The magnificent beaches of Pasikuda and Kalkuda flank Batticaloa as two beautiful consorts protecting a dowager queen. Batticaloa is situated in the east coast of Sri Lanka with a great lagoon and a beach. On moonlit nights a melodious sound emanated from the picturesque lagoon is attributed to its singing fish.
Fascinating facets of culture include the small community of descendents of Portuguese soldiers who still cling on to a fast vanishing dialect of Creole Portuguese that is said to be similar to Medieval Portuguese. The curved coves of the beach of Pasikuda resembles the shiny edge of a serrated sickle. The white sand is composed of granules so fine, it gives you the sensation of walking on a warm wooly surface.The longer, darker hued Kalkuda Bay is one of those whimsical picture perfect scenes with sailing boats, coconut palms and azure water that tells you “come wade in” with a naughty wink.
Pasikuda, Kalkuda and Baticaloa offer safe swimming and snorkeling with clean beaches. The small number of visitors makes keeping them clean a given, which you will find out when you travel to Sri Lanka.
The Dutch made their first footstep in Sri Lanka here in 1602. The Dutch fort built in 1665 near the Batticoloa Lagoon houses government offices at present. The 6m thick walls of the fort now encloses the government offices still referred to as the “Kachcheri” a Dutch word that has been corrupted in pronunciation denoting an office of some sort.
Excavations on the site of the Dutch fort have found evidence of a Buddhist Stupa and Shatra traced to 1st century BC.
The ancient edifices of St Joseph’s Convent, St Michael’s College compete for attention with the Methodist Church built in 1838.
The Hindu temple of Anipandi Sitivigniswara Alayar with its ornate tower entrance is the most impressive of the Hindu shrines.
The descendants of the Portuguese and other foreign mercenaries who speak Creole Portuguese are today carpenters, barbers and fisherman assimilated. They have intermarried yet have preserved such customs as celebrating Christmas and dancing the Kafringa and carry names such as De Lima, Ragel, Barthelot, Andrado and Sela.
Kafringa is a type of music that is cherished by the Portuguese descendants of Batticaloa quite popular with many in Sri Lanka with its strange combination of la bamba and calypso. You will hear it often at dinner time at some of the Sri Lanka beach hotels. The bands in the luxury hotels of Sri Lanka will play Kafringa if requested.
Baticaloa is definitely worth a visit during your Sri Lanka tour.