Nature lovers will be pleased to find that the bay of Passikudah comprises of a shallow fringing coral reef towards the outer bay with scattered coral communities within. Proposed as a Marine Sanctuary by NARA, it is one of the best-known reef systems in the East.
Batticaloa Lagoon (34.2 km, 32 mins.)
There are several islands within the Batticaloa Lagoon such as Puliayantheevu, Buffaloa Island, and Bone Island. Many bridges have been built across the lagoon connecting the landmasses and the islands. The biggest bridge of all is Lady Manning Bridge located at Kallady.
The Kallady lagoon is home to the famous ‘singing fish’. In the months of April and September on moonlit nights, you can hear a musical vibration emanating from the waters. The ‘singing’ is best heard from a boat, by placing to the ear an oar or a walking stick dipped in the water.
Archaeological excursions in Polonnaruwa – (72.9 km, approx 1 hour)
Sri Lanka’s richest archaeological heritage sites, which remind us of this islands true heritage, which is over 2500 years old, can be found within the cultural triangle. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers. The ancient city of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The massive buildings, parks, shrines and sacred places made the city one of the most beautiful of the ancient kingdoms. Its beauty was also used as a backdrop to filmed scenes for the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer in 1982.
Whale watching in Trincomalee
Sri Lanka is fast becoming a hot spot for watching Whales and Dolphins. Whale watching has now become firmly established during the East Coast Season. Between March to August, Trincomalee has high strike rates for Blue Whales and Sperm Whales and even higher for Dolphins, mainly Spinner Dolphins.
Minneriya National Park – (85.8 km, 1 hour 19 mins)
Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, this national park is renowned for its toque macaques, sambar deer, leopards and elephants – to name a few. Lonely Planet, has named the “elephant gathering” of Minneriya as one of the World’s “10 greatest wildlife spectaculars.”
Sigiriya Rock Fortress – (126 km, approx. 2 hours)
Sigiriya is believed to contain the ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495 AD). It is one of the 8 world heritage sites in Sri Lanka and is renowned for its ancient paintings (frescoes) British explorer John Still in 1907 suggested, “The whole face of the hill appears to have been a gigantic picture gallery… the largest picture in the world perhaps”. It is also considered one of the most important, elaborate and imaginative urban planning sites of the first millennium that combined concepts of symmetry and asymmetry to intentionally interlock the man-made geometrical and natural forms of the surroundings.