Batticaloa Hotels

Batticaloa fort

Batticaloa fort

Batticaloa dutch fort

The Dutch fort in Batticaloa is a prominent land mark

Batticaloa was once a place with nothing much to do or see, with a lot of travel restrictions and road barriers. The civil war is over now, roads and infrastructure rebuilt giving the city and tourist sites a new look. Now Batticaloa is a place for traveler seeking unconventional excitements. Wander over the old Kallady Bridge to the Small Dutch Fort in the wee hours of daybreak and be pleased with the wonderful sunrise over the Batticaloa lagoon. The Dutch fort is quite forthright. The Fort is still intact and the structure looks solid  The smallest among the Dutch bastions in Sri lanka was  Built by the Portuguese in 1628. The might was fortified by four rulers. The structure is protected by the lagoon and a ditch on its sides. Observe how it’s strategically position to keep away conquering naval forces. The front entrance is secured by two VoC cannons and one cannon is places on the wall facing the long side of the lagoon. The Dutch army captured the fortress from the Portuguese in 1638. It is supposed to be the first Portuguese fort in Sri Lanka. In 1772, the fortress was captured by the British and handed over to Ceylon on its independence.  The fort Housing the Kachcheri, is the primary administrative center of the District at percent.

A century after Portuguese built Batticaloa Fort, the Dutch developed Batticaloa fort to its present splendor. British were the last to occupy in a long line of Euro colonial rulers.  The construction was done with the assistance of VOC, an East Indian Dutch company (In Dutch- Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie). The company that was established in 1602 was responsible for many major constructions around Asia during the Dutch rule. Some historians claim that Batticaloa with its C16th Dutch fort may be the Oldest Testament in Sri lanka.

The Portuguese were the first Europeans to arrive in masse in Batticaloa. The Fort, however, for good reason, will always be more closely associated with the Dutch than the Portuguese. After a bloody siege, the Dutch seized Batticaloa Fort and began constructing the magnificent hexagonal stone fort that survives intact to this day. Its floors are made from C16th Dutch gravestones and its walls have Dutch family crests.

Recently the building was given a fresh look after some cleanup work. There are also plans to move the District Secretariat to Sathrukondan to make the spot as a tourist attraction. Even though  the place is open for public its advisable to make a visit to the place during week ends or or on a holiday.

Batticaloa town is a combination of old and new. A noteworthy Batticaloa grand jumma mosque, Gandhi park, fountain park and the public library are located close by the fort. Batticaloa is a place with a variety of good hotels and guest houses to suit your budget. Traveling there and back is a pleasure. The roads are done up and pleasure to drive on. If driving is not on the cards getting there is best done by train. Batticaloa Hotels serves some exceptional sea food you should not miss to have or try some vegetarian food for a change.

 

  1. Charles Moses

    Famous Galle Road in Sri Lanka stretches 110 kms all the way down the South Coast from Colombo finally concluding at Galle Fort ramparts. Narrow streets in Galle Fort are lined with Dutch merchant villas real estate now worth millions converted to boutique hotels with pillared verandas, carved doors wooden windows. British and Dutch period offices are still in use. Galle is a vibrant, living world heritage city with residents walking the 300 year old ramparts at sunset. Strolling along the high rampart walls you view Old Dutch and English churches, the Governor’s house, the massive VOC warehouses, the Square of Law Courts, the elegant pillared facade of the old Dutch hospital, the Portuguese Black Fort, the lighthouse, Clock Tower, Amangalla and more.

    Near Galle Fort are 4 lap of luxury hotels. Lighthouse Hotel with beach front designed by the internationally renowned Sri Lankan architect; Geoffrey Bawa is 4 kms from Galle fort, Less well known but supremely luxurious is Tamarind Hill , the restored home of a former Admiral. The lavishly furnished Admiral’s Suite is nearly opposite the Lighthouse Hotel, but on the land side. 30 kms down the South coast is The Fortress Hotel with beach front. Further down at Tangalle is Amanwella with at US$ 1500 per night the most expensive, luxurious sea view villas with private pools in Sri Lanka. Galle Hotels are expensive. For rates complete Enquiry Form

    Within the ramparts of Galle Fort itself are merchant villas converted to boutique hotels and AMANGALLA, Aman Resorts multi million dollar restoration of the historic New Orient Hotel. Amangalla is certainly not cheap, with most hotel room only rates well over US$500 per night. Other smaller luxurious boutique hotels are also within the Fort area. Those who enjoy antiques will adore the rare Dutch colonial period antiques including the petagamas and the planter chairs which abound in Galle and Galle hotels.

    Visitors to Sri Lanka who love swimming on tropical beaches should note that hotels within Galle Fort itself do not have a beach frontage. The nearest luxury hotels with beach front are The Lighthouse on the Colombo side of Galle Road and the Fortress and Amanwella further down the South Coast. For those who love culture, Galle is the venue of numerous literary and cultural festivals which attract renowned poets and writers from all over the world. Galle is also the home of the cricket stadium which can be seen from the bastions and walls of the fort and where renowned Sri Lanka cricket team usually inflicts defeats on other nations.

    At the historic Galle Fort you join a long list of travellers as long as the Galle Road itself including cricketers who have been coming to historic Galle in Sri Lanka. In 1406 Admiral Cheng Ho arrived to bring presents to the Buddha. Marco Polo followed. Latecomers in this lengthy list of visitors over the centuries are ourselves. For a decade Sri Lanka has been a second home to our British directors, who escape the dark British winter for 4 months of the year to this paradise sun drenched tropical island. The last historic event in Galle was the Tsunami of 26 December 2004 when many perished but the massive stalwart ramparts once again protected those inside the fort walls.

    We can thus offer Galle based on personal recommendation. As part of our “Inspect before recommending” policy, only destinations and hotels where the Directors of our London office have stayed at, are featured on this website. Nearly all the images, except aerial images, used on the site have been taken during these travels and are as another tourist would have taken them.

    With a ground handling office in Sri Lanka offering intimate knowledge of the destinations in Sri Lanka as well as a UK Head Office, we invite you to share the Galle Dutch Fort and our Sri Lanka with us in a way few other travel companies can.

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