08 Places to see in Trincomalee

Trincomalee also known as Gokanna/Gokarna, is the administrative headquarters of the Trincomalee District and major resort port city of Eastern Province, Sri Lanka. Located on the east coast of the island overlooking the Trincomalee Harbour, 237 kilometres (147 mi) north-east of Colombo, 182 kilometres (113 mi) south-east of Jaffna and 111 kilometres (69 mi) miles north of Batticaloa, Trincomalee has been one of the main centres of Sri Lankan Tamil language speaking culture on the island for over two millennia. With a population of 99,135, the city is built on a peninsula of the same name, which divides its inner and outer harbours.

People from Trincomalee are known as Trincomalians and the local authority is Trincomalee Urban Council. Trincomalee city is home to the famous Koneswaram temple from where it developed and earned its historic Tamil name Thirukonamalai. The town is home to other historical monuments such as the Bhadrakali Amman Temple, Trincomalee, the Trincomalee Hindu Cultural Hall and, opened in 1897, the Trincomalee Hindu College. Trincomalee is also the site of the Trincomalee railway station and an ancient ferry service to Jaffna and the south side of the harbour at Muttur.

Trincomalee is located in the Eastern province of Srilanka and 230 km from Katunayake international airport - 5 hours drive

Trincomalee is sacred to Sri Lankan Tamils and Hindus around the world. The city has many Hindu sites of historical importance. These sites are sacred to the Hindus and some Buddhists also worship at these Hindu sites.

Prominent sites include the Koneswaram temple compound, its Bhadrakali temple on Konesar Road, and the Salli Muthumariamman Kovil of Uppuveli beach in the Trincomalee suburb of Sambalativu.

Trincomalee's strategic importance has shaped its recent history. The great European powers vied for mastery of the harbour. The Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, and the British, each held it in turn, and there have been many sea battles nearby.

01. Koneshwaram Hindu Temple

Koneswaram temple of Trincomalee or Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple – The Temple of the Thousand Pillars and Dakshina-Then Kailasam is a classical-medieval Hindu temple complex in Trincomalee, a Hindu religious pilgrimage centre in Eastern Province, Sri Lanka.

Note to remember

This is a Hindu Temple. Be caution about your dress code. Burka dress is not allowed.

Ritual performance times

Morning Session  6.30 am  8.00 am  11.30 am                                              

Evening session 4.00 pm 5.00 pm  6.45 pm

02. Nilaveli Beach

Nilaveli is a coastal resort town and suburb of the Trincomalee District, Sri Lanka located 16 km northwest of the city of Trincomalee. A historically popular Tamil village and tourist destination of the district alongside the nearby Uppuveli, the numbers of visitors declined following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and Sri Lankan Civil War, but have risen again since 2010. Pigeon Island National Park, one of the two marine national parks of the region is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, its many species of vegetation, coral and reef fish contributing to Nilaveli’s rich biodiversity.


Note to remember

Ideal for Diving, Surfing and Snorkeling, April to October are the best to avoid monsoon rain

Stay in a Hotel near Nilaveli beach. there are 03 star good quality hotels available nearby.

03. Seruwila Buddhist Temple

Seruwawila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple in Trincomalee district in Eastern Province, which is among the sixteen or seventeen holiest Buddhist shrines in Sri Lanka. It was built during the reign of King Kavan Tissa, Prince of Ruhuna, containing the Lalata Dathun Wahanse (Bodily relics) of Buddha.


Note to remember

This is an ancient Buddhist temple.

Please be caution of your dress before you enter to the premises.

You need to remove your hats and shoes before enter to the premises.you can use temple socks inside the temple

04. Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island National Park is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares. The island’s name derives from the rock pigeon which has colonized it.

Pigeon Island consists of two islands; large pigeon island and small pigeon island. The large pigeon island is fringed by a coral reef, and is about 200 m long and 100 m wide. Its highest point is 44.8 m above mean sea level. The small pigeon island is surrounded by rocky islets. The national park is situated within the dry zone of Sri Lanka. The mean annual temperature is around 27.0 °C (80.6 °F). The annual rainfall ranges between 1,000–1,700 millimetres (39–67 in) while most of the rain is received during the North-eastern monsoon season from October to March.

Note to remember

You will need a Boat supplier to go to the island. Negotiate all the chargers for boats and other equipment compare with other service providers.

05. Lovers Leap – Ravana’s Cut

Mother of Ravana performed Sivalinga Pooja on a daily basis. One day, she was worried as she could not get a Sivalingam to perform her Pooja. In order to make his mother happy, Ravana came to Thirukoneswaram which was known as “Thedchana Kailasam” and prayed that he be bestowed with a Sivalingam. Since there was no immediate responses from Lord Koneswara, ravana gor frustered and attempted to lift the mountain. As he could not move the mountaion, he tried to cut it with his sword. He was punished by the Lord for his wrongdoing.

Ravana an ardent devotee of Lord Koneshwara, made an improvised veena instrument with one of his ten heads, muscles & hands, and sang “Sama Vetha” hymns and appealed for Lord pardon. Lord Koneswara was very much pleased with his devotion, pardoned him and offered Sivalingam. Era of great Lanka King Ravana was beleived to be during the “Ramayana” period, Before Christ. The “Konesar” rock that was cut by Ravana is still popularly known as “RAVANA CUT”

Note to remember

If you are a diving expert, you can dive in the Ravana’s Cut and it will be an unforgettable diving experience in your life.

06. Common wealth war cemetery

Built and established in honor of the soldiers who died in the Second World War between 1939 and 1945, the Commonwealth War Cemetery is a well maintained cemetery that is located about six kilometers north of the Trincomalee town. As one of the six war cemeteries in Sri Lanka, the Commonwealth War Cemetery contains the graves of 364 soldiers who lost their lives during the Japanese aerial attacks in the year 1942.Surrounded by a masonry wall with an elegant wrought iron gate at the entrance, the graves in the cemetery cover on hectare of land. All graves are marked with the name of the soldier killed, the national badge, division, name of rank and date of death. The cemetery is maintained by the Sri Lankan Government together with the financial support of the Commonwealth War Commission and is an important place for foreign visitors or more specifically, relatives of the soldiers who visit the Commonwealth War Cemetery to pay their respects.

Note to remember

Good to visit in the morning or in the evening. Use a sun cream and bring a bottle of water with you.

07. Navy under water museum

This underwater museum was built off the Sandy Bay beach under the close supervision of the Commander of the Navy and the construction work was carried out utilizing the manpower of the Sri Lanka Navy. Especially, this museum is located off the Sandy Bay beach area which catches the attraction of both local and foreign tourists.

All the statues placed here have been handmade by naval personnel and these unique sculptures have been produced from concrete and eco-friendly materials. Tokyo Cement Corporation sponsored for these cement constructions. The site will promote the formation of corals which will be an added beauty to the site with the passage of time. The whole underwater story has been set at a depth of around 60ft within an area of 150ft length and 85ft width, closer to Sandy Bay beach area providing a unique sightseeing experience for anyone who swim or dive in this area.

Note to remember

Diving capability is required. Very close to the Sandy and Dutch bay beach. 16-20m depth.

08. Kawudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park is situated close to Gal Oya in Sri Lanka. It is best known for large flocks of elephants, where you could see around 300 elephants at one place (probably the largest in Asia). As the Minneriya National Park is situated adjoining Kaudulla , the elephants cross the parks on different seasons of the year. Hence before planning the visit, check on which park the elephant flocks are currently in. The best time to visit is around 3 pm in the evening, where the flock gathers at Kaudulla tank for an early supper.


Note to remember

July and August is famous for elephant gathering which is you can see more than 300 elephants at once


Do you like to visit Trincomalee?

Make your own trip plan with us

add any of these destinations and make your own trip with dear srilanka OR you can see the ready made Trincomalee City Tour from our Day Tours as well.

Make your tripTrincomalee city Tour