The picturesque village of Passikudah sits in a lagoon encircled region of Sri Lanka’s east coast. The bay has a soft, white sandy beach lined with palm trees.
The calm waters of the lagoon offer a perfect hideaway for relaxing, swimming, windsurfing and sailing. A shallow fringing coral reef towards the outer edge protects the inner line of the bay. Sadly, coral mining and bleaching have endangered the natural beauty of the area, but a proposal to create a Marine Sanctuary is in process.
Walk into the sea
Pasikudah is known to have one of the most extended stretches of shallow reef coastline in the world. In some parts of the lagoon, you can walk kilometres into the sea because the water is only a few inches deep. The current is comparatively weak as opposed to the rest of the coast of Sri Lanka.
Fishing has been the local’s traditional activity for many years. It was once a budding holiday village, but The Sri Lankan Civil War prompted tourists to avoid the area. The conflict began on 23 July 1983 as an insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. This group are also known as the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers. Their ambition was to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of Sri Lanka. The 26-year campaign ended in May 2009 when the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers.
During the conflict, the region also suffered the devasting effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
There has been a relatively recent increase in foreigners travelling to Pasikudah which is once again becoming a favourite tourist destination. This is due to investment and developmental growth creating improvements to the area. The village is home to The Pasikudah Mariamman temple which attracts both Buddhists and tourists who wish to view its intricate carvings.
The weather is sunny and warm for most of the year. Pasikudah is easily accessible from the city of Trincomalee or Batticaloa Airport. Additionally, scheduled flights operate from Colombo’s International Airport.