Batticaloa is a major city in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka and its former capital. It is the administrative capital of the Batticaloa District.
Batticaloa is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka and is a major commercial city. It is on the east coast, a bit over 100kms south of Trincomalee. Situated half on an island in a vast lagoon and across a short bridge to the mainland. Coastal beaches north of the lagoon entrance ('The Bar")are popular tourist destinations. Locals regard the lagoon as home to the Singing Fish. (See them on Youtube). The city itself has fewer Tourists, Hotels and Tuk Tuks than Trincomalee. You dont get pestered by the Tuk-Tuk drivers. Hotels price are generally cheaper. The sheltered location makes for less cooling wind than right on the coast. Days can get very sultry during the South-West Monsoon. That said, the friendly people and picturesque lagoon views and good city parks make walking a pleasure.
The Central Bus Stand is on the Island 100m west of the clock tower. A timetable is on the wall but the departure Depot Codes dont help.(BT means this Station). Ask the man in the office nearby.
The Train station is about 1km North of town. Train journey from Colombo could take up to 9 hours. Two trains per day: 06:05 & 19:00. The day train changes at Galoya Junction for the last two or three hours. You can book 1st(on the Night Mail) and 2nd class tickets in advance but these usually go fast. You may need to book days in advance.
Air Taxi Cinnamon Air Daily scheduled flights operated by Cinnamon Air leave Colombo City (Waters Edge) and reach Batticaloa in 45 minutes. One-way fare per person is denoted as USD 230 (without tax).
Batticaloa is small enough to walk around. Local SLTB buses ply suburban routes around Puliyanthivu Island and across to the sea beach. Unfortunately the signs are in Singhala. Tuk-Tuks (ie three-wheelers) are available.
Most of the eating places are along Trinco Road or between the clock tower and bus station.
You can choose to stay out of town where you can really enjoy the tropical beaches. If you want to stay in Batticaloa City, you'll find a few Hotels along Bar and Trinco Roads between the Rail Station and the ClockTower.
There is a Government Rest House on the island. Inquire at the Tourist Infomation beside the Library. Apart from that the best option in Town is