The Kokkilai lagoon is an estuarian lagoon and this brackish water makes it a perfect nesting spot for birds and wildlife. To help convince you to take this excursion here is some information about the lagoon and the excursion before you board the boat.
The lagoon is situated in the North-Eastern part of Sri Lanka and has a very interesting makeup of mangroves, mudflats seagrass beds providing the perfect habitat for those birds who call it home.
The lagoon was dubbed a designated wildlife sanctuary in the 1905s. It is unique in that it is one of the largest nature reserves for both native and migratory birds not only in the North East but in Sri Lanka. You can be sure to be bowled over by the sheer volume of birds on your visit!
The Boat Ride
You can rent a little boat, called a dingy and venture into the lagoon. If you’re lucky you may even chance upon a crocodile or witness some elephants on the lagoon banks. Make sure you pack an umbrella though since the little boats don’t offer a cover of their own.
During your stay in Sri Lanka, head to the eastern part of the country where you find the magical destination- Trincomalee. It offers plenty of whale watching opportunities throughout the year.
The best time to schedule your tour
They say the best time to schedule a whale watching tour in Trincomalee is from May to October. During this time, you may spot dolphins too.
Types of whales to spot in Trincomalee
Did you know that out of the 80 species of whales that the world has so far, 26 can be spotted around the Sri Lankan waters? While blue whales are the most popular, there are also other species such as the sperm whale, killer whale, fin whale, humpback whale, and Bryde’s whale.
Getting prepared for the experience
Generally, a whale watching tour goes on for 4 hours. So, make sure you are well-prepared for the experience. Take seasick pills before you go, and make sure you take your sunglasses and hats with you too.
Sri Lanka has two main marine national parks, and one of them is the Pigeon Island National Park in Trincomalee. Exploring coral reefs and diving as you wish are all possible here!
It’s a Marine National Park
This important marine national park has two islands (the Small Pigeon Island and the Large one). The large one is considered the most important because it’s fringed by the coral reef.
Explore the beaches
The best thing about the beaches here is that they are very shallow. It’s safe to explore the beaches, and if you want, there are shops from which you can get safety jackets for rent.
The best way to explore the waters is by snorkelling or diving. Don’t worry about the equipment as there are many diving schools to offer you their services.
Getting to Pigeon Island
If you have made plans to stay at one of the Trincomalee hotels the likes of Trinco Blu by Cinnamon, getting to Pigeon Island is not at all a difficulty. It’s located just 1km away from Nilaweli Beach.
Trincomalee is one of the best locations to visit in Sri Lanka, renowned for its pristine beaches, natural beauty, and charming atmosphere. So, if you find yourself in this fascinating region on holiday, here’s how you should spend the next five days of your vacation.
A Day at the Beach
The beaches are by far Trincomalee’s star attraction, so why not get your tour of the region started there. Uppuveli is one of the best choices available to you in this regard, here the sands are white and pristine while the waters are nice and calm.
Go for a Dive
Most resorts Trincomalee has on offer – such as the Trinco Blu by Cinnamon – will include scuba diving in their itinerary. So, on your second day, why not take them up on this. There are a number of great diving spots to choose from in the region, all of which are home to a fascinating array of marine life.
Touring the City
On your third day, consider going inland to see all the wonderful sites that Trincomalee town has to offer. A good starting point would be the famous Koneswaram Temple – a relic from the ancient Chola period. Along the coast, you’ll also discover Fort Frederick, an ode to Sri Lanka’s colonial past.
As day four arrives, it’s time to head back into the water. Specifically, consider a day’s snorkelling session at the reefs bordering the famed pigeon island. Well away from the hustle and bustle of the main city, this is the chance to relax and spend some alone time with yourself.
Try Some Seafood
With your time in Trincomalee slowly drawing to a close, it’s time to end things on a high note – flavourful high note that is. All along Trincomalee’s coastline, you’ll find a number of great seafood restaurants. You should definitely consider stopping by these and enjoying some signature Sri Lankan dishes.
Trincomalee in Sri Lanka is already popular among tourists for being the destination housing the famous Hindu Temple ‘Koneswaram’. But that’s not the only attraction the city has, it also has the Lover’s Leap.
The Lover’s Leap is located in the town of Trincomalee which is already a tourist destination in Sri Lanka. With many great resorts, the likes of Trinco Blu by Cinnamon this destination is winning hearts of many; and attractions like this make them fall in love with the name ‘Tinco’- over and over again.
The story behind it
One of the main stories about this cleft comes from Ramayanaya. According to it, this cleft is made by king Ravana and that’s why some people used to call it ‘Ravana’s cleft’ as well.
Another story about this place
Another popular story is that a lady named Francina Van Reed dropped herself into the sea from here after losing her loved one. There are, however, some arguments refusing this belief- but it is a story left untold and unconfirmed in the history of Sri Lanka.
General instructions for your visit
You may get to this place by taxi or a tuk-tuk from your resorts in Trincomalee. And as this cleft is just a few meters away from the Koneswaram Temple, so you may admire both of them at once.
The temple is known as Thirukonamalai Konesar and is what gave the city its name “Trincomalee.” It’s one of the most sacred medieval temples for the Hindu devotees. It sits atop Swami Rock, also known as Konamalai and has been referred to in the Mahabharata and Ramayana. During its golden age, it was known as the Rome of the Gentiles.
The Ravana Connection
The Ramayana tells of the temple being patronised by Ravana the legendary king of Lanka and his mother who was a pious devotee of Shiva. Legend has it that Ravana was attempting to lift the temple and take it to his mother after she fell ill and could no longer visit the temple, but the god in anger made Ravana trip and he dropped his sword where it created the cut on the cliff face which is known to this day Ravana’s Cleft.
The Temple of a Thousand Pillars
The temple was said to consist of a thousand golden pillars and richly decorated thanks to the generosity of the Chola dynasties and after them the Pandayan kings. The temple contains carvings that date back as far as the 5th century.
The Colonial Desolation
The temple can be visited today with a short drive through Fort Frederick from any of the resorts in Trincomalee. However, the present temple was reconstructed recently after the old temple was shoved off the cliff into the sea by Portuguese invaders. Arranging a tour with a resort like Trinco Blu by Cinnamon will give visitors some background to what they will be seeing.
Have you heard of Lover’s Leap, located in the east coast city of Trincomalee, Sri Lanka? There’s quite a fascinating legend to go along with this well-known attraction!
Where it Can be Found
Lover’s Leap in Trincomalee (not to be mistaken for the one in Nuwara Eliya!) can be found tucked away by the edge of Swami Rock, within easy reach of centrally located resorts Trincomalee has to offer. The most prominent attraction here is the Koneswaram Hindu Temple, located around 20 minutes from Trinco Blu by Cinnamon.
The Name’s Origin
The most popular legend associated with Lover’s Leap dates back to the 17th century; it is said a woman named Francina van Reed had her heart broken when a Dutch officer broke off their engagement and returned to Holland. As she watched the ship carrying her bellowed sail away, Francina van Reed, overcome with sorrow, threw herself off the rock to the ocean below.
Taking It All In
While today a fence prevents lovers from flinging themselves off the cliff, it does make for an interesting sight especially when you know the story behind the name. You can find a pillar here which records the date of the tragedy of Francina van Reed. Depending on when you visit you may even spot blue whales in the ocean beyond.
Make sure to explore the Koneswaram Temple when here; dedicated to Lord Shiva, this magnificent sacred site features golden statues and imagery of various Hindi deities worth seeing.
The Pigeon Island is pretty much the most well known and visited marine national park among those in Sri Lanka. The reason for this is the fact that the park is overflowing with some of the most enchanting coral reefs as well as aquatic life forms. The name of the island is derived from the fact that there are hundreds upon hundreds of rock pigeons that come here during their mating season. The island is positioned about a kilometer away from the very popular Nilaveli beach in Trincomalee. With over 200 types of fish and many different coral reefs it is no brain teaser that the island has recently begun to draw the attraction of snorkeling enthusiasts from all around the world. The snorkeling tours almost always come with a skilled guide who will ensure your safety as you marvel at the blacktip reef sharks, hawksbill or green turtles that can be spotted commonly in the island.
The tour also consists of a boat ride to Pigeon Island which will take you about 15 minutes usually. The snorkeling expedition will last for about two hours during which you can freely study the staggering aquatic life of the Indian Ocean off the shores of Sri Lanka. Swim alongside schools of beautiful fish and feast your eyes on the beautiful coral reefs that thrive in abundance here. The best time to take on this recreational activity is cited as between nine in the morning and two in the evening as this is the time when the visibility in water is the best. There are many Trincomalee hotels such as Trinco Blu by Cinnamon along with many others that offer this activity, or are located in close proximity to the shores. All of the activities that take place underwater are fully monitored and done under the supervision of PADI licensed instructors so as to ensure your safety while you enjoy the aquatic scenery.
Caleb Falcon is a travel writer who specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+