Saturday, 22 May 2004  
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Travel go guide

Trincomalee - a city with many attractions

Trincomalee has been a sea port since the days of the ancient Kings and one of the British Empire's most important ports in Asia during the second world war.

The city with two deep bays to seaward and a fine natural Inner Harbour to the west naturally attracted the attention of tourists both local and foreign for centuries.

From 1941-45, Trincomalee had been the headquarters of Lord Louis Mountbatten Allied Southeast Asia commander. It remained one of the British Empire's most important ports in Asia, and from 1941-45 was the headquarters of the Allied Southeast Asia commander.

The northeast-pointing promontory which separates Dutch Bay from Back Bay was fortified first by the Portuguese, then by their successors and finally by the British, who named it Fort Frederick. It is now in the hands of the Sri Lankan military, so access is problematic. At the tip of the promontory is Swami Rock, where a Hindu temple stood until being demolished by the Portuguese.

A shear rock outcrop called Swami Rock, several meters high above the sea is the tip of the Fort Frederick thus named by the British. having being occupied by the Dutch and the Portuguese. The massive Hindu temple dedicated Koneswara has said to have been stood here until it had been destroyed by the Portuguese.

A modern temple is now built around the same location. Within the Swami Rock is Lover's Leap where a Dutch Officer's daughter had leapt after a broken affair.

Another major attraction in Trincomalee is the Pigeons Island which is in close proximity to the Nilaweli beach where travelers take a boat ride to the island to spend the day among the flock of birds which come to the island in large numbers. Nilaweli and Uppuveli 16 kM and 6kM north of the city respectively are among the best beaches in Sri Lanka. Knee deep shallow seas spreads out hundreds of meters towards the sea. An ideal place for sun bathing and snorkelling.

These springs, unlike others in the country are steeped in legend and history. Legend has it that they were created by King Ravana of the Ramayana, when he had to conduct the funeral rites of his mother (after whom the springs were named) during a severe drought. He obtained the water he required for this purpose by touching his sword to a rock from which seven springs of pure water shot up. Because of this legend this spot is held in veneration by Hindus who use the spring water to perform certain rites following the death of a relation or a friend.

The greatest attraction of the springs however is the belief in its therapeutic values, especially in regard to rheumatism and cutaneous diseases. The Dutch who believed in the therapeutic properties of hot water springs, enclosed them with short protective walls and provided the underground conduits that connected them.

One of the earliest assessments of the water done in 1798 by Dr. Christie of the Island Medical Department found the temperature to range from 98 degrees fahrenheit to 106.5 in the different springs. These springs have never been known to run dry.

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Global theme nights at Ceylon Continental

The new "theme nights" at Ceylon Continental Hotel, Colombo offers appetizing dishes from various parts of the world for the gourmet delight of its guests. Monday is Chinese night where a spread of authentic Chinese dishes are offered in the form of a buffet at Cafe Emerald. Experience the North Indian delights at Ceylon Continental's authentic North Indian Restaurant "Tandoor" on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The catch of the day from the Indian ocean is offered to the guests on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Pearl Seafood Restaurant with live Calypso Entertainment. Crabs, Prawns, Cuttlefish and a variety of Seafood dishes make up the seafood buffet.

BBQ night at the BBQ and Beer garden is on Fridays and Saturdays. You could enjoy sizzling steaks to iced-cold beer.

For all Kottu and Hopper lovers there's the "Kottu night" on Fridays and "Hopper night" on Saturdays with spicy katta sambol.

A delightful weekly taste at dinner time never to forget at Ceylon Continental Hotel, Colombo.

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Lunch with Lloyd at the Galadari

Due to popular demand, Chef Lloyd Opatha Executive Chef of the Galadari Hotel launched his maiden programme "Lunch with Chef Lloyd" two months ago at the Salon Anthurium of the Galadari Hotel amidst a full audience.

The next programme will be held on May 26, at the Salon Anthurium, where Chef Lloyd will demonstrate to you the fine art of novel cuisine, the food prepared in your presence will be served for you to savour.

A limited number of tickets are available for the next month's programme. You could also be a lucky winner of attractive prizes on the Entrance draw ticket and of course Chef Lloyd will be available to give his valuable advice and tips on any culinary preparation.

Tender ANCL

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