Located approximately 130 kilometres southeast from major cities such as Trincomalee in Sri Lanka, Batticaloa is a popular tourist destination that attracts travellers from near and far. It is also a major commercial city on the east coast and offers a myriad of opportunities to explore and engage in fascinating activities in and around its captivating landscape. Here are some insights on how you can explore Batticaloa, a charming city in Sri Lanka.
Traverse through the streets
Batticaloa is a city with a peculiar ambience than the other cities in Sri Lanka, due to its various colonial constructions and historical places. Walking along the roads and the streets of this anomalous city, you'd come across a mélange of places that reminisce of a bygone era. Located within an hour's driving distance from several luxury hotels in Pasikuda the likes of Uga Bay, is the Old Dutch Fort, which currently houses some of the offices belonging to the country's government. Koddamunai is a convenient area you'd come across in Batticaloa with its mélange of banks and also a railway station. The flat roads running alongside sparkling lagoons and immaculate stretches of white sand beaches make this city an ideal location to cycle around. Cycling is the perfect way of exploring off the beaten path tracks in Batticaloa that might lead you to discover isolated places that burst with enchanting serenity. Puliyanthivu and Koddamunai are large areas with lovely shopping opportunities. Batticaloa's Market offers local produce and food, and it is a great place to shop like a local. You can also find wonderful handcrafts and souvenirs to gift your loved ones back home by visiting the Handloom & Handicraft Sales Centre in this area.
One of the most spectacular natural sights in Batticaloa are its scenic lagoons. Out of its three equally breathtaking lagoons, the Batticaloa Lagoon is the longest, with its mindblowing length of 50 metres. Its thriving ecosystem that constantly seems to be enveloped in the salty breeze and the fishermen patiently sitting around in their boats for their daily catch make the lagoon a perfect location for magnificent photography. One can visit the Batticaloa Lagoon Environmental Learning Centre and Ecopark to learn more about the lagoon's flourishing ecosystem. Batticaloa is also draped on its East by the Indian Ocean that has the city with smooth sandy beaches, stretching out for miles. If you visit the Kallady Beach, you'd be able to see the sombre remnants of the Boxing Day Tsunami, which wreaked havoc in this region back in 2004. This city is sometimes only promoted for its lagoons and beaches; however, Batticaloa hides much more in between these water sources creating an infinite palette of green and blue shades.
Things to do
The Pasikuda and Kalkuda beaches, which lie less than an hour's drive away from Batticaloa, offer a maze of opportunities to indulge in an array of watersports. Not only does the Pasikuda beach greets you with miles of shallow waters that are ideal for first-time snorkellers, but it is also ideal for a variety of fun water activities such as banana boating and kayaking. Bird watchers can access a perfect paradise by reaching Bone Island via the Batti Lagoon Park. The Buffalo and the Manthivu Islands, too, act as a haven for birds, both local and migratory. These islands can be accessed from the jetty near the Puthur Airport. Approximately 30 kilometres away from Batticaloa is the Unnichchai Tank, which distributes water to many households in the district. If you visit this tank during November and December, the rainy season of the area, the spill gates will have opened and would provide a feast to the eyes. However, to take a dip in the refreshing water of this tank, you may need to visit this area around February to April.
Get to know the culture
Religion contributes to a significant portion of the Sri Lankan culture. Being a multi-religious country, Batticaloa also has religious venues belonging to various faiths from Hinduism and Islam to Buddhism and Catholicism. Hindu temple festivals, church feasts, and Islamic celebrations contribute to the diverse culture of this district.