Batticaloa (Tamil: மட்டக்களப்பு, Sinhala: මඩකලපුව) is a city in Northeastern Sri Lanka, 301 km away from the country's capital, Colombo. It is the administrative capital of the Batticaloa District. On the east coast, it shares borders with Trincomalee, Ampara and Polonnaruwa. The city and the district suffered due to civil war and natural disasters, such as tsunami, cyclone, flood, etc.
The bus station is located in the center of city, known as "Puluyanthivu" and buses travel from major cities of Sri Lanka to Batticaloa.
The train station is about 1 km from town. The Batticaloa railway station is the terminus of Batticaloa Line, which starts from northern town of Mahawa (Maho) and make stops at many stations along the way before reaching Batticaloa.
There is air service to and from Batticaloa. Cinnamon Air and Helitours both fly from Colombo.
Cinnamon Air provides daily scheduled flights that leave Colombo City (Waters Edge) and reach Batticaloa in 45 minutes. One-way fare per person is USD 230 plus tax.
Batticaloa is a very compact town, and walking is a suitable way to see the town. Rickshaws are available at nearly every place for long trip. Also, Sri Lankan Transport Board bus service and private bus/van service are available.
- 1 Batticaloa Fort. This fort was built by the Portuguese in 1628 and was the first to be captured by the Dutch in 1638. Later, the fort was used by the British from 1745. It now contains government administration offices.
- 2 Kallady Bridge. This bridge was built in 1924 during British colonial rule. The bridge was named Lady Manning Bridge in honour of the wife of William Manning, the British Governor of Ceylon. It was the oldest and longest iron bridge in Sri Lanka.
- 3 Batticaloa Lighthouse. This lighthouse near the estuary in Palameenmadu was built in 1913 and is 28 metres high. It's around 5 km from Batticaloa city, on Bar Road.
- 4 Gandhi Park & Batticaloa Gate. The Batticaloa Gate is a monument which was used as port to connect the town called Puliyanthivu (island) with the mainland of Batticaloa. This is believed to have been the landing site of Rev William Ault, who was the first Methodist missionary to Batticaloa, in 1814. Batticaloa Gate is located as a part of Gandhi Park. Within the closest area, public library and fountain park can be accessible.
- 5 Pasikudah beach. This is a coastal resort town located about 35 km northwest of Batticaloa town. It is a popular tourist destination, especially for its calm water body and resorts & hotels
- Heritage Museum.
- 6 Mamanga Pillaiyar Temple. This is a popular Hindu shrine, where an annual pilgrimage occurs during July/August.
- 7 St Mary's Cathedral. This is the main Catholic church in the district and serves as a cathedral for Batticaloa diocese. The structure has neo-Gothic architecture.
- Swimming would be ideal, especially in Pasikudah beach, which has calm water.
- Boat travel from Batticaloa lighthouse to Batticaloa Fort (about 3 km) would be nice.
- If you are a photographer, you can photograph historic, iconic, religious places and jungle sites. Bird watching could possible if you arrange a local guide. Seasonal/migrating birds visit during particular months. Kudumbimalai (lit. ‘’Hair-knot-rock’’) visit would be nice to photograph some birds and rocky places.
- Traditional folk dance called “kuthu” would be new art if you have not been exposed to it. But, it happens only during Hindu festival or other special events.
- Batticaloa shops could have local souvenir, which could represent Batticaloa, particularly with the image/ drawings of “singing fish” – mythical image of mermaid. Batticaloa known as “Land of Singing Fish” as there are belief and findings that fish can sing.
- Cargill Food City (1), 67, St. Anthony's Street, Batticaloa, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- Cargill Food City (2), No.03, Gnanasooriyam Square, Trinco Road, Batticaloa, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Prawn, crab curd and cashew nuts are famous in Batticaloa. As Batticaloa is sounded by water bodies such as sea, lagoon and tank various fishes can obtain. Sri Lankan and Indian cuisines are available, including Western food at hotels.
- Tropical fruits would available in particular seasons.
- 1 RN Buffet & Take Away, 3rd Street Covington's Rd (Old Batti). Small place with authentic Italian food
- Sunshine Bakery, 136,Trinco Road,Batticaloa., ☏ . Sri Lankan, Indian & Western food and snack
- Water is good, obtained from well and pipeline supply. Bottled water is available, and Toddy is available in some places. Coconut water can be obtained too.
- 1 YMCA, 26/4 Boundary Road South, ☏ . Cheapest option in town. No mosquito net. Book well in advance.
- 2 Riviera Resort, New Dutch Bar Road, Kallady, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka., ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. An idyllic, eco-friendly family-run guest house in Batticaloa.
- 3 Hotel Bridge View, No.63/24,New Dutch Bar Road, Batticaloa, Sri Lanka., ☏ .
- 4 Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa, Pasikudah Bay, Pasikudah, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This beach resort in Pasikudah offers deluxe rooms, suites, and attic rooms overlooking Indian ocean with facilities such as jacuzzi, cluster pools, infinity pools and spa.
- Amethyst Resort, Coconut Board Road, Passikudah, Kalkudah., ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 5 Sri-Lanka.Holiday (holiday home), 143/1 School Road, ☏ , ✉ info@Sri-Lanka.Holiday. Two-bedroom holiday villa in the fishing village of Navalady, close to Batticaloa. The place is equipped with air-conditioning, hammocks and there's a yoga teacher on site. Bicycles are available to explore the surroundings and the beach with great views and lagoon swimming options is only 300 m away. Food can be delivered on request, or there are restaurants in the area. €29.
- 6 Hotel East Lagoon, Munai Lane, Uppodai Lake Road Sinna Uppodai, Batticaloa-30000 Sri Lanka., ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Located by the lagoon that drift through the middle of the Batticaloa town.
List of major hospitals and health care centres in Batticaloa town:
- Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, Hospital Lane, Batticaloa., ☏ . Free.
- G. V. Hospital, 35/2 New Kalmunai Road, Batticaloa., ☏ .
- New Pioneer Hospital, 91, Pioneer Road, Batticaloa., ☏ .
List of pharmacies in Batticaloa town:
- New Batticaloa Medicals, 19, Bar Road, Batticaloa., ☏ .
- Tip Top Pharmacy, 6, Main Street, Batticaloa., ☏ .
- Arugam Bay,about 85km south from Batticaloa, is situated on the Indian Ocean in the Ampara district of Sri Lanka. It is a popular surfing and tourist destination. Two daily direct buses at 6AM and 10AM. Rs.135, 5-6 hours. Stops for 1 hour in the town of Akuraivili. Tuk-tuks offer to take travellers directly from there to Arugam Bay for Rs.1500, but you could just wait for an hour for the bus to continue and not spend any additional money. The bus ride ends in town of Putuveli, which is about 3-5 km to most guesthouses in Arugam Bay. Tuk-tuks ask for Rs.200-300, but Rs.150 is fair price. Or you could walk if no luggage; it's pleasant and flat.
- Pasikudah is a popular tourist destination, 35 km north, with beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons. There are inexpensive hotels and food.
- Polonnaruwa, west of Batticaloa, is an ancient capital city of Sri Lanka and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It has ruins and bird- and elephant-watching places. Also, it connects with popular sites of Sigiriya amd Dambulla.