lagoon

Lake Shore Street, Puttalam

View of the jetty from the lighthouse, Puttalam

The view of the jetty from atop Puttalam’s abandoned lighthouse.

Picturesque Lake Shore Street runs along Puttalam’s lagoon. It’s a long, narrow and quiet street, with very little traffic. It runs from near the main round-about in town all the way down one of Sri Lanka’s (only?) wind farms.

I went for a few strolls here during my stay, meeting some very friendly, talkative and opinionated locals. Despite many Sri Lankan’s being able to speak basic English, conversations rarely go beyond the ‘your name?’, 'what country?’ and 'what do you think about Sri Lanka?’ questions; the latter is practically rhetorical, asked by locals eager to hear some positive feedback on their country, may it be sincere or not. However, when off the tourist trail, Sri Lankan’s seem much more willing to speak about their government and the hardships they face on a daily basis. 

fish nets

Fishermen check their nets for holes before heading out for the evening.

Puttalam

The lagoon is saline or brackish depending on places. Locals don’t swim or wash in it, although it is used for fishing.

library

This was taken inside a small library right on the shore of the lagoon. There were a few English books, mostly by L. Ron Hubbard. Just what Sri Lanka needs: another religion.

Jungle gym by the lagoon - Puttalam

Fishermen row out, pictured through the frame of a jungle gym.

colours

There are a couple of Mosques along Lake Shore street. There is a large Muslim community in Puttalam, quite a few of whom came from Mannar during the war.

jetty

Looking west across the lagoon from Puttalam, one can see Kalpitiya, a 20km strip of beach land (actually 14 islands) that runs parallel to the coast. 

doors

These colourfully-painted doors along the lagoon’s shore are used as store rooms for fishing equipment.

On the banks of the lagoon, Puttalam

Two boys sit under the umbrage of trees and watch two fishermen cast their net in the lagoon. 

A Sunday in Batticaloa

Welcome

Some goods lie outside a shop in a lane off Batticaloa’s main shopping street. 

Batticaloa is the main city on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast with a population of about 100,000. There are a few remnants from its rich history such as the Dutch fort which looks out on to one of the three surrounding lagoons. 

Dutch fort

The Dutch fort, built by the Portuguese in 1628 and taken over by the Dutch 10 years later.

My visit was unfortunately a brief one though, and I only had a day to roam around the place. As it was a Sunday, it was specially quiet with most businesses closed for the day and the streets generally empty. Nevertheless, the place had a pleasant, relaxed feel to it and was much more enjoyable to walk around than your average Sri Lankan town. I hope to make another visit. 

Chruch, Batticoloa

There really are so many churches around the country, most in this Portuguese style. My preference goes for the ones painted blue and white. 

Sunday cricket, Batticaloa

A group of friends enjoy a Sunday morning game of cricket in the shade of a banyan tree. 

Construction site, Batticaloa

A construction site near the Dutch fort.

Downtown Batticaloa

Downtown Batticaloa on a Sunday morning. Quiet.

Kallady bridge

Kallady bridge was built in 1924 during British colonial rule. It was the main bridge until a new one, right next to this one, was opened in March 2013. The old bridge is now used by the cyclists and pedestrians.