Kalkudha & Passekudah Beaches
Kalkudha & Passekudah Beaches – Nuzzling either side of the palm-tipped Kalkudah headland, north of Batticaloa, are two breathtaking curves of sand. The hotels that once lined the road southwest from Kalkudah village all disappeared in the war or tsunami, but today tourism is making a major comeback. Passekudah Beach, the most northerly, is gorgeous and the water very shallow, but you’ll often find busloads of Sinhalese tourists there. Try walking north along the shore to avoid the crowds. Kalkudah Bay Beach, over the headland to the south, by contrast, is deserted. The ocean is rougher here, but it’s a beautiful, broad beach. An army camp at the end of the Valaichchenai–Kalkudah road blocks the main approach; scoot around it and use the beach-access lane 800m further south.
From here you can visit Batticaloa, which is home to a historic Dutch Fort and a lagoon that reportedly has singing fish in it. If you are a keen diver, then there are some excellent diving spots, including the wreck of the HMS Hermes, a WW2 British naval ship. You can also enjoy exploring the Maduru Oya National Park where you have a good chance of seeing elephants as well as Hindu temples and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.