Trincomalee, one of the finest natural deep-water harbours in the world is located 257 km north-east of Colombo, which is considered as the commercial hub of Sri Lanka. Trincomalee is home to the fine beaches of Nilaveli, Uppuveli and the off-shore Pigeon Island. Recently Trincomalee has become popular as a Whale Watching destination as well. The Dive centres at Nilaveli and Uppuveli offer tourists the opportunity to enjoy their holidays in diving, snorkeling and swimming. The Trincomalee district, referred as Gokanna or Gokarna in the historical chronicles and inscriptions, is studded with a multitude of ruins of ancient Buddhist temples and is considered a major Buddhist cultural and archaeological site of Sri Lanka. The seven hot springs at Kanniya located a mere 8km from Trincomalee attract regular crowds throughout the year in view of the therapeutic properties of the water as well as the varying temperatures from one well to the other.
Gokarna in Trincomalee, Mantota in Mannar and Dambakolapattuna in Jaffna, among others had been great sea ports of ancient Sri Lanka since 543 B.C. Trincomalee known as Gokanna, Gokarna or Siri Gonamala is an ancient sea-port town and as records in the historical chronicles of Sri Lanka states, is the harbour where Prince Panduvasudeva, King Vijya’s nephew sailed into Sri Lanka from Sinhapura, India. “Badda Kachchayana who later became the queen of King Panduwasdeva (505-474 B.C.) with her party of royal maidens too landed in Siri Gonamala harbor. She was a sister of Prince Digha, the founder of Dighavapi.