The sunny East offers a range of activities to do and places to visit regardless of the season. From historical to religious sites to quaint villages, the East is filled with a myriad of things to keep you occupied as you go along to discover an area that is unique in all aspects. Check out our guide to the best places to visit in the East Coast as we list out the most sought after destinations to make your experience of the area all the more richer. Try your hand at golf at the Eagles Golf Link or seek the blessings of the Temple of Thousand Pillars and the adventures has just begun!
This dusty road is verged by wild and rural landscape. In the scrubland all around you will be found herds of water buffalo, and there are many chances of glimpsing elephants, shadow like amidst trees before they turn heel and disappear at your approach. The Kanchikudichchiaru tank will be the end of your long journey – and it is a very satisfying destination. Tanks in general are great places to just watch and feel happiness ripple within you. Kanchikudichchiaru is set away from the world. The topaz blue expanse of waters with the jungle in the far fringes is mesmerizing, especially at dusk or dawn. Silhouettes of distant mountains loomed in blue and green. Bleached white tree trunks in the middle of the tank stand holding up their hands to the sky. The tank is a favourite local fishing ground, writhing with silver shoals. You would see an occasional villager cast his net wide and draw forth a thick harvest. But these men have to be always wary of the crocodiles who bask in the sun, deceptive with their dozing appearance as they are really keeping a roguish, live interest on the surroundings, ever ready to snatch and snap. If you lay anchor here and laze around, you will ‘experience’ the tank which changes as the day, the sky and the light change slowly. From dawn to dusk it takes many moods: the milky morning, hot golden noon and restful, peaceful, mellow dusk. The big bonus would be the elephants that are often expected to stop by for a drink, several times a day.
With its string of hotels and guest houses, the Kuchchaveli Beach is a well sought out spot if you're looking for a beautiful beach to have a relaxing time. As you walk along the serene strip of soft golden sand, you will see sun loungers and umbrellas dotting the landscape with visitors relaxing under the bright sun while others explore their adventurous side with beach activities and water sports. Here at Kuchchaveli Beach, you will find a warm and peaceful environment that is definitely worth a visit.
An ancient temple sacred to Buddhists, the Seruwila Temple stands one with the nature. The still standing monuments were built during the reign of King Kavantissa during the 2nd century BC and to this day, does not cease to amaze onlookers. Neglected and left for the wilderness after the Tamil invasions, it was rediscovered in the 1900s and recognised as a site to be protected and conserved.
Located in the East Coast of Sri Lanka, a visit to the shores of Passekudah is an experience in itself. Passekudah Bay is to the north of Batticaloa nestled on one side of Kalkudah beach. A perfect spot for sea-bathing, Passekudah Bay’s flat bed is a great opportunity to take advantage of a good and safe wade or swim to as far as 200 metres from the shoreline. The shared shores of Passekudah and Kalkudah are reef secured and thus the ocean waves are a lot calmer in this part of the Eastern Coast. Around dawn, and if you’re lucky enough to be up that early, sights of deep sea fisherman bringing back the previous night’s catch on to the beach can be seen, where many vendors from the island over await their best buys. The Kalkudah beach is ideal for surfing and wind surfing during the month of September, which is also considered the best month to visit the East Coast.
One of South Asia’s populous towns The bazaar strip along the road, in one of South Asia’s most densely populated townships, Kattankudy in Baticalao is a bright hive of activity at night. Showing Arabic influence, mosques, town structures and date palms are attractions to marvel during a leisurely stroll. Friendly townsfolk are ever ready to point you in the right direction.
Built in the 1600s, Ford Frederick is a colonial fort by the Portuguese in the Trincomalee Town. The Fort is well known to house within it, the Koneswaram Temple, yet another attraction in this area. Captured by a Dutch fleet, the Fort was re-created, to defend against any threats from the British and the French. Currently, it is manned by the Sri Lankan Army and is an alluring tourist destination depicting the footprints left behind by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. Inside, you will also stumble across the Gokana Temple and the Wellesley Lodge, among other historical imprints. The remarkable landmark offers an unparalleled experience, taking you on a journey back in time.
A little way from the South of Arugam Bay, you will come to an endearing little village called Panama. The unspoilt rural neighbourhood is full of life and tradition that is rare in the modern Sri Lanka. The way of life of the occupiers of Panama still holds traces dating back hundreds of years and it is still being passed on to the next generation. The distinctive village is encircled by farming lands, paddy fields and greenery. The community living in harmony with the natural beauty of Sri Lanka only holds within it 5000 families across the Panama—the only village known to be comprised purely on sinhalese citizens, in the east.
Arugam Bay is famous for its surfing points that attract surfers from around the world. Many of them make Arugam Bay their home during the surfing period, which is from April to October. Arugam Bay Point, which is at the tip of the bay is considered to be an advanced point, where the waves can rise to a height of five to ten metres depending on the swell and oceanic conditions. As such Arugam Bay point is a haven for experienced surfers. The actual ‘bay’ of Arugam Bay is peppered with small cosy hotels. One area of the beach is full of fishing boats as that is the livelihood of the coastal area, but this does not disturb the surfers.
Confined within the Fort Frederick, the Koneswaram Temple (Temple of a thousand pillars) is an icon of Sri Lankan heritage. Once a multi-columned structure, the temple was in some measure, destroyed during the Portuguese period. The temple that we see today was built in the 1950s, striving to return to its former glory. The temple holds a towering statue of Lord Shiva, the sacred Nuga tree dedicated to Lord Shiva and obvious remains of the original temple. The exact origins and creator of the temple remains a mystery, but it is said to be over 3,000 years old.
On an islet of Sri Lanka lies a fort, a marriage of history, architecture and beauty. This fort is located amidst beautiful greenery and lagoons, possessing many stories and pride. Interesting thick walls that hold much beauty and artistic value will surely make you stare with awe.