Pigeon Island National Park
In a quiet coastal hamlet off Trincomalee there is an island called Pigeon isle. The name comes after its hoard of pigeons who call this their home and abode. The park is about 1 kilometer off the coast of this picturesque Nilveli area. Here you get the very best of the coral reefs found hidden in these little coastal seas.
It is now declared a National Park with its pretty landscapes, of blue waters and white pristine beaches, and the surrounding cliffs dotted with and profusion of birds, and doves. It is an artist’s palette of coastal colors. On this island you get two islands, one small and one large both filled with pigeons. The surroundings of these islands are filled with crevices, jagged rocks, small caves and coves with hidden wonders of coral reefs and fish. It is an amazing and wonderful world of the undersea world!
The weather is somewhat dry, but perfect for some scuba and snorkeling, but you do get rains during the monsoonal showers and sometimes can rain as much as 1700 millimeters of rain. They rainy months are in October to March.
Lots of plants is to be found on this island if you walk along the rocky islets, there is many a coral reef to be found in these hidden waters of wonder, and pure. Beautiful color fish, swim in and out in these dazzling blue waters off the sea. Plenty of coral reefs for the lover of deep sea or shallow diving, a world of wonder and magic await the adventurous you, the sea world water diver, on these shores of Sri Lanka which is Pigeon Island National Park. You can expect to see a multitude of turtles as well as they scuttle past rocks and hide in nooks and crevices both home to pigeons, turtles and doves.
This is an ideal place for snorkeling and scuba diving. What more could one ask for on this beautiful island, with just the sounds of birds, waves crashing on to rocks and the sea breezes. It is also a rare area for beautiful color fish of all types of species to be found here. Prepare yourself to dive and swim with these happy little fishes of various beautiful hues, sharks, eels, turtles, jellyfish, and sea urchins.
Hire a boat and visit these two bird islands. You won’t be disappointed as the corals are incredible and is a definite must see place on your agenda.
Visit Pigeon Island in Trincomalee!
These islands are located in the coast of Trincomalee. You get to see a lot of immigrating birds also but most of all the pigeons and doves which make their home here on these lone islands.
The park is open from 8.00 a.m. until evening 5.00 p.m. you can purchase your tickets at the entrance to the park. You can also hire a boat and row to the islands and expect to hear a babble of birds greet you.
During colonial rule these islands were used for target practice and a shooting range. It was later, through the years declared open as a national park in Sri Lanka. It is now one of the most sought after tourist destinations here, and most popular for its snorkeling, scuba diving etc. or to just sit and listen to the sounds of birds, and the sound of the seas as it crashes against the rocks and cliffs below.
Tickets will be around 10$ plus taxes and will amount to a total of about 125$. The return trip would be around Rs.1500/= or Rs.1800/=. It is better to buy a return trip ticket so as to keep the boat once you reach the island otherwise once the boat leaves you will have to wait for some time until another arrives.
The island is maintained and looked after by the Sri Lanka Navy. You can get the relevant equipment for diving etc from here for a nominal fee.
Diving from these cliffs
These islands are considered to be one of the best places for deep sea diving from the top of these cliffs. The sport for plunging from these islets is from this cave or harbor in Trincomalee and is one of the best and finest harbors in the world. Surrounded by its Dutch fort and cannons, along with the lovers leap rock and Hindu temple, it is a much sought after attraction in Sri Lanka, where people of all walks of life visit annually. The Swami Rock or lovers leap is an ideal spot to dive from, if you are up for a challenge! However, this is not meant for the faint hearted! A Hindu kovil close by, with its beautiful architectural carvings of the building. It is a very old temple which has seen many a battle in war, and if temple walls could speak there will remain lots of stories of times gone by.
The sea water is pure and clear, which is a lovely bluish green and gleams in the morning sunlight. Further down are the pigeon islands with an amazing coral reef and a great place for snorkeling and scuba diving, as well as a profusion of colorful fish.
If you visit the village of Kanniyai you will come to the place where there are hot springs. This is a very popular place for both local and foreign. These water springs are supposed to have a therapeutic and healing proportion on one’s mind and body, and really good for the health, if you take a dip in these hot warm springs. The place is usually very crowded with people. It is a good idea if you can be there early before the crowds start to congregate. It has 7 hot spring wells here.
So, among these wonderful things to do, there are other marvelous attractions as well to see in Trincomalee, such as whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, coral reefs, rare fish, and plants, dive down the seas to explore a shipwreck etc. all this and more awaits, the adventurous you, to explore these rich delights in Pigeon Island diving.