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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.

Get in[edit]

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. 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[1] 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).

Get around[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Singing fish boat ride. At dusk and a few hours after that in the lagoons, especially near the big bridge crossing Kallady lagoon and especially at full moon days, a strange high-toned sound has been heard. Probably caused by some fish in combination with the high tide linked to full moon, but scientists that confirmed the sound could not yet determine the cause. Anyhow, lagoon boat rides especially when it becomes dusk always have some atmospheric funny element in them, so who knows...

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

Most of the eating places are along Trinco Road or between the clock tower and bus station.

  • Sunshine Cafe near corner Trinco Road and Station Road is the most Western. You can get a chicken burger and fries at the cafeteria on ground floor. A good kotthu special after 5pm. Rs120++ for vegetarian/chicken/seafood etc. A more upscale restaurant first floor.
  • The Banana Leaf closer to town has typical Tamil food. Likewise the Saravanna Hotel across the bridge near the clock tower. No banana leaves to eat off at either though.
  • A number of over-priced Muslim eating places near the Friday Mosque.
  • Value for money Buffet Lunch place half way up Govington Road between bus station and Hospital Road. Eat in or take away.
  • Genuine food along Hospital Road near the Hospital. Not many tourists there.
  • Mom Healthy Food, St Anthony Road (Cross from bus station to Cargills supermarket and go left along the lane. 50m on right), 077 9083002. Tired of hoppers and kotthu? Your choice of local food cooked on request by friendly family. Lunch/dinner LKR140++ depending on selection.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

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.

  • Sun Rice Hotel, Bar Road (near Trinco Road roundabout), Batticaloa, 0777 44 17 34. Very clean and modern. A restaurant in front. (June 2016) LKR1000+.  edit
  • Ananth Kishok Hotel, Bar Road, Batticaloa (Upper two floors directly opposite the Sun Rice Hotel), 065 222 3361. Was locked when I looked around. Maybe cheap and long-stay?  edit
  • SwissCan Hotel and Restaurant, 89/1 Trinco Road, Batticaloa ("Head), 065 2227174. Modern building set back from the road. (The Restaurant is not open June 2016) LKR1000+.  edit

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

  • Moon Hotels, 6,8 Govington Road, Batticaloa ("Exit), 065 222 9123. Value for money. Upstairs has a large balcony open to the street. Have a cold beer and watch the world. LKR700+.  edit


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