Batticaloa (மட்டக்களப்பு) is a major city in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka, and its former capital. It is the administrative capital of the Batticaloa District. The city is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka and is a major commercial city.
It is on the east coast, 69 miles (111 km) south of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island. Pasikudah is popular tourist destinations situated 35 km northwest with beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons.
Batticaloa is a Portuguese derivation.
The original name of the region being the Tamil “Matakkalappu” (translation: Muddy Swamp).
According to Mattakallappu Manmiyam the word Mattakkallpu consists Tamil words “Mattu” Matta-derived from “Mattam” means ‘flat’ and geographical name KaLappu. Mukkuwa named this place as KaLappu-Mattam or boundary of lagoon later it became Matta-Kallappu or Flat Lagoon.
Also, Batticaloa has a nickname, “Land of the singing fish due to musical sounds that related to fish or aquatic creature in the Batticaloa Lagoon near the Kallady Bridge. BBC Radio 4 was able to recorded the mysterious sound in Batticaloa Lagoon.
The sound was broadcast by Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in 1960s with the help of Rev. Fr. Lang, a Catholic priest.
Batticaloa is in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on a flat coastal plain boarded by the Indian Ocean in the east occupies a central part of the eastern Sri Lanka. Its average elevation is around 5 meters.
There are several islands within the Batticaloa Lagoon such as Puliayantheevu, Buffaloa Island and Bone Island. Many bridges are built across the lagoon connecting the landmasses and the islands. The Puliayantheevu is the metropolitan place of the city.
The biggest bridge of all is Lady Manning bridge located at Kallady, which is the main access path to the city from the southern places of the district. This bridge is also famous for Singing fishes which were considered as musical sounds heard in the Kallady lagoon on a full moon day.
Batticaloa beaches are sandy and located along 4 km shoreline in the city and further extend through the neighboring places. They include Kallady beach, Pasikudah and Kalkudah. Pasikudah is a bay protected from the ocean, with a flat and sandy bed extending 150 to 200 meters from the shores
Batticaloa is located at a distance of 313 km away from Colombo, in the Batticaloa district of the Eastern Province.
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