Trincomalee Distrct Eastern Province of Sri Lanka

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Eastern Province, Trincomalee District, Information Page

Trincomalee is a port city on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. The Bay of Trincomalee's harbour is renowned for its large size and security; unlike every other in the Indian Sea, it is accessible to all types of craft in all weathers. The beaches are used for surfing, scuba diving, fishing and whale watching. The city also has the largest Dutch fort in Sri Lanka. It is home to major Sri Lankan naval bases and a Sri Lankan Air Force base.


Trincomalee is an anglicized version of the Tamil word Tirukonamalai (lit "lord of the sacred hill"); it is a hill situated in the end of a natural land formation that resembles an arc. The ancient texts, as well as an inscription unearthed by archeologists, call it Gokarna in Sanskrit. The Vayu Purana refers to a Siva temple on Trikuta hill on the eastern coast of Lanka in the 3rd century. The Mahavamsa documents that the King Mahasena destroyed a Deva temple and built a Buddhist shrine in its stead to expiate for an earlier heresy on his part.  #1# This explains the Buddhist archeological remains in the region. The South Indian Tevaram of Tiru-gnana Sambandar makes mention to the Siva temple in Trincomalee once again in the 6th century.


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 English, each held it in turn, and there have been many sea battles nearby. The harbour, the fifth largest natural harbour in the world, is overlooked by terraced highlands, its entrance is guarded by two headlands, and there is a carriage road along its northern and eastern edges.Trincomalee's location, in a less well developed and sparsely populated area , has in the past hampered its own development. Nevertheless plans are under way to develop Trincomalee as a commercial seaport.























  Land area    2,529 km² (976 sq mi)
  Inland water area   198 km² (76 sq mi)
  Total area   2,727 km² (1,053 sq mi)

 


 


 


Special Places in Trincomalee


Most of the Tamils and Sinhalese believe that this place is sacred to them and they are the indigenous people of the area. Trincomalee and its environs have both Hindu and Buddhist sites of historical importance. These sites are sacred to the Hindus and Buddhists.


Hindu Historical sites


The Konesvaram temple attracted pilgrims from all parts of India. The Koṇēsvaram shrine itself was demolished in 1622 by the Portuguese, and who fortified the heights with the materials derived from its destruction.Some of the artefacts from the demolished temple were kept in the Lisbon Museum including the stone inscription by Kulakottan (Kunakottan). It has an emblem including two fish and is engraved with a prophesy stating that, after the 16th century, westerners with different eye colours will rule the country for 500 years and, at the end of it, rule will revert back to Vadugus. The Hindu temple was also documented in several late medieval texts such as the Konesar Kalvettu and the Dakshina Kailasa Puranam.


 Buddhist historical sites


There are several Buddhist historical sites around the Trincomalee, meaning that there had been a Buddhist inhabitance in the area for many centuries. These include the famous Seruwila Mangala Raja Maha Vihara (Seruwila Temple), south of the trico town, which is under consideration to be declared a UNESCO world heritage site dating back to 2nd century B.C. the Sri Gajaba Len Vihara (Sri Gajaba Cave Temple), Tiriyay temple and the Welgam temple.


The Dutch Fort


The entrance to the roadway leading to Koneswaram is actually the entrance to what used to be Fort Fredrick. The fort was built in 1623 by the Portuguese and captured in 1639 by the Dutch. It then went through a phase of dismantling and reconstruction and was attacked and captured by the French in 1672.

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