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You would have seen many beaches in the world, but might not have found many beaches anywhere in the world which are located a few minutes walk. Since Sri Lanka is renowned for its beaches and I can witness that Sri Lankan district Batticaloa has got two magnificent beaches which can be accessed in a few minutes walk. Pasikuda beach and Kalkudah beach are those two beaches in Sri Lanka which are within walking distance. Whether you consider them two beaches or one, the Passikudah Bay and the Kalkudah Bay are the famous town beaches of the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Most of the beaches you might have heard in Sri Lanka are along the western or southwestern coast since those beaches have more tourist development. Even though eastern beaches have fewer tourists and more locals, I still think they are worth a mention Both of the beaches are located in Eastern seaboard of Sri Lanka and at the distance of about approximately 300 km from Colombo. Yesterday I have decided to go there and see myself. More details about transportation can be seen at the end of the post.
As compared to other Sri Lanka tourist destinations, these beaches are still struggling to get tourist attentions. Actually, both of the beaches were not only affected in the 2004 Tsunami but also due to Civil war against black Tamil this area was not safe for travellers. Finally, when the civil war ended in 2009 since then this region started getting travellers. Now there is much accommodation in the region exist from a range of cheap backpacking to expensive five-star hotels.
Kalkudah vs Pasikuda Beach
Even though there is no big difference between Kalkudah and Pasikuda beach, still, both have some unique things. Let’s compare them.
Two big advantages that Pasikuda beach has over Kalkudah are the availability of snorkelling and deep diving. So If you are addicted to snorkelling and deep diving, Pasikuda beach is waiting for you. It’s also somewhat more popular among tourist and it seems government care more about it as it’s doing some development here, which include the development of “Special Economic Zone” that would host at least 14-luxury hotels. Most of the hotels had been completed and few are being built. Even though here are many accommodations available for tourist still you wouldn’t notice crowd here possibly because many tourists found it too far.
Firstly, thanks to the government that it hasn’t touched kalkudah beach so far. I can see as compared to Pasikuda beach, Kalkudah beach still in natural shape. When I went there I found only a few people on the beach so if you are looking for a silent beach where you can lay down on the golden sands under the sun for a many hours’ head over to Kalkudah beach.
The waters are mostly stagnant, the waves aren’t very strong. An ideal setting for swimming and snorkelling I’d say (if you happen to bring along your snorkel with you). In low seasons, the bay is often deserted and not recommended for people who’d find it creepy or lonely. (No, seriously!)
How to get there?
Firstly its depend from where you are traveling. Since I am based in Colombo so I can easily get there by train.
Every day two train departure from Colombo fort to Valaichchenai station one in the morning at 6.05 AM and second at 7:15 PM. Valaichchenai station is a nearest station in Pasikuda. Once you arrive at Valaichchenai station, then grab a tuk tuk. It wouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to reach Pasikuda beach. I went by train from Colombo and it took eight hours to reach Valaichchenai station. Although it was a long journey, I really enjoyed train trip as I am used to do such long train journey.
Public buses to get to Batticaloa from other main cities of Sri Lanka are collected in the following chart:
Note: Once you reach to Batticaloa, you can easily reach to these beaches as it takes less than one to reach Pasikuda from by Batticaloa bus and tuk tuk & will take much less tim.
|From … to Batticaloa||Time of Departure||Duration of travel|
|Colombo||7AM, 10.30AM, 2PM, 11PM + 6PM (bus to Kalmunai)||Around 9 hours|
|Badulla||6AM, 12PM||Around 6 hours|
|Jaffna||7AM, 8AM||Around 9 hours|
|Kandy||2.20PM||Around 6 hours|
|Vavuniya||7AM, 11AM||Around 7 hours|
|Polonnaruwa||8AM||Around 3 hours|
|Pottuvil||6AM||Around 3.5 hours|
|Trincomalee||6AM, 12PM||Around 3 hours|
Getting from colombo to Pasikuda by car demand for good budget. If you’ve budget of around 20k LKL ($120), you should book taxi as it will not take more than six hours from colombo unless there is un-expected traffic or you stop during the trip.
What’s even better, these beaches can be accessed by airplanes by landing at Batticaloa airport that is located at just 35 km from Pasikuda Beach. Sri Lanka domestic airline cinnamon air has flights from Colombo airport to Batticaloa airport.For schedule and fare you can check their site.
Where to Stay?
As I said earlier, there are so many accomodation available near to beaches. I have someone who offered me free accommodation at his house for a night so I can’t really recommended any accommodation from my side. Soon I again will go there and will stay in a hotel. Then after staying in the hotel, will update this section.
Every morning & evening trains comes from Batticaloa to colombo.Morning train departure at 8:15 and at night at 8:00 pm.
I hope you will enjoy your Sri Lanka east side trip. I know getting there by road require long journey but I am sure it will be worth to visit.