Batticaloa Fort – මඩකලපුව බලකොටුව

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Batticaloa Fort
Batticaloa Fort

The Fort in Batticaloa lies on a one of the many small islands of Batticaloa in the east coast of Sri Lanka. It was built by the Portuguese in 1628 after a Dutch fleet landed in Batticaloa in 1603 with a fleet of six ships to take part in a joint effort to oust the Portuguese from the island after an initial agreement with then King of Kandy. This infuriated the Portuguese who had a firm holding in the Island and built a small fort 1628. This fort was built when Constantino de Sa de Noronha was captain-general by Damiao Botado when the Bishop Governor Dam Frei Ruiz de Brito was governing the state of India.

This fort had two stretches of wall leading to the ramparts, each 16.5 meters in length; two others leading to the ramparts, each 13 meters long; the breastwork on the side of the fort was 19.2 meters and ends at 11 meters. The bastions had empty spaces 11 meters long. The height of this wall which is made of stone and lime was 2.7 meters with their parapets and 1.1 meters in width. Those walls which form the two bulwarks which are filled up in the middle with mud.

This fort was captured by the Dutch in coalition with strong Singhalese forces in 18 May 1638 when King Rajasinghe of the Kandyan Kingdom requested them to banish the Portuguese from the country. The fort changed hands again in 1772 after it was surrendered to British.

The fort is a structure of four bastions and protected by the sea from 2 sides and with a moat from the other 2 sides. The fort has important ancient religious significance because of a Buddhist stupa with a Chatra dating back to 1st century BC from the Ruhuna kingdom of King Kavantissa.

A map of the Batticaloa Fort area from the 1636 publication Description of CEYLON - in the Book of the Plans of all the Fortresses Cities and towns of the State of Oriental India by ANTONIO BOCARRO translated to English by Tikiri Bandara Herath Abeyasinghe
A map of the Batticaloa Fort area from the 1636 publication Description of CEYLON – in the Book of the Plans of all the Fortresses Cities and towns of the State of Oriental India by ANTONIO BOCARRO translated to English by Tikiri Bandara Herath Abeyasinghe
Antique print of the Batticaloa Fort, Sri Lanka by Baldaeus, printed in 1672 for the Dutch first edition of Baldaeus’ work ‘A true and exact description of the most celebrated East-India coasts of Malabar and Coromandel and also of the Isle of Ceylon’ published in Amsterdam, 1672 by Janssonius van Waasberge en van Someren
Map of Batticaloa Fort
Map of Batticaloa Fort
Dutch Fort of Batticaloa drawn in the 17th century - From the national archives of Netherlands
Dutch Fort of Batticaloa drawn in the 17th century – From the national archives of Netherlands

References

  • Abeyasinghe, T. B. H. , 1995, Description of Ceylon in the in the Book of the Plans of all the Fortresses Cities and towns of the State of Oriental India by ATNONIO BOCARRO Dedicated to the Most Serene Royal Majesty Philip IV of the Spains and III of Portugal our Lord the King February 17, 1635. . Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka , new series. 1995. Vol. 39
  • Baldaeus, P., 1672. ‘A true and exact description of the most celebrated East-India coasts of Malabar and Coromandel and also of the Isle of Ceylon. 1st ed. Amsterdam: Janssonius van Waasberge en van Someren.

Also See

Map of  Batticaloa Fort

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Driving Directions to Batticaloa Fort

Route from Colombo to Batticaloa Fort

Route from Colombo to Batticaloa Fort

Though : Kurunegala – Polonnaruwa
distance :325 km
Travel time : 5.30 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Rathnapura – Beragala – Monaragala
distance : 400 km
Travel time : 6 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps

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