Batticaloa is located at a distance of 313 km away from Colombo, in the Batticaloa district of the Eastern Province. It can be reached by motor roads beginning with the A1 and connecting to A 6, A 11 and A 15 via Maradankadawala, Habarana and Thirukkondaiadimadu. Batticaloa, which is the terminus of the eastern Railway line and can be reached from Colombo via Polonnaruwa. Trains run daily on this track to Batticaloa.
The coastal town of Batticaloa sits on a narrow tongue of land with the Indian Ocean to the east and the snaking estuarine lagoon in and around it.
Batticaloa has coral rich seas along the east coast. Diving and snorkeling is possible in the nearby seas. Late March to end of October is a good season for these activities along the eastern coast.
The coastal area of the Batticaloa district is dominated by estuarine lagoons, namely the Valaichchenai Lagoon and Vakari (Panichchankerni) Lagoon. The District extends for a distance of 130 miles along the east coast of the Island, from the River Kumbukkan-aar in the south to the River Verugal-aar in the north. The district of Batticaloa takes its name from the principal town of the same name, which was originally known as Batticaloa or Puliyanduwa a derivation of the Sinhala name “Madakalapuwa” meaning muddy swamp.
The Batticaloa Lagoon, which is the largest lagoon, features extensive mangrove swamps and some sea grass beds that attract a wide variety of water birds.
Kallady Beach is a popular attraction among the diving and snorkelling enthusiasts.
The Singing Fish near the Kallady Bridge
Batticaloa lagoon is famous for its “Singing Fish”. On full moon nights, during the period of April to September, a faint but distinct musical sound resembling a plucked guitar rises from the lagoon waters in the area along the Kallady Bridge, a couple of kilometres off the town centre of Batticaloa. The mysterious music is attributed to a noise emanated from some form of a marine life found in the lagoon. The best way to listen to the music is to dip the end of an oar into the water and hold the other end to your ear.
Batticaloa Light house
Batticaloa Light House called “Muttuwaran Lighthouse” which was built by the British in the year 1913 is located where the Batticaloa lagoon meets the Indian Ocean along the Bar Road. The Bar Road is a stretch of sand that is found along the lagoon with the ocean towards the east. The lighthouse rising to a height of 28 meters is a rounded tower. The observatory at the top with a radius of six feet features a balcony painted in red with a couple of railings to protect the light house keeper.
The solid looking Batticaloa Fort with hulking walls, the most picturesque of the small Dutch forts of Sri Lanka was built by the Portuguese in 1628. The fort guarded by four bastions, protected by the sea from 2 sides and by a moat on other 2 sides, was captured by the Dutch from the Portuguese in 1638. It was the first Portuguese fort in Sri Lanka captured by the Dutch. In the year 1772, the fort fell to the British.
Batticaloa Fort houses within its premises a Buddhist stupa and Chatra dated back to 1st century BC. These Buddhist buildings had once belonged to the ancient Ruhuna Kingdom.
Unichchai is an agrarian village 15 km west of the Batticaloa town in the eastern province. The Unichchai Tank is known for fishing and swimming. The Unichchai dam is one of the largest dams in the eastern province. It was breached by the cyclonic flood in 1957 and restored and strengthened back in the year 1985.
Kalkudah and Pasikudah
Located about 35 km north of Batticaloa, the two lovely bay beaches of Kalkudah (2 km long wide stretch of beach) and Passikudah (a wide beach that is 4 km long) nestles on either side of the palm-tipped Kalkudah headland. The twin bay beaches, well protected from the monsoon by an off shore reef make up an ideal stretch for bathing, windsurfing water skiing and boating etc…….. It is one of the best-known reef systems in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka and has been proposed as a Marine Sanctuary by NARA.
The Pasikudah Tourism Development Zone consists of 156 acres of land in total. Currently there are 13 investors in Passikudah who have signed agreements and are investing nearly 6.5 billion to develop holiday resorts to attract more tourists to the country.