Batticaloa

Travel Guide Asia Sri Lanka Batticaloa

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Introduction

Batticaloa is a district in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. It is the district in the middle of the three districts that constitute the Eastern Province. It has 14 Divisional Secretariats.

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Sights and Activities

Mamangam Pillaiyar Koyil: A famous hindu temple in Batticaloa very close to the central town, which has a myth of its own. It is supposed to be a temple raised at the spot that Rama during his search for Sita paused to perform his prayers and where he had placed a handful of rice to denote Lord Shiva. The lump of rice is supposed to have become a lingam and that was how the area derived its name 'Mamanga-Easwara'. However, for some reason, the people subsequently started invoking the name of 'Pillaiyar' and the lingam is supposed to have changed form to Pillaiyar. Whatever the myth be, today, it is a famous Pillaiyar temple that draws hundreds of pilgrims for its annual 'theertham' festival in June/July.

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Getting There

By Train

Night trains leave Colombo around 8p.m. and reach Batticaloa town only around 6 or 7a.m. the next morning. Travelling by train to Batticaloa is a long, tiring journey.

By Bus

There are public buses going to the Batticaloa town daily from Colombo and the travel takes more than 8 hours.

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Getting Around

By Car

Having own vehicle, a car or van, is recommended for ease of travelling and saving time on transportation.

By Public Transport

Public buses serve the district and one can reach most villages using public transport.

By Foot

Within a village or town area, one can reach most places by foot and if required, there are always the three-wheelers/ tuk-tuks.

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Sleep

Budget

Subaraj Inn: Located right in the town center, it provides basic accommodation. It can be quite crowded and is usually fully booked due to the limited number of accommodation options available in Batticaloa town.

Riviera Resort: A nice place by the Kallady bridge and overlooking the lagoon. They have lovely fruit juices and nice places to sit and relax with your drink.

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes are available in all the cities and these are cheap and easy to access. Most hotels have internet access as well but are relatively expensive. There are various internet service providers (Sri Lanka Telecom, Dialog, Mobitel etc.) providing different packages: ADSL broadband, dial-up, WiFi. Please contact a service provider to learn more about the packages and prices.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The country code for Sri Lanka is 94. Remove the intercity prefix (0) before the area code when dialling internationally into the country (i.e., 0112 688 688 becomes +94 112 688 688) when dialling from abroad). The two next numbers after 94 represents the area code, they are different for every district.

The use of GSM cellphones is widespread and the coverage is good. Dialog and Mobitel are two operators that have sales offices at the airport inside the arrivals lounge. Dialog Mobile has the widest coverage in the country including rural areas and has the best quality GSM / 3G / HSPA +/4G network. Mobitel also has a 3G/HSPA+ network. All the mobile operators are having same call rates due to floor rate tariffs. Therefore it is advisable to go to the network which offers you the best quality. All Mobile Operators offers cheap IDD Call rates. If you want to surf internet, best way is to buy a HSPA dongle and a Mobile Broadband connection. Dialog Mobile, Mobitel, hutch, Etisalat and Airtel offers prepaid Mobile Broadband services which can be activated and used immediately. Dialog is the Vodafone Roaming Network in Sri Lanka and offers the best range of Value added services for Roamers and the rates are cheaper. Etisalat and Airtel also provide cheap roaming rates specially to India.

Post

Sri Lankan Post is the national postal company. Each city/town has a main post office and the villages will have access to sub post offices, either at the village or nearby village. Local post, through normal mail, is cheap and fast. However, to ensure that the post has reached recipient, it is better to send by registered post which will allow you to have a reference number which you can later use to check with your post office that your mail has reached its destination. There are local courier services. Aramex and Pronto are some of the ones in Colombo and they deliver mail the same day or overnight. For better tracking and fast services companies like DHL, or TNT provide a good service but are more expensive.

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This is version 6. Last edited at 11:40 on Aug 6, 15 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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