TRINCOMALEE
 
  Trincomalee is on Sri Lanka’s North-East coast. The colonials were mainly interested in Trincomalee’s best asset – her deep harbour and its strategic location. To defend it Fort Frederick was built, which has become a major tourist destination. The Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims who are equally represented have made Trinco their home.

You will notice the characters of each group in a mixture of parts of the town from the apparent Buddhist temples, Hindu kovils and Mosques to chosen dress and language of locals, to the cows, deer and goats roaming the streets.
 
For a short introduction into its colourful history take a look at the tablet on the left hand side of the entrance gate archway. This reveals that the fort was constructed in 1623 by the Portuguese, only to be captured by the Dutch in 1639. By 1795 the British had captured the fort again and it stayed that way until they withdrew their military forces in 1916. It was named Fort Frederick in 1803 and even survived a Japanese air raid during World War II. Inside it is shady with huge banyan trees providing the comforting shade. At the top of Fort Frederick are Swami Rock and the Koneswaram Kovil, an ancient Hindu temple. History states that it was here that Emperor Rawana meditated. It is easy to while away an hour or so in this beautiful location high above the sea.

The fish market in the centre near the bus stand. Some of Sri Lanka’s best seafood comes from the Trincomalee district and all the bargaining takes place here. Fishermen from the fishing villages throughout the area gather to sell their day’s catch, much of which is snapped up by Colombo traders who then package the fish into large wooden crates crammed with ice and transport it by road to Colombo.
 
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