It was the first time, I traveled alone in the night in public transport. From Colombo to another border of the country across the island, with experimenting the boundaries of fear and risk. Yet it’s the most amazing weekend I have ever had in my life spending three days at the east coast.  I have traveled 8 long hours sitting next to a Muslim man in a bus being the only woman throughout the journey to my first destination beautiful Batticaloa.

I was advised to take a friend thousand times, when I tell my family that I’m planning this trip, “It’s not safe to walk alone,” or, “You might get raped,” as they pass on mythologies of danger like old tales, stir up the fire of fear.

Let’s be clear: “men” are not that dangerous.

How to get there

Batticaloa is a nice city on the northern coast with golden beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons. Also, Batticaloa is a good off beaten destination after Arugambay. Best is get a taxi, public transport can be very tiring. But to explore the city, you can hire scooters or tuk for the day.

Things to do in Batticaloa

Visit old Hindu Temples in the Town.

Batticaloa is a city with Muslims and Tamils mostly. But they understand English a bit. I hired a bike to explore and started the journey from a Hindu Temple in the middle of town. If you are lucky enough you can watch the offering to the god around 11 AM.

Things to do in Batticaloa

Batticaloa Fort

The Batticaloa fort was built by the Portuguese in 1628 and was the first to be captured by the Dutch (18 May 1638). It is one of the most picturesque of the forts of Sri Lanka, it’s situated on an island, yet still in good condition. Few government offices are located there inside the fort now.

I visited the fort and found some amazing old sculptures of colonial buildings and Ancient mortar located on the borders of the fort. Some fishing boats were there at that time in the lagoon.

things to do in Batticaloa

From June to July and in November this lagoon is full of jellyfish called Crambionella. You can hear them during the night and its called singing fish among locals.

Batticaloa Lighthouse

After having Lunch I rode to the lighthouse of Batticaloa, which was facing the blue lagoon in one border of the town. It was a tiring ride around the lagoon to get there and unfortunately, tourists are not allowed to climb up the lighthouse. By resting there for an hour on the windy shore of the eastern coast, I rode back to the home-stay to get my backpack watching the sunset over the lagoon.

Things to do in Batticaloa

It was great to ride across the sandy lands. I got to visit few Hindu temples on the way with beautiful magnificent architectural buildings. Since I had just a day to spend there I couldn’t visit all the amazing temples in Batticaloa. But hopefully, I will go back!

Let’s be clear again; “men” are not that dangerous.

3 thoughts on “Things to do in Batticaloa – Solo Trip to East Coast

  1. Dear Prathibha,

    Let me be very clear first of all; you are very brave, and you have a sense of wonder about you which drives you and no doubt takes you to places of new experiences and discovery.

    I have been following your Instagram for a few months now. Your pictures alone of your visits, have inspired me to plan my own 2 week trip to Sri Lanka. I will be visiting in June after my 2nd year exams at University. I have actually made an itinerary including on some of the locations you have travelled.

    My mum wants to visit Sri Lanka one day and I myself have read stories about women not being safe there also, and so it is, like your family had been worried about you, I was worried for my mum and I made her aware of this with my concern. But like you, my mum replied to me saying that she will be ok, and she herself will head out into the unknown.

    I’ve never travelled on my own ever and I am a man, and even I am weary of an unknown land. But, you have shown me that fear is what keeps us stuck and prevents us from experiencing everything we ever wanted or dreamed of, and thus keeps us from expanding our mind beyond. I so wish to travel because I imagine we can learn in a way that we can never from books.

    And, I remembering a quote from a book I read called ‘The Alchemist’ – by Paolo Coello, about a boy who travelled to Egypt from Spain, and he was scared and it was a strange land, but after a few weeks, and even being robbed once, the land was not strange anymore as he had learned the language and the culture of the inhabitants.

    I look forward to more of you posts of your adventures.

    Your sincerely,

    1. Hi Ravi,

      Thanks a lot! you are always welcome to beautiful Sri Lanka. And yes you never have to trust your fears, they don’t know your strength. Happy travelling!

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