Trincomalee is one of the places you can visit in any season. There are amazing places which breath with history, command respect and show the beauty of building temples. Trincomalee Beach or Uppuveli Beach. Amman Kovil in the city and Koneswaram Temple at the hill in the army Fort Frederick. Smelly dry fish and deers everywhere, as well as watching whales. Snorkeling is the most famous activity.
I travelled during the rainy season, so the beaches were empty and dirty because nobody bothered. There were no tourists, hotels and hostels were abandoned not even open, restaurants closed too. I felt like in a Ghost Town. Everything was waiting for the season to begin. The advantage is to have a cheap place to stay moreover won’t be annoyed by other tourists. The disadvantage is the locals are focusing on selling you everything. Plus the rainy season brings a lot of mosquitoes. Only these two days and I got bitten as I wasn’t before.
How did I get there?
As I prefer to travel by bus, this trip didn’t happen to be the exception. The reasons are reasonable prices also enjoy authentic Srilankan atmosphere. The journey can be long, including to change buses. Be prepared for some discomfort. You can get there by train, car, tuk-tuk, bike or on foot — whatever suits you.
Out of topic: I was mostly in the central province, so any trips to any corner of the island were strategic. I recommend this if you want to travel more. Having a “camp” around Kandy allows you to go almost everywhere by bus or train.
On my way around I felt a terrible smell, like a rotten fish — yes, fish indeed but dried. This part of Sri Lanka is known for dry fish, from small ones to big ones. It is a delicacy that lasts for a long time. I haven’t tried it that way, only in Rice and Curry. I was discouraged by the way it smelled, though that is a challenge for the next time to try.
Sri Pathrakali Amman Kovil
I am not exaggerating to say this is one of the most stunning Hindu temples at Sri Lanka, furthermore is dedicated to Kali the Goddess of death, time, and doomsday. From the outside, we can see tens to hundreds of Gods and Goddesses. Such a pearl, when you look at the photos, you will notice that the statues and paintings are more on the top of the Temple — it is against natural disasters by water. A piece of art is aquatic animals mixed with gods which is possible to see inside.
- The Kovil opens at 6.30 a.m.
- Prayers have at 11.30 a.m.
- The ceiling inside is impressive
- Possible to take pictures inside
- 200 meters from the Trincomalee Bus
- No entrance fee
Trincomalee and Uppuveli Beach
From the Kovil was walking to chill at Trincomalee Beach. I got lucky to be there alone. Even no dogs around. This situation is not going to happen during the main season when tourists crowd the beaches. Unfortunately, I am increasingly reading the beaches are full of trash even though the tourist season is on.
Fort Frederick and Koneswaram temple
Nowadays, it is an Army Fort with a Hindu Kovil inside, and a green place full of deers. I quickly reached the site by walking along the beach. The Fort built by Portuguese and rebuilt by Dutch. It is possible to get to the area on foot, tuk-tuk and by car too. Koneswaram temple at the top of the hill is well known, then a lot of locals are visiting. It is a beautiful walk-in shadow of trees, the way up is not challenging more less relaxing, also in case, there are always some tuk-tuk drivers to offer you a bribe to take you up.
The area serves the army, but they are used to visitors. Nobody noticed me, just looked at me, nodded, and I walked my way. You can refresh yourself either at the bottom of the hill or at the top of the hill. But be prepared that prices there may be higher.
Trincomalee is generally known for a high population of deers so that you can see them anywhere around. The first picture is from Fort Frederick, where are many of them. Besides, lucky me to saw a green snake there, which I don’t have a picture because I was so astounded to make one.
The walk up takes you through local market stalls and is a bit loud and full of locals with decorations, coconuts, food, sweets, clothes, etc. I bought a sweet coconut and took a break at the viewpoint at one restaurant close to the Temple.
Koneswaram temple — Temple of the Thousand Pillars
At the top of the hill is a well-deserved reward in the form of another master Hindu temple — Koneswaram temple.
I was there at the time when it was repairing, so my photos are certainly not representative.
The Kovil was destroyed a couple of times, by international struggles during colonization of the island and by a tsunami, Fort was part of the civil war, as well. Highly recommend you to make a visit in the evening or the early morning with the sunrise or sunset.
Shoes off so take socks
Before you can go to the holy area of the Kovil, you have to take off your shoes and pay 20 Rupees for keeping them in a shoebox. When you take off your shoes, be aware that walking on hot sand can hurt, so I recommend socks or stick in the shadows. Also, it may occasionally happen that someone takes your shoes, accidentally or intentionally. And, of course, women should cover their shoulders and knees.
No entrance fees.
Breaking of coconuts and wooden boxes
Coconuts are believed to be sacred, pure, clean and healthy fruit. Once a broken piece is placed as an offering to Lord Shiva.
And what about the wooden boxes?
Women who pray for being pregnant tie a wooden box to this sacred tree of the Temple, a Vilvam tree, to make the wish stronger. Now, the tree wholly overloaded with little wooden cradles hung by devotees wishing for children.
It is named after a love-stricken young girl, daughter of a Portuguese Official, threw herself to death after a forbidden lover was sent from her, back to Europe.
Trincomalee is also a well-known whale watching spot. During spring, the whales are in the south, and in autumn the whales are in this area. If you are lucky, you can also see them from the viewpoint where Koneswaram Kovil is standing. I do not support these ideas, because as the tourists want to see whales, ships are getting too close and can be threatening and confusing.
I wish you to enjoy the trip and whatever comes to your mind, let me know. Use my Facebook or check my Instagram Refreshingly_srilanka.