The stunning and world famous beach resorts of Pasikuda and Kalkudah and also the major city of Batticaloa are all located within the Batticaloa district in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. On this east coast of Sri Lanka, are two paradise beach resorts located within walking distance; Pasikuda and Kalkudah. These two beaches are two of the major attractions within this district. The natural beauty of these two beaches makes them stunning and breathtaking while at the same time making it harder for you leave. While both these beaches are impressive, there are many contrasts between the two. Water-skiing and windsurfing are two popular pastimes in which tourists engage in. Even though these two beach resorts were popular tourist spots back in the day, terrorist activities (the Sri Lankan Civil War) and the Tsunami in 2004 resulted in tourism activities coming to a standstill. Since then, necessary measures have been taken to redevelop these coastal towns.
Located to the south of the Kalkudah beach, the Pasikuda beach has gained fame for its horseshoe shaped bay, clear waters and the endless sandy shores. Unlike the Kalkudah beach, this beach is lined with hotels, restaurants and so on. The shallow water of this beach makes it a perfect spot for swimming in the ocean and allows sea worshippers to wade further into the sea. This beach is home to a variety of stunning fish and vibrant coral reefs. The best time period to visit Pasikuda is during the months of May to September. The Pasikuda bay is made up of a shallow coral reef and the NARA has suggested it as a Marine Sanctuary and is also one of the best known reef systems. This pristine beach is more crowded than the Kalkudah beach, and is more developed in terms of infrastructure with hotels lined up along the sandy shores.
The Kalkudah beach, with its soft sandy shores and natural beauty stretches out as far as the eye could see is located approximately 282 kilometers to the east of Colombo and 35 kilometers north of Batticaloa. However, this beach is relatively less crowded. Along the shores, there aren’t any restaurants, hotels or guesthouses, only the sea, the sand and the palm trees. Before this beach resort of Kalkudah was struck by the Tsunami in 2004, it was a very popular tourist attraction filled with hotels and restaurants. The reefs situated off shore offers protection to this beach. The waves here can be unpredictable at times. Fishermen wading out to the sea in their boats for their regular catch are a common sight of this part of the island and offer a glimpse of life on the eastern coast. If you wish nothing more than to enjoy and unwind in peace, the unspoilt beach of Kalkudah is the ideal place.
Within the district of Batticaloa (also known as the land of the singing fish), there are three lagoons namely the Batticaloa lagoon (the largest), Valaichchenai Lagoon and the Vakari Lagoon. Islands such as Puliayantheevu, Buffaloa Island and Bone Island are located within the Batticaloa lagoon. The Lady Manning Bridge which is the oldest and longest bridge made out of iron in Sri Lanka, and the singing fish in this lagoon attract visitors from all over. The Batticaloa beach is rich in corals and is a good place for diving and snorkeling. The Kallady beach located within this district also attracts diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
In comparison to other coastal resorts in Sri Lanka, Kalkudah and Pasikuda are less crowded. If you wish to soak up some sun rays, explore marine life and partake in water sports such as scuba diving, wind surfing, kite surfing, water skiing and snorkeling, you should pay a visit to these coastal resorts.
The name Batticaloa is a Portuguese derivation of the Tamil name ‘Matakkalappu’ which means muddy swamp. During the World War II, an aircraft carrier called the HMS Hermes and escorting destroyer HMAS Vampire which were stationed at Trincomalee, sunk in Batticaloa as a result of the Japanese attacks. Some remnants of the HMS Hermes can be found in the vicinity.
In the year 1973, Kalkudah and Pasikuda were proclaimed as the National Holiday resort. Pasikudah with its pristine beach and shallow fringing coral reef is an emerging tourist destination in Sri Lanka. This small town too was affected by the civil war and the Tsunami back in 2004. Since then, redevelopment has taken place and many luxury hotels can be seen springing up in this area.
Kalkudah which has been described as one of the most heavenly beach resorts in Sri Lanka was severely damaged and affected as a result of the civil war and the Tsunami created by the Indian Ocean Earthquake in 2004. At present, rehabilitation is taking place in order to restore this area to its former glory.
How to Get There
There are many alternative modes of travel available in order to reach Batticaloa, Kalkudah and Pasikuda from Colombo.
By road: in order to arrive at Pasikuda which is located approximately 282 kilometers to the east of Colombo by road, there are two options to choose from. You could either self-drive a rented vehicle or taxi. The fastest route to take in order to get to Pasikuda or Kalkudah is via the A11 and the journey takes 5 and half hours. An alternative route is via the Ambepussa- Kurunegala- Trincomalee highway and A11. Travelling by road is a relaxed and unrushed mode of travel.
The A11 is the fastest route that leads to Batticaloa as well. There is a longer route via the PBC highway (A5) and travelling on this route will take over 9 hours whereas the first route (A11) will take just over 6 hours.
By bus: since there aren’t buses leaving to Pasikuda from Colombo, the best choice would be to catch a bus bound to Valaichchenai. Valaichchenai is a town located in close proximity to Kalkudah/Pasikuda. These buses leave Colombo at night and arrive at the destination early in the morning. After arriving at Valaihchenai, you will have to taxi the short distance to Kalkudah/Pasikuda. The bus ride to Batticaloa from the Pettah Bus stand takes roughly 13 hours and 15 minutes and the route is via Wellawaya and Haputale.
By train: trains bound to Valeichchenai leave the station at Colombo Fort once a day and the journey takes just over 8 hours for completion. Once you arrive at the station in Valaichchenai, the best option would be to taxi the short distance to Pasikuda. It is best to reserve train tickets before the journey because tickets often sell out. There is a night train direct to Batticaloa, leaving the Colombo Fort station and it takes over 15 hours.
By air: traveling by air is possibly the most leisurely and luxurious mode of travel. It will only take 1 hour and 35 minutes to arrive at Pasikuda/Kalkudah from Colombo. Once you board the flight from the airport at Diyawanna Oya you’ll arrive at the Batticaloa airport which is the closest airport to both Kalkudah and Pasikuda within 1 hour. From Battticaloa, the best option would be to taxi the 40 minute journey to Kalkudah/Pasikuda.
From Batticaloa: the distance between Batticaloa and Pasikuda is very short and takes just about 40 minutes by road. The best option would be to either taxi or drive the short distance. For this purpose the fastest route would be via the Batticaloa- Thirukkondaiadimadu- Trincomalee highway and this route covers a distance of 32 kilometers.
From Trincomalee: Trincomalee is located to the north of Pasikuda. Travelling by road is the most leisurely mode of travel. The route via the Trincomalee highway is the fastest route despite the usual traffic conditions. A total distance of approximately 106 kilometers will be covered and it will take about 2 hours and 10 minutes to arrive at the destination. The journey to Batticaloa will take a few more minutes since it is located further past Kalkudah and Pasikuda.
Vehicle and taxi arrangements or flight bookings can be made for you by our tour consultants at Epic Sri Lanka Holidays.
The best time to pay a visit to the district of Batticaloa is during the months of May to September. During this time period the waves are said to be calmer with perfect coastal conditions and weather suitable for water-sports. During the winter season (November to April) the water seems to be rough. The weather here ranges between 25 degree Celsius and 32 degree Celsius on average. This district has a tropical wet and dry climate and receives an average annual rainfall of 1,650.9 mm.
Food and Drink
There are a plethora of restaurants and wide range of food items to select from in the district of Batticaloa. The food here ranges from cheap eats to fine dining. Some restaurants and cafes in the Pasikuda and Kalkudah that have gained good tourist reviews are ‘Hotel Vasuki’, ‘The Crab & Lobster’, ‘Captain Sea Food’, ‘Yaswi Guest House’, ‘Rupsy’s Sea Food Restaurant’ and ‘Machang Pasikuda. The ‘Sri Krishna Café’, ‘Sunshine Tomato Family Restaurant’, ‘RN Buffet and Take Away’, ‘Riviera Crab Cabana’, ‘Apple Restaurant’, ‘Hotdog King’, and ‘Akshathai’ are some restaurants that offer mouthwatering food in the city of Batticaloa.
Pasikuda Beach: located approximately 35 kilometers away from the town of Batticaloa, this beach has been identified as one of the most secure spots for swimming in Sri Lanka. The natural beauty of this beach with its horseshoe shaped bay, endless stretch of sandy shores, shallow coral reef system and sparkling blue waters attracts visitors from all over. Visitors can partake in surfing, snorkeling, diving, wind surfing, water-skiing and kite surfing while at Pasikuda.
Kalkudah Beach: this beach with its soft sandy shores and wide beach stretches out as far as the eye can see. This beach is relatively uncluttered and unspoilt, giving it a pristine and tranquil atmosphere. It’s just the palm trees, sun and sand. Windsurfing, waterskiing, snorkeling and diving are some water sports in which visitors can indulge in.
Water sports at Pasikuda and Kalkudah: the perfect coastal conditions of the Pasikudah and Kalkudah beaches allow visitors the opportunity of indulging in various water sports such as surfing, snorkeling, diving, wind surfing, waterskiing and kite surfing. There are a few wreck sites in close proximity that can be explores such as the Boiler wreck, SS British Sergeant and the HMS Hermes.
The Batticaloa Lagoon: out of the three lagoons (Batticaloa Lagoon, Valaichchenai Lagoon and Vakari Lagoon) in the district of Batticaloa, this lagoon is the largest lagoon This estuarine lagoon is narrow and 56 kilometers long, spreading out over an area of roughly 11,500 hectares of water. This lagoon stretches out to Kalmunai in the Ampara district from Eravur in the Batticaloa district.
The Batticaloa Fort: this fort was initially built by the Portuguese in 1628 before it fell into the hands of the Dutch in 1638. Eventually after the British invaded Sri Lanka, the fort was captured and used by the British. Even at present this fort remains in good condition and is an important religious site, since it houses a Buddhist Stupa dating back to the time of King Kavantissa.
Batticaloa Lighthouse: the Batticaloa Lighthouse also known as the Muttuwaran Lighthouse is located 5 kilometers away (just a 15-20 minute ride) from the city of Batticaloa, near the Palameenmadu estuary. It was built in the year 1913 by the British who ruled Sri Lanka at that time, and is 28 meters tall. When you reach the top of the lighthouse you are greeted with a stellar view of the lagoon and the surrounding.
Batticaloa Gate and the Mahatma Gandhi Park: the Batticaloa Gate is a memorial, which was used to link the island of Puliyanthivu with Batticaloa. The Batticaloa Gate and is a part of the Gandhi Park which was built as a mark of respect and in honor of the prominent Indian leader; Mahatma Gandhi.
The Singing Fish and the Kallady Bridge: the Kallady Bridge or the Lady Manning Bridge which crosses the Batticaloa Lagoon, was first built by the British and was named after the wife of the British Governor of Sri Lanka; William Manning. This bridge is the oldest and longest iron bridge in Sri Lanka. The Kallady Bridge is the ideal spot to listen to the singing fish. As claimed by legends, this musical sounds; rising from the water, that is similar to a plucked guitar string, can be heard on full moon nights.
The Coconut Cultural Park: the coconut cultural park is located just across the beach of Pasikudah and covers an expanse of more than 235 acres of land. 25 acres of this estate has been developed as a tourist zone and is managed by the Coconut Development Board.
The Valaichchenai Lagoon: this lagoon is one of the three lagoons found in the district of Batticaloa; the Batticaloa lagoon. Valaichchenai Lagoon and Vakari Lagoon. This estuarine lagoon is located in the populated areas of Valaichchenai, Oddamavadi and amalgamates Valaichchenai and Maduru Oya.
Thoppigala: Thoppigala is also referred to as Kudumbimalai and Barons Cap. The English called this rock the Barons Cap because it is shaped like a cap. Thoppigala was a strategically important location because it was an important point of observation for the terrorists during the civil war of Sri Lanka. It was the last stronghold in the Eastern province for the LTTE.
Heritage Museum of Kattankudy: the Kattankudy Heritage Museum displays the rich cultural history of the Muslims. This museum is spread over three floors and you can find various artifacts, recreations and life sized models about their cultures. Evidence of trading activities done by the Muslims in the ancient past and the different aspects of the lifestyle of Muslims along with a collection of Islamic manuscripts and ancient copies of the Holy Quran can be found in this Heritage Museum.
Somawathiya National Park: the Somawathiya National Park can be easily accessed from Pasikudah or Batticaloa. The Somawathiya Stupa that contains a relic of the tooth of the Lord Buddha is located within the park that is rich in flora and fauna. The 20 Villus can be found within this park is a prominent and unique feature of this park.