversity representing all major social and cultural groups in the country. The Hindus have a special reverence for Trincomalee as the sacred Thirukoneswaran Kovil and many other Hindu temples worthy of pilgrimage are located throughout the district. Ancient Buddhist temples including Velgam Vihara and Thiriyaya Girikanda Vihara and many Buddhist Shrines are also located in the district. 

Being located at the mouth of Mahaweli Ganga, the longest river of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee has a great variety of natural, historical and cultural attractions within easy reach. Its sunny climate, stunning white sand and unspoiled beaches, calm sea, the world famous deep water natural harbor, the Dutch Fort, the iconic Hindu temples, important Buddhist temples, the Hot springs, the Golf Course, the Marine Sanctuary and the Coral Reef have made Trincomalee an exceptional tourist destination. During the recent times, Trincomalee has also become popular as a whale watching and diving destination. The peak season for tourism in Trincomalee continues for 9 months.

While March to May and August to December are ideal for diving on coral reefs, shipwrecks and surfing, dolphin and whale-watching is possible from June to September. Trincomalee is a tourist friendly area where you could find ample hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, shopping places, banks etc. 

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Latitude: 8.5922 Longitude: 81.196796 Elevation: 78 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Simon Jones

Time Period Represented

5th Century BC

Visitor Fees (if any)

Not applicable

Seasons Open

Year round. March to May and August to December are ideal for diving on coral, shipwrecks and surfing while Dolphin and Whale-watching off Trincomalee sea is possible during June to September.

Accessibility Notes

You can reach Trincomalee by bus, train and plane. Buses operated from Colombo & all other main cities. Train & Plane services are operated from Colombo Fort and Ratmalana airport respectively.

Pet Friendly Notes

In general pet animals are not allowed into the places of worship and natural attraction including public places..

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