Overview of Batticaloa
Do you yearn to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to a peaceful seaside retreat with sandy shores and tranquil waters? If so, the east coast is the perfect hideaway for you.
Located along the stunning coastal line of the east, Batticaloa is also known as the ‘Land of the Singing Fish’ or Bati. Featuring several attractions, this tranquil fishing town has caught the attention of visitors, mainly because of its stunning beaches. Whether you want to swim, relax, or engage in water sports, Batticaloa’s peaceful, quiet, and pristine beaches are the perfect solution.
However, that’s not all Batticaloa is famous for. With a rich cultural heritage and history mingled with its natural beauty, Batticaloa is also home to ancient temples, colonial architecture, stunning beaches, and picturesque lagoons.
History of Batticaloa
This peaceful town on the east coast, surrounded by lagoons and the ocean, is steeped in history and culture. Among the many attractions in Batticaloa, one of the main and important attractions is the Batticaloa Fort. Located on the Puliyanthivu island in Batticaloa, this fort is considered one of the most picturesque forts, with views of the lagoon, the city, and the unique Kallady bridge.
Initially built by the Portuguese in 1628, this fort is believed to have been designed to offer protection against rival colonial powers. However, the Dutch eventually took control of parts of Sri Lanka, including Batticaloa. The stone fort, surrounded by a moat on two sides and the lagoon on the others, then remained under Dutch control for nearly two centuries until the British took control of the Dutch fortifications.
Beyond its colonial significance, the Batticaloa Fort holds religious significance as it has temples dating back to the 1st century BC and the ancient Ruhuna Kingdom of the country.
Geography in Batticaloa
Nestled on the stunning eastern coast of the island, Batticaloa has a captivating geography with spectacular landscapes. Forming an integral part of the city’s geography is the vast network of lagoons. The Batticaloa district is home to three lagoons, of which the Batticaloa Lagoon is the largest. Stretching for 56 km, it is home to many species of flora and fauna.
The coastline of Batticaloa is also adorned with stunning, pristine beaches that will take your breath away. From Pasikuda Beach to Kallady Beach, Batticaloa is a paradise for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts.
This remarkable geography, rich cultural and historical heritage, and warm and welcoming community make it a captivating destination for anyone visiting.
Attractions in Batticaloa
Begin your Batticaloa adventure by exploring the intriguing history of the city. Visit the Dutch Fort in Batticaloa, which stands to date as a testament to the country’s colonial past. Marvel at the architectural styles and explore the fort’s ramparts as your stroll along, enjoying panoramic views of the lagoon.
Then make your way over to the Kallady Bridge. Connecting the suburb of Kallady to the main city of Batticaloa, this iconic bridge was built in 1924 by the British. Formerly known as the Lady Manning Bridge, it was the longest iron bridge in Sri Lanka. Tied to this bridge is also the legend of the singing fish. Local folklore states that you can hear the sound of singing fish from the depths of the Batticaloa Lagoon emanating from the bridge.
Exploring the unique geography and tranquil beaches is a must-do in Batticaloa. Adding to the city’s allure is the vast Batticaloa Lagoon. One of the largest lagoons in Sri Lanka, it’s home to a captivating ecosystem of mangroves, flora, and fauna. It is also a hotspot for water sports and boat tours, including paddle boating, kayaking, swan boat, and motorboat rides. While it may take some time to explore the lagoon, owing to its vastness, it is a must-do when you are in Batticaloa.
To explore the pristine beaches, you can visit Kallady Beach. Located a few kilometers from the city centre, this relatively calm and untouched beach offers serene views of the Indian Ocean. Take a dip in the warm waters or simply soak in the sun while witnessing the local fishermen go about their work. If you want to engage in more exciting activities, head over to the Pasikuda or Kalkudah beaches.
Considered to be some of the finest beaches in the country, they are perfect for water sports. With rich marine life and corals inhabiting the ocean bed, these beaches are also popular spots for snorkelling and diving. You can also explore the underwater wreckage of the historic HMS Hermes, the first purpose-built aircraft carrier in the world, bombed by the Japanese during World War II.
While at it, don’t forget to immerse yourself in the local culture. Visit local markets and shops, bustling with peddlers. Keep an eye out for local delicacies and traditional handicrafts of the region.
Offering a blend of history, nature, and culture, Batticaloa ensures an enriching experience for anyone visiting. Explore the echoes of the past or relax and enjoy the serene beauty of the beaches and lagoons.
If you want to embark on a journey to the east coast of Sri Lanka, we can help you with more information or assistance in planning your getaway. We’re always here to help. So, feel free to get in touch with us today!