October 2019


Under the Eastern Sun in Pigeon Island
October 2019




Pigeon Island comes into view as the boat journeys across the blue ocean. Situated approximately one kilometre from Nilaveli in Trincomalee, this beautiful island is one of the two marine national parks in Sri Lanka.

Words: Udeshi Amarasinghe.

Spreading over 471 hectares, Pigeon Island consists of two islands; the larger one is surrounded by the beautiful coral reef, while the smaller island is ringed by rocky outcrops. Pigeon Island is named due to the large numbers of Rock Pigeons that have made it their home.

The most frequently seen coral species at Pigeon Island is Acropora, while the soft corals of Sinularia and Lobophyton can also be seen.

The coral reef, which is about 200 metres long and 100 metres wide has over 100 species of coral and 300 species of reef fish. This provides an ideal environment for diving and snorkelling. Blue coloured boats dock on the sandy beaches and visitors flock to its shores. Some enjoy the eastern sun on the beach while others adorn their snorkelling gear to explore the wonders of the ocean. The bay is dotted with people enjoying natures' beauty. Once in the water, you will be mesmerized by the rhythmic movements of the colourful reef fish.

You could also venture inland along shaded footpaths to reach the Pigeon's Eye Lookout. Sounds of birds, crickets and other insects intermingle with the soothing tones of the ocean. After climbing a small slope, from the clearing panoramic views of the landscape beyond can be enjoyed. Wild Rock Pigeons are known to build their nests on cliffs and rock ledges. The birds can be seen flying in the bright blue sky or swooping down and perching on a rock.

On a visit to Trincomalee, make sure to explore Pigeon Island as it will provide a wonderful experience of a quaint marine national park that should be protected for the future.

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    Pigeon Island located off the coast in Trincomalee, can be reached by a short boat ride. Photo credit: Mahesh Bandara

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    Relax and soak up the sun or explore along the footpaths. Photo credit: Mahesh Bandara

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    Experience the aquatic life while diving and snorkelling.

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    Visitors at Pigeon Island can snorkel or dip in the shallow waters.

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