The Harbor

To begin with features sacred, is not to belittle or depreciate the other manifold fascinations of Trincomalee. Nature has endowed the region with a beauty and grace that has not been excelled by man. No doubt, man here has enriched Nature�s gifts, so much so, that Trincomalee today is a product of both aspects harmoniously blended.

Its importance as a place of strategic consequence guided its destinies in modern times. The great European powers vied with one another for the mastery of the harbor. The Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and the English, each held it in turn, and many a sea fight was staged off the cliffs of Trincomalee. Of all harbors in the East, it can be said that it is largely today as Nature endowed it.

Commanding the finest view in all the station, are the terraced high lands overlooking the harbor—the site on the eminence of which stands the most commodious and attractive of the hotels of the place, the Welcombe Hotel. Below stretches in its entire splendor the placid waters of the harbor, with but the gentlest of ripples playing over its surface as the soft wind blows over its wide expanse. To all appearance, more a lake set in natural surroundings, than an inlet of the sea, the view of the harbor from the terraced premises of the hotel is a sight most refreshing, physically and mentally. Guarding the entrance to the harbor are the pair of projecting headlines, much as the twin figures of dwarapalas at the entrance to one of the temples of Anuradhapura. It is the temple of Nature that these headlines safeguard. Far away in the distant horizon is a thickly wooded strip of land which “connects the landscape with the quiet of the sky.”

Irregular in outline all around as Nature made it, this enhances the charm of its setting. A carriage road winds along the northern and eastern sections of the harbor.

The situation of Trincomalee in an environment comparatively less developed and sparsely populated, has been a handicap in the past ages, to its advancement. Nevertheless plans to develop Trincomalee as a commercial seaport are under way. These hold forth rich promise of brighter days. Its gifts as a natural harbor may ere long bear fruit, as a commercial port of immense consequence to the economy of Ceylon.

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