Batticaloa: Natural Life and Charm – Part 1

Posted by on February 21, 2013

Welcome to Batticaloa - Fisherman on Kallady BeachIn 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, 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 BatticaloaSunrise on Kallady Beach - Welcome to BatticaloaThe 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.

Fishermen on Sinna Uppodai LagoonPlans 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 BatticaloaI 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.

Coral on Kalkudah Beach - Welcome to BatticaloaDuring 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. To reach the viewing platform, you must climb a series of ladders and traverse through an area reminiscent of a vertical submarine.

View from Batticaloa's lighthouse - Weclome to BatticaloaIf you are up for the task, the climb is as fun as the 360 degree view is scenic.

This article was written by Frank Justice, a guest teacher in Village Empowerment Academy in 2012. 2nd and 3rd part of his article will follow soon…