The green earth, the sandy beaches, the blue lagoons, the pristine island, the crimson sunset, the rivers, the coloured flowers, the tall trees, the chirping birds, and the singing fishes!!!!
This summarizes the town on the whole; nothing needs to be added beyond this. The lovely Batticaloa is a major city in the eastern coastal line of Sri Lanka.
The original name of this place is Matakkalappu- the muddy swamp. Another yet amusing nickname for this place is “the city of the singing fishes” because of the musical sound that the fishes and other marine creatures produce in the Batticaloa lagoon near Kallady Bridge.
Every inch of the place is an enthralling experience. Discover nature, wildlife and learn about the local culture and custom and the people here won’t disappoint you with their friendly nature and warm smile.
Places to visit in Batticaloa:
Batticaloa Dutch fort:
The fort was actually the work of Portuguese as a trading center in 1628 but in 1638 was captured by the Dutch, followed by the Britisher. It is surrounded by Batticaloa lagoon on both sides, the view of which is magnificient. You can still see the emblem of the Dutch East India Company right above the entrance. The canons, bell tower and watch tower are some of the ruins surviving. The 6 m thick barricade is what you need to cross when you are escorted by a policeman or guard there. There are items in the small museum, a prison that is converted to a store, so if you understand Tamil you are at an advantage. The fort is currently used by the district secretary.
Address: Court House Rd, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka
Batticaloa light house:
The historic located at the end of the sand bar in Palameenmadu . The 28 meters high lighthouse, accessible by the ladders, was built in 1913 and also known as Muttuwaran (where the lagoon meets the ocean) lighthouse. This is round and tall tower that has 5 windows, a lantern, gallery, and painted white. The age old Batticaloa light house is surrounded by lagoons, estuary, and mangroves. This makes a scenic beauty even more gorgeous perfect for the family outing with kids. The boat ride, swimming and excursions can be activities done around the coastline.
Is a calm island which literally means the ‘island of Puliyan. It is an important place in Batticoloa town as the infrastructure such a government building, post office, ATMs, hospitals, banks, schools are located here. Religious buildings like St Mary’s Cathedral, Jami-Us-Salam Jummah Masjid as well as famous places such as the Batticaloa gate, Weber stadium, etc are also situated here.
Koddamunai is a shopper’s place offering a number of choices for shopping including Batticaloa’s Market where you can check the types of banana, spices, handicrafts, varied snacks and Ayurveda. The peace garden and village empowerment academy is the place to learn about the art and culture of Batticaloa. Koddamunai has some Hindu Temples, Churches and Sri Mangalarama Buddhist Temple. Do buy some vibrant souvenir from the governmental Handloom & Handicraft sales centre.
And after that take a walk along the lady Manning drive and taste the delightful lassi and yes, don’t forget to check out the huge Vaahai tree.
If you are looking for a salon that is not only good at head massage and hair cut but also has an offbeat appearance then Imperial salon is where you need to go. Decorative paintings, fake flowers, sequins, tinsel garland and a ceiling where you can find goddess Durga, lord Buddha and mother Mary all showering blessings on you.
Thiruchendur Murugan Alayam Temple:
The beautiful temple was built in 1984 as a stopping point to the Pada Yatra to Kataragama. The myth is that the lord Murugan opened his eyes even before the painter was able to complete the image. Unfortunately, the temple was partially destroyed in 2004 Tsunami, with its Gopuram leaning at a frightening angle.
Anipandi Sitivigniswara Alayam:
A lovely temple with even beautiful gopuram and colourful decoration of criss- cross god figures.
Mamangam Hindu Temple:
The temple is one of the oldest in Batticaloa and is built on the place where lord Ram conducted a prayer to lord Shiva while searching Seeta. The temple hosts a grand annual function of 10 days in July that attracts lot of crowd from around the world. Each day of the festival is associated with unique events and activities. At the time of the festival, the shops crowd the vicinity and are even open at night. The celebration is pompous and sends a message of peace and harmony across the town.
The church was built in 1808 by Paschal Mudaliyar and then rebuilt in 1994 after it was destroyed partially in the fight between local Muslims and Tamils. The other churches are St. Anthony, the Mexican looking earth tones church, the fascinating huge blue eyed eight sided unfinished church ‘our lady of sorrow’ and St.Sebastin, a modern church in the shape of whale.
Sri Mangalarama Buddhist Temple:
This is the only Buddhist temple in Batticaloa. It houses several buildings and a stupa. It is a night stay shelter for the pilgrims.
Beaches, Water Sport and Bird Watching:
The sandy beaches, lagoons and estuaries are what you will love about the place. Choose from a long peaceful walk or an evening leisurely trip with the family watching the lovely sunset on the pristine Kallady beach.
The other popular beaches are Passikudah and Kalkudah Beaches, where you can enjoy bathing, snorkelling, see the coral reefs and also go for the swim. You can talk to the friendly fishermen who can give you lessons on the fishing!
Water sports: Go for an adventurous boat ride on the lagoon-Engine boats, Kayak, Paddle boats, Swan boats, are some of the available water vehicles. The rides are organized by Batti Lagoon Park and around Batticaloa’s Lighthouse.
The lagoon stretches to around 50 km and so the island is famous for the number of birds flocking here. The other islands famous for the bird watching are Bone Island, Buffalo Island and Manthivu Island.
The Ecopark in Palameenmadu has a bird viewing tower. And also, a little far away from the town is the Sathrukondan area that is known as the bird sanctuary.