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Enjoy our Cultural Heritage in the East with a new impression

By W.A.P.Madhurika
Archaeology Graduate(University of Sri Jayawardenepura)
Central Cultural Fund

Trincomalee is one of the world’s finest natural harbors and this city is important due to its historic background. In the Mahawamsa (Great Chronicle) it is mentioned as “Gokanna”, and its “Shiva temple” the site of “Trikuta Hill” is mentioned in Hindu text Vayu Purana. Daily, hundreds and thousands of visitors pass through this city on their way to the nearby beaches of Uppuveli and Nilaveli. Trincomalee’s superb deep-water port has made it the target for all manner of attacks over the centuries: by the British takeover in 1795, because of its protective natural location and the city had changed colonial hands for several times. Especially, the Fedrick fort and its fortifications at Trincomalee are important for tourists as well as for pilgrims. This fort is built by the Portuguese, then developed by Dutch (Dutch buildings like the ancient Dutch hospital, Buildings with wooden pillars) and British. The ramparts built in the fort demonstrate the Architectural value of the fort. Also, when considering the current state of the fort Ramparts, fortifications, tunnels, and several other constructions, they are demonstrating the ancient colonial architecture in Sri Lanka.

Throughout 30 years’ war, there were lots of Army barracks and tourists were unable to visit and explore this area as they preferred. Many picturesque locations including the old town and the sea around it, historic harbor, attractive beaches are visible for the fort. You will be able to enjoy the natural environment of the fort with diverse floras and faunas: various species of birds, stray deers , etc. Pigeon island is one of the locations that can’t be forgotten while visiting Fedrick Fort.

Central Cultural Fund planned to present this cultural heritage place with a new view of enhancing our cultural heritage among the local as well as foreign visitors. As the apex institute of promoting our Cultural Heritage to the public, Central Cultural Fund has taken many actions to promote our Heritage for the interest of the public. Soon, this site will present for the visitors with the developing sanitary facilities and other infrastructure facilities needed for them. Building a Maritime Archaeology Unit for the experience of the visitors is a new action proposed to enhance tourist attraction towards the site. Soon, you will be able to experience the beauty of the fort with a new view. You will be guided by the tourists’ guides with educational information related to the site with its historic background. School students and University scholars will be able to improve their knowledge of History through the workshops organize by the Trincomalee project. Visitors also can study the conservation activities related to Archaeology subject, as the conservation activities of the “Vilgam Vehera” site have been started.

Already the project started its Architectural conservations programs and preparing the landscaping of the locations of excavation began and maintaining the premises for the tourists.

“Koneshwaram Kovil”“Gokanna temple” are two main cultural-religious places which are situated inside the fort with tourists’ attractions. Already tourists can visit the fort from the entrance up to “Koneshwaram kovil” . Among the Heritage values of the Fedrick fort, Its Architectural value is important. For an instance, the ancient columns and pillars of the ancient kovil demonstrates the architecture of Hindu culture, and the ancient balustrades “Korawakgal” at Gokanna temple demonstrates the facts on Buddhist Architecture. If you are interested in learning about these things, this will be a good opportunity for you.

Due to the “Easter attack” in 2019 and the Covid -19 pandemic condition in 2020, tourist arrivals are reported at a lower level and incomes flowed at a lower rate as the country has been closed. Now, the country was reopened with a new normal condition. So, the site Trincomalee is like a fresh gift presented for tourists after reopening the country. Every time, Central Cultural Fund tries to present our heritage for the general public to embrace our culture through Heritage.

At present, pathways are half-built on walls of the fort to walk along the fort to visit the surrounding. From March onward the sidewalls of the fort will be opened for tourists. Building an information centre, Audio, and video centres (for interpretation), and souvenirs shop for the visitors are the other programs that will organized on behalf of you. If you wish to enjoy your leisure time with happiness and experiencing the knowledge about our Cultural Heritage, you all are welcome to visit Central Cultural Fund, Trincomalee site, as it has been planned to present for the visitors with a new impression.

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