The Anything but Typical, Trincomalee.
Trincomalee is a fabulous port city on the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Home to the world’s fifth largest natural harbour, and one of the top destinations for pristine, unspoiled beaches in Sri Lanka. The history of Trincomalee spans over 2,000 years, and remains an important region for the Tamil-speaking community as well as the Hindus and Buddhists who frequent many sacred sites in the area.
If beaches are your business, Trincomalee will offer you the rare opportunity to lay out on gorgeous beaches without the crowds. The powdered white sands and turquoise waters at Marble Beach in Trincomalee consistently put this secluded Sri Lanka beach on the world’s best beaches lists. Not only are the beaches in Trincomalee some of the most beautiful, they are also gaining popularity as ideal spots for whale watching. You will be astounded by the natural beauty of this region as a giant Blue Whale goes swimming by while you drink your margarita. In addition to Marble Beach, be sure to stop by Nilaveli and Uppaveli beaches as well; both are renowned for being clean, unspoiled, and non-commercialized.
Trincomalee’s Koneswararam Temple sits dramatically on Swami Rock overlooking the waters below. This Hindu Temple has been an important site in Trincomalee since around 200 BC, but was destroyed in the 1600’s by Portuguese colonists after they raided the temple, stole important religious artifacts and demolished it to ruins. It wasn’t until the 1950’s, when ancient statues were found at a construction site, that the reconstruction of the Koneswararam Temple began.
In 1956, a scuba diver uncovered parts of the ruined temple on a dive which led to them being considered the most photographed underwater ruins in the world. The temple as it is seen today opened in 1963, and immediately revised its role as an important pilgrimage site for Hindus and Buddhists. The best time to visit the Koneswararam Temple is the three days immediately following Maha Sivarathi Day. This festival follows devotees as they lead huge processionals around the town, with parades, music, and elaborate decorations all around Trincomalee. It is an event not to be missed.
Trincomalee is one of the oldest cities in Asia and has had a defining role in the shaping of Sri Lanka’s history. There are very few places left in the world that have so much to offer visitors, yet remain almost untouched by tourists and commercialization. Hurry over to this rare gem of Sri Lanka before the rest of the world catches on.
Written by Jessica Galbraith