Batticaloa is a major city in the Eastern Province, Sri Lanka, and its former capital. It is the administrative capital of the Batticaloa District. The city is the seat of the Eastern University of Sri Lanka and is a major commercial city. It is on the east coast, 111 kilometers (69 mi) south of Trincomalee, and is situated on an island. Pasikudah is popular tourist destinations situated 35 km northwest with beaches and flat year-round warm-water shallow-lagoons.
Batticaloa is a Portuguese derivation. The original name of the region being the Tamil "Matakkalappu" (translation: Muddy Swamp). According to Mattakallappu Manmiyam the word Mattakkallpu consists Tamil words "Mattu" Matta-derived from "Mattam" means 'flat' and geographical name KaLappu. Mukkuwa named this place as KaLappu-Mattam or boundary of lagoon later it became Matta-Kallappu or Flat Lagoon. Also, Batticaloa has a nickname, "Land of the singing fish. due to musical sounds that related to fish or aquatic creature in the Batticaloa Lagoon near the Kallady Bridge. BBC Radio 4 was able to record the mysterious sound in Batticaloa Lagoon. The sound was broadcast by Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation in 1960s with the help of Rev. Fr. Lang, a Catholic priest.
Batticaloa is in the eastern coast of Sri Lanka on a flat coastal plain boarded by the Indian Ocean in the east occupies a central part of the eastern Sri Lanka. Its average elevation is around 5 meters. Batticaloa district has three lagoons such as Batticaloa Lagoon, Valaichchenai Lagoon, and Vakari (Panichchankerni) Lagoon. Among these lagoon, Batticaloa Lagoon is the largest lagoon and has 56 km long 162 square km area, extending from Pankudaweli in North and Kalmunai in South.
There are several islands within the Batticaloa Lagoon such as Puliayantheevu, Buffaloa Island and Bone Island. Many bridges are built across the lagoon connecting the landmasses and the islands. The Puliayantheevu is the metropolitan place of the city. The biggest bridge of all is Lady Manning bridge located at Kallady, which is the main access path to the city from the southern places of the district. Batticaloa beaches are sandy and located along 4 km shoreline in the city and further extend through the neighboring places. They include Kallady beach, Pasikudah, and Kalkudah. Pasikudah is a bay protected from the ocean, with a flat and sandy bed extending 150 to 200 meters from the shore.
Batticaloa has a tropical wet and dry climate under the Köppen climate classification, also generically referred to as 'dry-monsoonal climate'. Batticaloa's climate is temperate throughout the year. From March to May, the warmest time of the year, the maximum temperature averages around 32 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit). During the monsoon season from November to February heavy rains are recorded, with average temperature of 25 °C. Average annual rainfall in Batticaloa is 1,650.9 mm (65.00 in).