Written by

Wrapped in history, Kallady Bridge in Sri Lanka is a significant sightseeing spot that dates back to the time of the British colonial era. Sri Lanka, primarily known for its natural beauty, is also riddled with a lot of historical places and engineering marvels that most people miss out on. Among them, the majestic Kallady Bridge happens to be one. Draped in history and legend, the Kallady Bridge is located in the eastern Sri Lankan town of Batticaloa. If you reel back into the history of this bridge, it serves as a reminder of colonial engineering and is associated with a lot of local folklore. As you plan your itinerary for your next trip to Sri Lanka, the Bridge is one of those must-visit spots that need to be part of your travel itinerary.

About The Kallady Bridge

do fishing at the Kallady Bridge.

Image Source: Facebook

Amidst the list of the oldest and most historical spots across Sri Lanka, Kallady Bridge, otherwise known as the Lady Manning Bridge is one in the list. It stretches across the Batticaloa Lagoon, connecting the Batticaloa town to the suburb of Kallady. The construction of this bridge dates back to the period of British colonisation. During that time, the bridge was named after the wife of the then-Governor of Ceylon, Sir William Manning. Hence, the bridge is often alternatively named Lady Manning Bridge. Due to its establishment many decades back, the bridge has undergone multiple renovations and restorations to preserve its engineering marvels and glory. Beyond its historical charm, the bridge also offers stunning views of the beautiful lagoons around.

Furthermore, the bridge also surrounds rich biodiversity, which makes it perfect for nature lovers to spot different species of birds and animals. A unique phenomenon that’s associated with the bridge is the “singing fish” instance. With this, many locals and tourists claim that they can hear musical sounds coming from the surrounding water at night. It remains a folklore though.
Note: The Kallady Bridge is no longer the primary route for vehicles due to the construction of a new bridge nearby. However, it remains open for pedestrians and cyclists, making it a fantastic spot for a historical and scenic walk.

Must Read: Snorkelling In Sri Lanka

Basic Details About Kallady Bridge

net throwing in the bridge to catch the fishes.

Image Credit: AntanO for wikimedia commons

Before you make your way to Kallady Bridge, here are the basic details you must know:

Location: PP94+MRX, Kallady, Sri Lanka

Timings: There are no strict Kallady bridge timings. It is open throughout the day.
Entry fees: There are no Kallady Bridge entry fees.

Kallady Bridge History

an ariel view of the Kallady Bridge and know abut the history.

Image Credit: Camera007 for wikimedia commons

When highlighting the significance of the Kallady Bridge, you can’t miss out on its historical significance. The bridge’s construction dates back to 1924 during the British Ceylon’s colonial era. During that time, the bridge was constructed under the reign and leadership of Governor William Manning, who named it after his wife. The main purpose behind the bridge’s construction was to create a primary link between Batticaloa and other parts of Sri Lanka, which functioned for almost a hundred years. Back in the day, when the bridge was used for commuting, it would average 10,000 vehicles daily. However, since it featured a single-lane design, the bridge would often be congested, which further led to the need for a more modern alternative.

Hence 2013, a new bridge was constructed alongside Kallady Bridge to ease the traffic. However, to this day, the old bridge retains its charm and historical significance. Also, as highlighted before, there is a local folklore about “singing fish,” wherein people claim to hear music from the surrounding Batticaloa Lagoon.

Suggested Read: Places To Visit In Gampola

Things To Do At Kallady Bridge

do multiple activities near the bridge and enjoy the trip.

Image Source: Shutterstock

The list of activities to indulge in at the Kallady Bridge Sri Lanka usually involves laidback experiences that involve the views, the surrounding nature and the folklore associated with it.

Enjoy The Views Around: Kallady Bridge offers stunning views of the Batticaloa Lagoon. Getting to soak in the views of the tranquil waters and the lush greenery in the surroundings is a perfect way to spend your time on the bridge. It also offers the perfect backdrop for relaxation and photography. You must visit either during the early morning or during late evening for stunning views of the lagoon.

Catch the Sunrise or Sunset: Another unique experience to soak in at the Kallady Bridge is the views of the sunrise or sunset. Witnessing the slight and gradual changes to the sky’s colours as they are reflected against the lagoon’s water is an experience of a lifetime.

Boating Experience: Although not directly associated with the Kallady Bridge, the Batticaloa Lagoon offers an immersive boating experience. You can rent a boat and explore the lagoon, soak in the views and enjoy the tranquil breeze that flows in the surroundings.

Places To Visit Nearby

Beyond the list of experiences at the Kallady Bridge, there’s much more to witness around this historical site. Here’s a breakdown of the same:

1. Batticaloa Fort

Batticaloa Fort near portuguese.

Image Credit: Anton Croos for Wikimedia Commons

The Batticaloa Fort is located a short distance from Kallady Bridge. The historical site, like the Kallady Bridge, holds a lot of significance in Sri Lanka’s history. The existence of this fort dates back to the 17th century. It was initially built by the Portuguese and later occupied by the Dutch. So, even before the British colonisation, the existence of this fort provides a glimpse into the long years of prior colonisation in Sri Lanka.

Distance from Kallady Bridge: 2.1 Km
Timings: 24 Hours

Suggested Read: Sri Lanka In August

2.Kokkadicholai Hindu Temple

an entrance of the Kokkadicholai Hindu temple famous for the local Tamil.

Image Source: Facebook

Another ancient spot worth exploring from Kallady Beach is the Kokkadicholai Hindu Temple, a short drive from the Kallady Bridge. The temple is very significant for the local Tamil community. In addition to celebrating the festivals, the temple also features stunning, intricate architecture indoors.

Distance from Kallady Bridge: 14.9 Km
Timings: 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM

3. Dutch Bar Road

 visit the Dutch bar road on the way to the bridge and see the surrounding lagoons.

Image Credit: Anton Croos for wikimedia commons

Dutch Bar Road is a scenic route along the Batticaloa Lagoon, offering beautiful views and a peaceful environment. Much like the Kallady Beach, even the Dutch Bar Road offers scenic views of the surrounding lagoons. As you drive along, you can stop at varying spots along the beach to enjoy the scenery and even capture the views in photographs.

Distance from Kallady Bridge: 2.9 Km
Timings: 24 Hours

Suggested Read: Wasgamuwa National Park

4. Batticaloa Lighthouse

Batticaloa Lighthouse near Kallady Bridge is a must-visit place.

Image Credit:Astronomyinertia for Wikimedia Commons

Around 5 km from the Kallady Bridge, the Batticaloa Lighthouse is another popular must-visit spot that should be part of your itinerary. It is located on the eastern coast and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding areas, especially the Indian Ocean. You do need to climb to the top of the lighthouse to capture these stunning views of the area around you.

Distance from Kallady Bridge: 4.9 Km
Timings: 24 Hours

5. Navalady Beach

 fishing boat at Navalady Beach is the best thing to do.

Image Source: Shutterstock

For visitors looking for a somewhat laidback and secluded tourist spot that’s not crowd-heavy, consider visiting Navalady Beach. It is also 5 km from Kallady Beach, perfect for a perfect retreat from daily life. The tranquil environment makes it worth visiting, as well. You also get a closer look at the local lifestyle.

Distance from Kallady Bridge: 4.5 Km
Timings: 24 Hours

Suggested Read: Dambulla Cave Temple

 Best Time To Visit

visit the bridge at the best time and enjoy the pleasant weather.

Image Source: Shutterstock

The best time to visit and explore the Kallady Bridge is during the summer and spring months, from May to September. The weather is dry and pleasant, making it favourable for exploring the outdoors, especially taking a walk along the expanse of the bridge. This period also minimises the risks of sudden rainfall, which is yet another reason why most tourists prefer visiting during this period as well.
If you want to explore Batticaloa’s vibrant cultural celebrations, consider planning your visit during the festive months. The Hindu festival of Thai Poosam, typically held in January or February, is a spectacular sight, where devotees carry decorated chariots in a vibrant procession.

How To Reach

a mesmerising view of the train reaching

Image Source: Shutterstock

The Kallady Bridge is near both Batticaloa Batticaloa Airport (BLL) and Batticaloa Railway Station. Once you reach the airport or railway station, you can hire a taxi or tuk-tuk to reach the bridge. Usually, the journey is 10-15 km, making it easier for you to reach the sightseeing spot in under 40-60 minutes.

Further Read: Taprobane Island

Kallady Bridge Sri Lanka stands out as a symbol of history, culture and natural beauty. With 100+ years of history, the bridge is the oldest and the longest iron bridge in the country. As you plan your next trip to Sri Lanka  ensure that you include this bridge to soak in the views and the stunning experiences that await you there.

For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here.

Cover Image Credit: Mohit for wikimedia commons

Frequently Asked Questions About Kallady Bridge

What is the best time to visit Kallady Bridge?

If you want to have the most holistic travel experience, consider visiting during the summer/spring months between May and September.

How do I get to Kallady Bridge from Batticaloa Airport?

The distance from Kallady Bridge to Batticaloa airport is around 3.7 km. You can hire taxis or tuk tuk from the airport to the bridge.

Are there any historical sites near Kallady Bridge?

There are multiple historical sites around Kallady Bridge, including Batticaloa Fort and St. Mary’s Cathedral.

Can I hear the 'singing fish' at any time?

The “singing fish” phenomenon is a local folklore associated with the Kallady Bridge wherein people hear music coming out from the nearby lagoon. It is usually heard during nighttime.

Are there beaches near Kallady Beach to explore?

Pasikuda Beach and Navalady Beach are nearby beaches that offer beautiful scenery and recreational activities.

People Also Read:

Category: Places To Visit, Sri Lanka

Best Places To Visit In India By Month

Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month