The Hot Water Springs of Kanniya
It is always a good idea to take a hot shower to ease the stress of the day. This is a common practice for muscle relaxation and has its own benefits.
What if you get into a natural Jacuzzi or take a dip or bath in Natural Hot springs ?. I am sure, you don’t say no it and enjoy it!
During my travels in the remote parts of the Himalayan region, I have visited Hotsprings at Manikaran, Vashist, Badrinath, Tapovan, Jeori, Dirang in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Jinuthanda in ABC Trek of Nepal. Especially in the high altitude and cold regions. I have been mesmerized to see these at cold regions and expereinced them heartfully.
Hot springs are a special geographic feature where hot water rises from the ground. Many-a-time, hot springs exist bang in the middle of freezing locations and seem like a miracle.
What are Hot springs?
A hot spring is a spring produced by the emergence of geothermally heated groundwater that rises from the Earth's crust. While some of these springs contain water that is a safe temperature for bathing, others are so hot that immersion can result in injury or death.
Natural Hot water springs are located in three areas of Sri Lanka.
- First is the hot spring nestling in the eastern province at Kanniya off Trincomalee - Anuradhapura road
- Second one at Maha Oya on Badulla - Batticaloa road
- Final one at Mahapelessa in the deep south of Hambantota district
Hot Water Springs at Kanniya
The Kanniya Hot Springs is on the east coast of Sri Lanka in Trincomalee,It is a series of seven square shaped wells each with a depth of about four feet. The temperature of the water at these hot springs varies between wells, but the average temperature is warm to hot. These hot springs are an example of nature in its purest form where the water from the well is believed to have healing properties. The water in each of the wells is not very deep, and one can see the bottom of the well. The depth of the well is such that the water will run out by drawing 10 - 15 buckets from it.
The legend of the Kanniya Hot Springs dates back to more than 5000 years ago when Ravana was the ruler of Sri Lanka. It is a belief that he raised his sword in anger in several parts of the Earth which has later emerged into the hot springs. There are no authentic evidence about how the place got the name till now.
The wells were also considered as an ancient site used for cleaning and purification by the Buddhists. The Mari Amman temple ( Kovil ) now maintains the wells in collaboration with the authorities of the Sri Lankan military.
It is considered the most sacred hot spring and a must-visit place for those who visit Koneshwaram temple in the east coast. Like any other hot springs, the hot water which comes deep from the earth's core carries away lot of minerals mainly sulfur.
Sulfur has a distinct smell which is caused by sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide gas escaping into the air. It is good for curing skin ailments and rheumatic pains as well.
For years Buddhist monks living in ancient cave hermitages had made the best use of these healing hot springs, the locals too have believed that the water of these springs have miraculous properties and provides relief from joint pains, fatigue, and stress.
Visitors can access the Hot wells from morning 7:00 am till evening at 7:00 pm by paying a nominal entry fee of 25 LKR for SAARC nationals. Natural springs are really a gift of nature and Visitors are thus requested to maintain the sanctity of the place.