Batticaloa is situated 314 Km (195 Miles) from Colombo on the east coast. It occupies the central Part of Eastern Sri Lanka and covers a land area of approximately 2633.1 Square Km. The District accounts for 3.8% of the Countries Total Land area.
Batticaloa stands on a long, sandy spit of land pointing northward and separated from the mainland by a large brackish lagoon which extends southward for many kilometers.
The charms of Batticaloa such as the heavenly beaches of Pasikudah and Kalkudah have rarely been molested. Pasikudah is a bay protected from the ocean. The significance of Pasikudah is that its bed is flat and sandy and has a pleasant effect on the feet. This can be experienced up to nearly 150 to 200 meters from the shore. The seabed is short on rock deposits, however it consists of sea cucumbers, which resemble a baby pool. If one has to get his chest or neck wet, he or she might have to walk for more than 100 meters outward. Pasikudah is an ideal location for those who wish to learn swimming. Pasikudah is in perfect harmony with its stunning natural setting on the island’s eastern tip. With its atmosphere of rarefied tranquility, it is a place for relaxation and renewal.
In Batticaloa – You can swim or fight with the waves in the sea all year round. On a few occasions in January and February the lagoon is opened up by the people living on its shores, and excess water streams out to see. With this opening, there is a bustling fishing life, and it is dangerous to swim nearby until it is closed again.
However, Batticaloa is famous for its singing fish – The musical sounds are heard in the lagoon near the Kallady Lady Manning bridge when the night is lit by a near full moon and minimal wind. A priest named Father Lang recorded this musical charm and broadcast it in the 1960s over the SLBC (Sri Lanka Broadcasting Cooperation). If you are lucky, on a moonlit night, you may hear the singing fish which are heard to sing in the night in the Batticaloa lagoon which traverses through the District extending 73.5 km. to Verugal in the North from Batticaloa Town and also extending from the Town 35.2 km. from the South up to Thuraineelavanai. A major part of the population is concentrated in the narrow strip between the sea and the lagoon. The Western portion of the lagoon is sparsely populated and 90% of the paddy lands are found in this area. A major portion of the population is engaged in Agriculture while the fishing population occupies second place in the social structure. However, lagoon fishing as well as coastal fishing take an important place in the day to day lives of the people.
Batticaloa Lagoon presents unique opportunities for boating, fishing and bird-watching. Moreover, there is the added attraction that the forbidding crag of Friar’s Hood dominates the surrounding scenery. Although it is not the largest lagoon in Sri Lanka area wise, it is navigable for a longer distance than any other.
Batticaloa is more interesting than any tourist resort that’s hyped to the hilt. The conditions don’t allow any of the people there to be artificial and that’s probably one of the tricks.