The calm lagoon adorns it while the moat provides an illusion of protection on two sides of the Dutch Fort in Batticaloa. Quite inconspicuous and somewhat forgotten the Fort stands shyly amidst the busy buildings of the Batticaloa town. Given that Ceylon was a trading hub in the past, and being surrounded by the ocean, Forts were built in most significant cities in Sri Lanka. The Dutch Fort was first built in 1628 by the Portuguese and was put to good use by the colonizers who arrived much later. If you are in the mood to step into Ceylon’s colonial past and get distracted by all that Batticaloa has to offer, find refuge in Amethyst Resort. It is a gem among many other Hotels in Passikuda. You could also revel in the multicultural heritage of Batticaloa.
First, stomped in the Portuguese, who built the fort, traded cinnamon, pepper, chillie and miscellaneous things and successfully blended into the community in the Eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Much later, the Kandyan king struck a deal with the unreliable Dutch. The Portuguese were on their way home, while the Dutch solidified their presence in the island. Enter the British and once again the fort changed hands. Quite evidently the Dutch Fort in Batticaloa is a reminder of the pleasantness and unpleasantness which is associated with Ceylon’s colonial past.
Interestingly, a Buddhist stupa and shahtra can also be found within the fort premises. It is said that they were constructed in the 1st century under the instructionsof King Kavantissa. Despite the disruptions and destruction caused by natural disasters and the recently concluded civil war, the fort remains solid. Many reminders of its colourful past such as the cannons and rough walls have weathered the reactions of the stormy sea and the equally stormy political climate.
Plans have been made to relocate the government offices that are within the premises of the Dutch Fort in Batticaloa in the hope that it will be made into a museum. We pray that this plan would be set into action sooner rather than later.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.