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Batticaloa (Tamil: மட்டக்களப்பு, Sinhala: මඩකලපුව) is a city in Northeastern Sri Lanka. It is the administrative capital of the Batticaloa District. It is on the east coast, and it shares borders with Trincomalee, Ampara & Polonnaruwa. It is located 301 km away from the country's capital, Colombo. The city and the district was suffered due to civil war and natural disasters such as tsunami, cyclone, flood, etc. Pasikudah is a popular tourist destinations, with beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons. There are inexpensive hotels and food.

Get in

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 one kilometer from town. The Batticaloa railway station is last station on Batticaloa Line which starts from northern town of Mahawa (Maho) and make stops at many station along the way before reaching Batticaloa.

There is air service to and from Batticaloa. Cinnamon Air and Helitours both fly from Colombo.

Get around

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.


Batticaloa Fort seen from Northeast.
  • 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

Religious places

  • 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 do not expose to it. But, it happens only during Hindu festival or other special events.



  • 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., +94 65 492 7927. Sri Lankan, Indian & Western food and snack


  • Water is good and it obtain from well and pipeline supply. Bottled water is available, and Toddy is available in some places. Coconut water can be obtained too.



Old Kallady Bridge
  • 1 YMCA, 26/4 Boundary Road South, +94 65 2222495. Cheapest option in town. No mosquito net. Book well in advance




Batticaloa Clock Tower


List of major hospitals and health care centres in Batticaloa town:

  • Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, Hospital Lane, Batticaloa., +94 65 222 2261. Free.
  • G. V. Hospital, 35/2 New Kalmunai Road, Batticaloa., +94 65 222 5696.
  • New Pioneer Hospital, 91, Pioneer Road, Batticaloa., +94 65 222 3642.


List of Pharmacies in Batticaloa town:

  • New Batticaloa Medicals, 19, Bar Road, Batticaloa., +94 65 222 2222.

Go next

  • Arugam Bay - a bay situated on the Indian Ocean in the Ampara district of Sri Lanka. The bay is located about 85km due from Batticaloa. It is a popular surfing and tourist destination.

Two daily direct buses at 6am and 10am. 135 rps. 5-6 hours. Stops for 1 hour in the town of Akuraivili. Tuk-tuks offer to take travelers directly from there to Arugam Bay for LKR 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 3-5km to most guesthouses in Arugam Bay. Tuk-tuks ask for 200-300, but 150 is fair price. Or you could walk if no luggage; it's pleasant and flat.

  • Polonnaruwa - ancient capital city of Sri Lanka. Polonnaruwa is listed one of World Heritage sites. It has ruins and bird watching places. Also, it connects with popular sites of Sigiriya amd Dambulla.
This city travel guide to Batticaloa is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.