Unbelievable Batticaloa!

Yes… Our travel agency is in Batticaloa!

Yes… It is uncommon!

Yes… we love Batticaloa!

Nature, Culture and People are the 3 gems of our Unbelievable Batticaloa.

We do make you benefit of our experience to design your unforgettable time along the peaceful and enchanting Batticaloa lagoon!


Here is an article written by Frank Justice, one of our guests in 2012, who stayed in Batticaloa for 3 weeks and supported our teaching activities. We like this article as it is relating an “outsider’s” experience in our beautiful area. Enjoy!

In search of a truly authentic destination that fully demonstrates how life is lived in eastern Sri Lanka? If so, look no further than the “City of the Singing Fish.” Batticaloa has much to offer both the novice and worldly explorer interested in the vast cultural diversity of the island.

Frank in Village Empowerment Academy

Invited to serve as a guest teacher at the Village Empowerment Academy [nowadays, classes are organized by East N’ West on Board], I had the pleasure of spending three weeks in Batticaloa. What I found was an enchanting municipality rich in community and tradition. Perhaps, the best way to describe the city is through the tripartite of nature, culture and people.

Sinna Uppodai Lagoon - Welcome to Batticaloa

The ecological beauty of Batti, as the locals call it, is absolutely stunning. Lagoons abound and give way to mostly uninhabited beaches and the pristine blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Palm and pine trees are scattered across the shoreline where the coconut tree is the most abundant. Although I am not much of a photographer, I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the sea scenery.

Sunrise on Kallady Beach - Welcome to Batticaloa

Plans to develop the area with a number of resorts and other buildings are in the works, but for now one can bask in the natural environment as it has been since the European colonists began developing the area centuries ago.

Fishermen at work - Welcome to Batticaloa

I enjoyed relaxing with friends at Kallady and other sandy beaches with no one else around save the fishermen who went about their work as if we weren’t even there.

During beach trips at home in the U.S., I have spent numerous early mornings watching the sunrise and searching for that one or two unbroken “prize” seashell with my family.

Welcome to Batticaloa - Our GemsIn Batti, the search isn’t any less fun, but it is much easier as the beaches contain a plentiful assortment of oceanic gems of all sizes.

Birdwatchers and butterfly enthusiasts will also find the water world conducive to their hobbies. I will never forget the family of bald eagles that I watched sailing and swooping across the sky from my perch
atop the Batticaloa lighthouse.

Batticaloa's lighthouse - Welcome to BatticaloaIndeed, the city’s most stunning scenery may best be viewed from the apex of the man-made structure, which will celebrate its centennial next year.

View from Batticaloa's lighthouse - Weclome to BatticaloaTo reach the viewing platform, you must climb a series of ladders and traverse through an area reminiscent of a vertical submarine.

If you are up for the task, the climb is as fun as the 360 degree view is scenic.


Most of the Sri Lankans that one comes into contact with in the western and southern regions of the country are Sinhalese. They speak Sinhala and are likely Buddhist. This is not the case in Batticaloa.

Hindu Temple in Batticaloa districtInstead, you will find a smorgasbord of ethnicities and faiths where Tamil is the dominant language.

From Tamils and Moors to Sinhalese and Burghers – and from Hindus and Muslims to Christians and Buddhists – Batticaloa has much to offer in the areas of cultural exploration and understanding.

Mosque in BatticaloaLocals are eager to speak with travelers about their background and beliefs as ethnic heritage and religion are the central components of their lives.

Batticalonians are also more than willing to extend invitations to the array of cultural and spiritual activities conducted throughout the city on a daily basis.

Art/photography exhibitions and handicraft expositions are also commonplace.

Photography exhibition in Cafe Chill

Handicraft Fair in St Theresa's convent

In the short time that I spent in Batti, I had the chance to observe a special celebration of Burgher culture, attend the annual Roman Catholic craft fair and visit a number of temples, mosques and churches.

Nothing, however, topped the lunchtime puja. Donned in a sarong, I was provided with the opportunity to partake in the Hindu ceremony at a locally-renowned temple located Church in Koddamunaionly a few kilometers outside of Batticaloa.

My attendance surprised many of the worshipers unaccustomed to foreign guests given the lack of international travelers in the area.
Puja in a Hindu Temple in BatticaloaStill, I was welcomed by all and even presented with a special gift – a plate of food featuring a rice mixture and bananas among other items – by a temple staff member at the end of the service.


Beyond the spectacular scenery and the enthralling ethnic enclaves you will find the most extraordinary facet of Batticaloa, the people. Warm and benevolent, Batticalonians interact with international travelers through a pleasant blend of curiosity, kindness and respect.

Kachcheri SignBasic English is comprehended by a multitude allowing for any number of short congenial conversations (most signs are in English, too, making it a breeze to get around town).

Man on the marketThe practices of begging and haggling have yet to take hold in the city making the exchanges lighthearted and enjoyable. Moreover, as eager as they are to speak with foreigners, the people do not approach guests in an overabundant or rude manner. They sense the right moment to extend a cordial “Hello! Where are you going?” and also know when the conversation has run its course.

Handloom shopWhy are Batticalonians like this? It is no doubt a combination of their good-nature and the fact that they have never seen westerners in person barring the NGO folk who flooded in after the tsunami and have since long gone.

Street VendorRegardless, the “street hospitality” makes wandering around town both comfortable and exciting. Take advantage of this by visiting the local market and through people watching.

Bench in Batti townFor the latter, I recommend a park bench alongside the lagoon on Customs Road.

The early 17th century Dutch Fort is a must for history buffs and is also among the best locations to photograph Batticaloa’s signature Kallady Bridge.

A hot spot for male teens and young adults is the cinema. If you have never witnessed a Tamil film, Batti is a fine place to do so. Just be sure to check in advance if the weekly feature has English subtitles.

Still, the magic of Batticaloa is its authenticity. At a time when globalization is evolving at a rapid pace replacing local traditions and heritage with an interconnected web of common practices and amenities, this corner of the world remains pure like the source of a fresh spring.Fishermen on Sinna Uppodai LagoonSinna Uppodai

You would be wise to come now while the city retains its naturally beauty, cultural wonderment and social generosity. I’ll be back.



www.welcometobatticaloa.comWTB = LOGO + MERMAID was created in 2012 to promote tourism in Batticaloa district.

The website gives information worldwide about hotels & guesthouses, restaurants & cafés, vehicles for hire, shops, places of interest, leisure activities, etc. situated in Batticaloa district. This website is the visible part of our extensive field work to discover, document, network and promote tourism facilities in the district. You can use it yourself to plan in advance your accommodation, identify a restaurant, organize your activities, etc.

You can also give us a ring or drop us an email and ask us to do it for you, so that you benefit from our field knowledge, experience and special rates.

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