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.