|Copyright Notice: Please obtain permission from the author before duplicating, re-publishing or adapting content of a trip report|
|Be a responsible traveler! Watch this video before you hit the road! Download Video: MP4|3gp|
|Do you like to contribute a Trip Report? learn how to or download template and start straight away!|
|Year and Month||4th-7th February,2016|
|Number of Days||4|
|Crew||12 – ( three families)|
|Accommodation||Public Administration Holiday Bungalow, Trincomalee|
|Transport||2 SUVs + car|
|Weather||Sunny and bright|
|Route||Day 1: Colombo -> Kantale -> Seruvavila -> Verugal -> Lankapatuna -> Mutur -> Trinco
Day 2: Trinco -> Nilaveli -> Kuchcaveli -> Thiriyai -> Pulmudai
Day 3: Trinco -> Sober Island
Day 4: Trinco -> Horowpathana -> Kahatagasdilliya -> Anuradhapura -> Puttalam -> Colombo
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
**SPECIAL THANKS TO** Niros
|Related Resources||Trip reports : On Trincomalee
(Specially Ashan’s report on VESAK AT TRINCOMALEE 2015 )
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
Trinco is a destination we haven’t visited for nearly a decade and I always thought of Trinco as “dry and arid”. My recent visit to Trinco really opened my eyes – how green and vibrant Trinco is with its blue lagoons eating into the land at every corner making one wonder whether it’s the lagoon or the ocean!
We left Nawala in the wee hours of Independence Day and was passing Kurunegala by 6.30 a.m. Road widening from Kurunegala-Dambulla is underway and there are some very bad stretches where traffic is allowed only on a single lane. As we were quite early we managed to pass without much delay and reached Kantale by 8.30. It was a pleasure driving along the superb road enjoying the passing countryside.
We stopped at the new hotel run by the Navy by the side of the Kantale Tank for a short break. After our long drive it was an ideal place to relax and refresh. It is built by the lake and the view is breathtaking. They have recently opened a new wing with four rooms and its open to the public.
After a rather lengthy break we started our journey towards Seruvavila and the road was okay except for a few places where new bridges were coming up. We passed some pleasant scenery along the way to Seruwavila.
We turned from Ali Oluwa Junction to reach Seruvavila Raja Maha Viharaya. The ancient temple was quite deserted and we worshiped in peace.
Lankapatuna being our next destination, we inquired on the road condition via Topur but the responses we got were totally negative so we decided to take the road via Verugal. It is 13kms from main road to Lankapatuna RMV and the road is manageable even by a small car. Only the final one km is in bad shape. Before reaching Lankapauna we stopped at Pashana Pabbatha Viharaya – where the LTTE radio transmission tower is found. You can see ruins of a dagaba on top of the mountain and the 360’ view you get from that vantage point is priceless.
We had a chat with the Chief Priest/ only priest of the temple and he explained the history of the temple and the difficulties he had to undergo during the troubled period. The hard work of the chief priest is documented by himself and the newspaper articles are pasted in tiny room used as the awasageya. We made a donation towards his great efforts and it being mid-day offered some dane also and headed towards Lankapatuna. When you go via Verugal you have to take a short boat ride to reach the Lankapatuna temple. The road via Topur takes you all the way – but the road is not accessible.
Being a long weekend there was quite a crowd waiting for the short boat ride but there was no delay as there were many boats operating. After visiting the temple we spent quite some time enjoying the birds’s eye view of the lagoon and the sea. We went towards the Lankapatuna Camp and passed the “Black Beach” where the sand is virtually black.
We had our lunch at Lankapatuna (brought from home) and took a boat ride back to shore and started our drive the same way passing Verual, Ali Oluwa towards Trinco. Had we come via Topur it would have saved nearly 30 kilometers.
The coastal road via Mutur, Kinniya is in great shape and we passed 5-6 new bridges which have replaced the ferry. Kinniya Bridge, the longest bridge in SL which is 396mts in length, links Trincomalee with Kinniya. The long bridge gives you the feeling that you are entering a new country.
We reached Trinco by 5pm and headed towards our resting place – Public Administration Circuit Bungalow, in the town itself close to the Trinco Hospital. It is an old bungalow on a hillock by the sea. It has four A/C rooms, a large dining/sitting area and a kitchen. Though it is in a great location it has been neglected as in the case of most government bungalows. Another disadvantage was that it has only a caretaker and no cook. As we knew this beforehand we were anyway prepared to have our meals out.
We had a cup of tea and settled ourselves in our home for the next two days. We climbed down to the beach but the sea was rough. We spent a lazy evening and headed towards town for dinner.
Day 2 was planned to visit Buddhist religious and archeological sites from Trinco to Pulmudai. We visited Kanniya Hot Wells, Velgam Vehera, Kuchchaveli and Girihadu Seya in Thiriyai on our way to Pulmudai. The drive along the coast line, passing the deserted beaches was a pleasant experience. The road all the way to Pulmudai was in good condition.
After visiting the hot wells and Velgam Viharaya we joined the main road at Nilaweli and headed North until we reached Kuchchaveli Pichchamal Viharaya. The unique rock formation invites one to visit the place but the short climb in the scorching sun is quite a task. Nevertheless the view from top is priceless.
The next stop was Girihadu Seya at Thiriyaya where you have to climb over 300 stone steps to reach the first-ever dagaba of the world. But the shady path makes the climb easy and there are many ruins on top as well as scattered around.
Our next stop was the Mineral Sands Factory at Pulmudai. But we were all tired and hungry after the long journey and was in no mood to listen to the long jargon explaining the process there. We only had a look from outside and headed for lunch at Pulmudai.
Pulmudai is known for its dark beach rich with minerals but I should say it was not as dark as Black Beach at Lankapatuna. The long stretch of beach was clear and the water was a deep blue. The deserted beach looked inviting but the hot sun stopped us from a bath.
After lunch we started our return journey towards Trincomalee and our first stop was Arisimale Beach just a few kms from Pulmudai. You have to travel nearly 5km from the main road and the road is in a bad shape and needs a 4WD. You have to park near an army checkpoint and walk for about 1/2km to the beach. The jungle path leading to the beach reminded me of the path to Jungle Beach at Rumassala.
The sand really looked like samba rice and you feel like you are sinking in when you stand on the beach. It is a very small strech of beach gurded by rocks on either side and may be the location has something to do with the “samba rice.” It seems to be a popular destination among the locals and the tiny beach was crowed.
We spent some time enjoying the unique beach and walked back to the vehicles. We headed towards Trinco again and the next stop was Nilaweli Beach. It was past 4.30pm and was ideal for a bath as the sun was going down. The children played on the sandy beach and we had a lovely bath in the warm waters that washed away all our tiredness. We enjoyed till the sun went down and finally left the beach in the dark.
Day 3 was planned for total relaxation as the first two days had very busy schedules. We left the bungalow after breakfast and visited the Naval and Maritime Museum in the Trincomalee Navy Dockyard. It was an interesting tour especially for the kids and they specially enjoyed climbing the Hoods Tower which enabled a birds-eye view of the Bay. The museum displayed how Trincomalee has been used as a strategic point from the time of King Parakramabahu up to the British Era.
We had a guided tour inside the Dock Yard and was surprised how green and lovely the place was. There was a golf course by the sea and one would feel that Nuwara Eliya has come close to the shore.
Next it was time for a boat trip in the bay. We went all the way to the Sober Island and it was quite interesting passing many huge vessels on our way. Getting a clear idea of our exact place of location was quite difficult as there were many bays and points inside the main bay itself.
Sober Island Holiday Resort is run by the Navy and open to the public. Not a single building is visible when you land on the island. You have to walk along a shady path inland to reach the resort.
They have used dilapidated buildings of the British era and added modern architecrual structures and the result is unique. The Resort has a pool, a gym, a basket-ball court and a tennis court among other amenities. On top of all that the view is priceless.
It was almot noon when we ended our tour to the Sober Island and we spent the rest of our day in leisure at “Elephant Point” beach where it was very safe for bathing. We were in and out of water till sun went down.
As the sun was going down it was time for another boat trip in the bay. The destination was “Elephant Island” right in front of Elephant-Point. It is a short boat trip and there are remnants of a hospital of the British Era. It is said to be the Leprosy Hospital during colonial time.
It was dark when we came back to Elephant Point and we were all tired after a long day in the beach. We had an early dinner and called it a day.
After three lovely, extra-long days it was time to bid good-bye to Trinco. We left shortly after breakfast and took Trinco-Anuradhapura-Puttalam Road (A12) for our return journey. Though it is longer than the road via Dambulla we did not want to be held in a traffic jam in Dambulla-Kurunegala stretch with all holiday-makers heading towards Colombo.
Road via Horowpathana, Kahatagasdilliya, Mihintale, Anuradhapura is in great condition and a pleasure to drive. The passing landscape was a lush green with paddy-fields on either side. We were in Anuradhapura in less than two hours and had lunch passing Anuradhapura. Thabbowa Tank was filled and water had come all the way close to the road and it was a pleasant sight. After a number of stops on the Puttlam road to make way-side purchases we finally reached Colombo by 5 in the evening, with are hearts filled with pleasant memories of “Beautiful Trincomalee”.
Thanks for reading!