Located on the north-east coast of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee is one of the finest natural deep-water habours in the world. A focal point is Sri Lanka’s history as an ancient sea-port town. Trincomalee is home to some of the Island’s finest beaches, Nilaveli, Uppuveli and the off-shore Pigeon Island which are havens for swimming, snorkeling and diving. In recent times, Trincomalee has become popular as a Whale Watching destination as well, with dive centres at Nilaveli and Uppuveli.
Historically known as Gokanna or Gokarna the city features in historical chronicles and inscriptions and is home to a multitude of ruins of ancient Buddhist temples and is considered a major Buddhist cultural and archaeological site of Sri Lanka. The hot springs at Kinniya are located a mere 8km from Trincomalee. The Thirukoneswaram Kovil a highly venerated Hindu Shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva stands on the highest point of the Peninsula, named Swami rock that dominates the areas landscape. The Swami Rock is a cliff at the tip of the promontory of Fort Fredrick built by the Colonists. Defensively important location for centuries, the fortress was initially built by the Portuguese in 1623 and later rebuilt by the Dutch, the British took over in 1782. The cliff has a forbidding drop of more than 30 meters to the sea below and is called the ‘Lovers Leap’ for its association with a romantic legend of a maiden who jumped to her death from the sheer cliff edge.