Baththalangunduwa is a narrow strip of an island which is only five square kilometers for size and is 38 kilometers from the Kalpitiya town bordering the Dutch Bay. For those who are not pals with the sea it is a journey which can get uncomfortable. The trip to Baththalangunduwa starts in Kalpitiya, where, except on Sundays, travelers will discover the ferry that takes passengers to the island daily. While the area’s fishermen and ship operators say the island is easier to reach from Puttalam, only ships operating from Kalpitiya are permitted to make the journey to this island.
It costs around Rs. 10 per individual to enter the jetty region in Kalpitiya, while another Rs.50 is charged to park the car inside. Weaving through the jetty’s hustle and bustle, travelers can then reach the Baththalangunduwa ferry. Passengers are asked to wear their safety jackets as safety issues are taken seriously by the coast guards. The ferry is full of products and individuals bound for the island, sputters to life and starts its somewhat slow voyage from Kalpitiya, passing many uninhabited islands dotting the region. After leaving the jetty, the regular passengers ‘ safety jackets come off with many settling down to have a nap as the ferry and the breeze rocks them to sleep. Others settle down for a game of cards.
Despite the behavior of the ocean, the ferry trip to the island is a completely distinct experience. The ferry crosses lengthy stretches of the Wilpattu reserve on the right until it goes off to the island. It’s a popular sight to spot birds searching for prey and fishermen preparing to leave for sea. If travelers are lucky they could spot a dolphin or two.
Baththalangunduwa is very much a Roman Catholic area with quaint shrines dedicated to various Saints that dot the area.