Batticaloa is a town situated in the Eastern region of Sri Lanka. It is located on the east coast, 69 miles south by south-east of Trincomalee, and is arranged on an island.

It is a quaint slow-paced town, which makes it the best place to refresh yourself from the stress of everyday life.

Batticaloa Travel Guide

For photography enthusiasts, you will be thrilled with the dim streetlamps which make the old colonial buildings, like the Saint Joseph’s Convent, glow under the night skies. By day, consider a visit to one of the many Hindu temples, the Dutch fort, or of course – the beach!


Photo: Calm beaches of Battocaloa/ CC0

Things To Do In Batticaloa

Batticaloa Fort

Batticaloa fort also known as Dutch Fort is situated in between wonderful greenery and tidal ponds, with numerous stories and contentment attached with it. It was constructed by the Portuguese in 1628.

Its impressive thick walls hold excellence and aesthetic esteem which will most likely make you admire with awe. Inside the fort, an all-encompassing scenic perspective of the quiet tidal pond making the place more beautiful awaits the visitors.


Photo: The Batticaloa Fort with the lagoon waters / CC0


This historic lighthouse isn’t open, but you can see it from the shore. It is one of the extraordinary places to visit in Batticaloa to capture some beautiful pictures. You can take a boat trip around the inlet to have an incredible perspective of this lighthouse.

Photo: A boat ride around the lighthouse can be fun / CC0


Puliyanthivu is a pleasantly relaxed town with colonial edifices like St Michael’s College and the sturdy 1838 MethodistChurch (Post Office Rd) are understated and charming.

Of the dozens of churches, the most eye-catching one is: the vaguely Mexican,earth-toned St Anthony’s and the grand turquoise St Mary’s Cathedral

Of the many Hindu temples, Anipandi Sitivigniswara Alayar is visually the finest, with a magnificent gopuram.

Jami-Us-Salem Jummah Masjid is among the town’s nice mosques.

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Photo: The magnificent St Micheals College / CC0

St. Mary’s Cathedral

One of the famous historical places to visit in Batticaloa among local Catholics. It is located in the middle of the town which is a very calm place, people can reach here in a really short time.

This catholic church is more than 200 years old with unique architecture and built in blue color. It is precisely a ‘Sri Lankan’ styled church so go to get a different ambiance of church architecture.

Photo: St. Mary’s Cathedral/ CC0

Kattankudy Heritage Museum

This exceptional new museum rushes deep into the history of Arab and Muslim traders provincially. Spread across three-stories, it reveals a compelling tale about centuries of culture through displays, artifacts, models, recreations, etc. The English-speaking staff here will happily guide you around.

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Photo: Do visit the Heritage Museum/ CC0

Kallady and Navalady

Batti is linked by bridge to a long, beach-edged peninsula that has the Kallady and Navalady neighborhoods. Kallady has a deserted strip of beach that’s idyllic save for the tsunami evidence still all around.

The Thiruchendur Murugan Alayam temple, near the beach, was slammed by the tsunami, leaving its small colorful gopuram leaning at an alarming angle. You can swim at Kallady beach, which has a little boardwalk, or at beautiful Navalady beach.

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Photo: The bridgo connecting Kallady and Batticaloa/ CC0

Unnichchai Tank

Unnichchai tank is situated at around 30km from Batti, inland. The landscape is very beautiful. You might be able to see many colorful birds on the way, as well as peaceful grazing buffaloes, or even elephants.

P.S- Be aware that outside of the Elephant orphanage, elephants are wild animals. If you happen to see an elephant on your way, do not try to approach it, especially if it is alone. 

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Photo: Collected water at Unnichchai Tank/ CC0


Batticaloa district is a gorgeous place for nature lovers. Coconut trees, palm trees, margosa trees, paddy fields, lagoons, beaches, and rivers offer an infinite palette of green and blue nuances. An abundance of flowers adds a colorful touch to the picturesque scenes.

In villages, many varieties of birds and animals can be observed, proud peacocks, relaxed buffaloes taking mud baths, goats and cows taking control of the roads, crocodiles hiding in the water, silverfish jumping happily out of the lagoon, woodpeckers at work, etc.

Batticaloa Lagoons

Head over to the Batticaloa Lagoon in Sri Lanka, it’s an appealing tour for those in quest of adventures. Consisting Puliayantheevu Island, Bone Island, and Buffalo Island, the spectacular bridges which allow tourists to traverse the lagoon, like the Lady Manning Bridge, are fairly interesting attractions.

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Photo: Spend a relaxing evening by the lagoons/ CC0

Singing Fish- Lagoon Bridge

Yes, singing fish! If you want to witness this for yourself, travelers suggest visiting between April and September. Head to the long lagoon bridge when you visit, and you’ll have the best results if you do so on or near a full moon.

Kallady Beach

Batticaloa is connected by bridge to a long, shoreline fringed peninsula that holds the Kallady neighborhoods.

Kallady has an abandoned portion of beach that has ideally saved the tsunami proof all around. Kallady beach is a stunning shoreline on the east bank of Sri Lanka. A nice place to spend your evening in leisure and appreciate the dusk.

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Photo: Kallady beach/ CC0

Local cuisine of Batticaloa

Some popular places to eat in Batticaloa are:

  • Subaraj Inn
  • RN Buffet and Takeaway
  • Sun Shine Fast
  • TD Foods & Takeaway


Photo: Buffet at RN Buffet and Takeaway/ CC0

Shop at

Large shopping areas include Puliyanthivu and Koddamunai in Batticaloa town, Kattankudy, as well as Eravur, Valaichchenai and Oddamavadi’s markets and so on. Discover local products and food by visiting Batticaloa’s market.

Find wonderful gifts for your beloved ones by visiting the Handloom & Handicraft sales center and the Palmyrah Development Board Sales Centres

Find selected handicraft and handloom items, locally made and easy to take away, in East N’ West on Board‘s tiny outlet, as well as postcards of the district.

Water Sports

Passikudah and Kalkudah Beaches are perfect spots for bathing, safe swimming, and snorkeling. Good swimmers can practice their hobby on any beach and especially on the gorgeous Kallady beach.

Boat rides on the lagoon (Engine boats, Kayak, Paddle boats, Swan boats) are organized by Batti Lagoon Park and around Batticaloa’s Lighthouse. Sail Lanka Charter offers half-day sailing trips, in and around Passikudah Bay.

East N’ West on Board organizes snorkeling sessions with local boatmen. They bring you near the coral reef, as well as fishing classes on the lagoon. You get to learn the art of traditional fishing from its expert practitioners.

You can also give a hand to the fishermen to pull the net out of the sea at any beach. Diving sessions, especially to the world famous British Air Craft Carrier HMS Hermes’ wreck, can be organized by Deep Sea Resort.


Photo: Try any water sports when in Batticaloa/ CC0

Where to stay

You can find decent hotels to stay in at Batticaloa. Some of the recommended ones are Subaraj Inn, YMCA, and Bridge View. You can always check online too at sites like or trivago to avail the best options.

Getting Around

The best way for you to travel would be to hire a taxi and move around. But if you are on a budget you can take the local bus. Following list details from where you can catch a bus to Batticaloa, the fare, travel time and a number of buses departing per day:

Ampara: Rs 84, three hours, two buses daily

Colombo: Rs.275, nine hours, three buses daily

Jaffna (via Vavuniya): Rs.380, seven hours,10 buses daily

Trincomalee: Rs.201, seven hours, 10 buses daily

Valaichchenai (for Passekudah and Kalkudah):Rs.48, one hour, every 15 minutes

How Safe is Batticaloa

As long as you take your precaution, this town is pretty safe. You can move around freely without having to worry about safety. Be aware of your surrounding to make sure you don’t fall prey to few locals trying to rip you off money.

March 26, 2019 1:44 am Published by

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