Kanniya Hot Water Springs – Trincomalee


Kanniya Hot Water Springs is an archaeologically shielded place with hot wells located in Kanniya in Trincomalee. It consists of seven wells that form a rectangular shape. The wells are only 3-4 feet deep with obviously visible bottoms. However, the water temperature of the wells is known to differ gradually from one to another. The place is popular amongst Sri Lankan Tamils for performing religious Hindhu rituals blessed and assumed to have started by Ravana of the epic Ramayana.

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History and Archaeology 

According to information boards at the site, Kanniya Hot Water Springs date back to the era of King Ravana. The story goes that King Ravana struck the Earth with his sword at several spots, causing hot water fountains to emerge. Later, Buddhist monks are believed to have used this place as part of their monastery complex. During excavations in recent years, the foundation of an ancient pagoda was found beneath a concrete slab, indicating that this site has a rich history and cultural significance.

The Hot Water Wells

 The seven hot water wells are the main attraction of Kanniya Hot Water Springs. They are built in a square shape and are only 3-4 feet deep, allowing visitors to see the bottom. The water temperature varies from one well to another, but it's generally quite hot. Visitors are not allowed to use soap in the wells, but there is a separate area for washing. It's advisable to bring your bucket, as there are few standard buckets available. The wells can quickly run out of water, so visitors move from one well to another as needed.

Geological Characteristics

Kanniya Hot Water Springs is also a geothermal site, which means it contains hot water heated by the Earth's internal heat. Geothermal springs are natural springs that contain hot water. Hydrogeological systems link the global lithosphere, hydrological, and atmospheric cycles of the environment. Generally, three important factors control the generation of hot springs, including heat sources, groundwater, and reservoir rocks.

The surface temperatures of the Kanniya spring water range from 30 ºC to 37 ºC, all of which can be classified as warm springs. The spring water is classified as weakly basic, as indicated by the invariable pH from 6.7 to 7.3. The conductivity of the Kanniya hot springs at 25 ºC shows slight variation ranging from 288 to 428 μS/cm (Table 2). The chemical analysis results revealed that Kinniya spring water contains more HCO3 ions.

Healing Powers of the Hot Water The locals believe that the hot water from the wells has healing powers. Some claim that hot water can cure skin diseases and arthritis. While no scientific evidence supports these claims, many visitors still come to experience the hot water's soothing effects.

Other Attractions 

Besides the hot water wells, Kanniya Hot Water Springs has other attractions. The old Siva Devalaya, a Hindu temple, has been restored and attracts many devotees. Some ancient ruins are scattered throughout the site, although most were destroyed during the war. In addition, the site has several small stalls selling food items and souvenirs.

Visiting Kanniya Hot Water Springs 

To enjoy the best experience at Kanniya Hot Water Springs, visiting early in the morning or during weekdays when there are fewer crowds is recommended. The entrance fee is only Rs. 50 per person and the ticket proceeds are used for maintaining the site. However, visitors are advised to respect the site's religious and cultural significance and follow the rules and regulations, including not using soap in the wells.


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