Romantic places to visit in Batticaloa
Batticaloa is one of Sri Lanka’s hidden gems. This small town on the east coast of the island is entrenched in its colonial history and brimming with natural beauty, however, it often gets overlooked by travellers; providing the ideal opportunity for you and your partner to experience the town without the crowds of tourists! Here’s a guide to some of the romantic places to visit in Batticaloa.
Like all forts in Sri Lanka, Batticaloa Fort has switched hands between the many colonial ruling powers within the island. The fort was originally built by the Portuguese in 1628, then taken over by the Dutch in 1638 and finally by the British in 1745. Despite this continuous changing, Batticaloa Fort has retained its charm and is often considered to be the prettiest ancient fort in Sri Lanka as it sits between the lagoon and the ocean. Explore the fort by foot to marvel at the scatterings of its colonial remnants, and make sure to watch the sunset from the ramparts. The fort overlooks Batticaloa town and it is beautiful to watch the sunset while bathing in a golden hue.
One of Batticaloa’s main attractions, the Batticaloa lagoon is a fun excursion for any nature-loving couple. Go on a boat ride along the murky waters of Batticaloa lagoon and venture deep into its mangrove forests where you will see various species of birds as well as monitor lizards and occasionally a crocodile or two. Another option is going on a catamaran just before sunset; this is especially romantic as you gently glide over the water which acts as a mirror to the multicoloured sky and setting sun.
Pasikudah is the ultimate beach holiday destination on the east coast. Its white sandy beaches are fringed with tall swaying palms, and the beach is protected by an offshore reef which reduces the number of waves, making you feel as though you’re in a natural pool. Apart from just lazing by the beach, there are also a whole host of watersports on offer here, but the most romantic activity is going out to sea on a sailboat for sunset. There are tour operators like Sail Lanka which offer half-day cruises that will take you and your partner out to sea.
When Kallady Bridge was first built by the British in 1924, it was Sri Lanka’s longest iron bridge. Its purpose was to connect the island-suburb of Kallady to the mainland. However, over time the bridge became too small and the government built a new one while the original bridge is now being used by cyclists and pedestrians. The bridge has an urban legend to go with it; it is said that singing fish can be heard from the waters of the Batticaloa Lagoon below the Kallady Bridge. Although there is no evidence of such a phenomenon, it is still nevertheless exciting and romantic to walk along the bridge during a full moon and hopefully hear the singing fish…