Where am I?

Where am I. ?
Can you tell me who I am ? And then, I can tell you more about my interesting story.I have a name, although forgotten by many and I am 94 years old.



I think , this is the new bridge .
You can see the old bridge next to it .
I did not walk on the old bridge, but, had the driver of my car, drive me
up and down the new  bridge and took a neat video of it .
The immense steel construction spanning the bridge, just fascinated me .

Eddie- I think this is it –
I was able to view it on Dr Google.
I am going to wait to read YOUR story on it, which will be better than Dr
Google’s  Story !

Deepthie .

Author: Eddie

Consultant Physician.

22 thoughts on “Where am I?”

  1. Agree with Rani. The old Kallady bridge in Batticaloa. Last July we were there but used the new bridge. Didn’t hear any fish singing!!!


    1. Dear Eddie
      I can remember seeing a bridge similar to this when we went to Jaffna and from there to Naga Deepa. But I could not tell you the name,as I have been to Batticaloa many many years ago as a little child so I could not have seen in Batticaloa. May be I presume I have seen it. Praxy


  2. Thanks Eddie, Rani and Seelan
    I had no clue, thought it is foreign
    What is this legend about fish singing?
    Looking forward to hear the full description


  3. I agree with Rani and Seelan . It’s a one lane bridge. When my dad was working in Amparai we were taken to Batticola to taste lovely mouth watering sea food on a regular basis when we visit him during summer vacation.


    1. Dear Marina
      Having read your comments I am waiting to taste lovely fresh sea sea 🌊 🥘 🥘 food when we go to Pasikuda. Yum 😋 yum . Praxy


  4. Did not have any idea. It is a pretty bridge.

    I do know more about the bridge now. However I shall wait for Eddie to enlighten us on the details of the bridge and the legend about the singing fish.


  5. Lovely photo Eddie – thanks a lot .
    Glad to have you back ‘ in the fold ‘ . I missed your comments a lot, and I was wondering where you were . Now, I know- you paid a visit to the Old Place !
    Tell us your ‘ Interesting Story ‘ on The Bridge !

    We will miss you at the RU -and , more so, when we visit Batti- Passekuda. I think, I did take a drive across this bridge, when I was visting Trinco -Batti- Pasekuda 2014 October, after the RU Celebrations .
    I will go over my photos and look for this –

    Batti had the most lovely bridges I have ever seen anywhere- and I got the driver of my car, to drive back and forth on these bridges- !
    He must have though for sure ‘ Mey Ganitanam Harima Pissu’ !!

    I love Bridges ! and have a great photo of my father, framed and hung in my living room, of him standing on REAL Bridge on The River Kwaii- that he visited back in the 70’s in what used to be Burma .


    1. Thank you all for your comments. You are all right. Deepthie,No, I did not take this pic, but the view is from the Dutch fort in the island of Puliyanthivu in the Batticaloa lagoon.Thanks for your pic of the new bridge and the singing fish church.
      Lady Manning Bridge. AKA Kallady(Rocky point in Tamil).There is a large rock in the shape of an elephant in the vicinity of the bridge and hence the local name.194 years old.! 2nd longest and 2nd Oldest steel bridge in Ceylon.288 m long and 10.4 m wide. The bridge crosses the lagoon close to the connection of the lagoon withe the sea.
      I have fond memories of this bridge as I grew up in it’s shadow.The bridge was completed during the tenure of Governor W.H Manning and was declared open by his wife Lady Manning in 1824, and hence it’s name.The locals have forgotten her !
      Of greater importance is the world famous singing fish which inhabit the area around it.Sir Emerson Tennent in his book on Ceylon first noted it in 1848 but his book was published only in 1861.Henry Ward (of Ward place fame), confirmed that that during his stay in Batticaloa in 1857 he heard the singing and noted the sounds indescribable.(Royal Asiatic society proceedings No 12 xiii 1861.He refers to this as unique.
      I have heard the singing fish on two occasions , once standing on the bridge very late at night when all was quiet and then again while under the bridge in a canoe.So ,take my word, it is true.
      In 1953, Rev Fr JW Lange of St Michael”s College recorded the singing fish and the notes were translated into music by the mother of Fr Del Marmor in America. This music sheet was published in the Royal Asiatic society proceedings in 1953.
      In 1848, when it was first described, our knowledge of oceanography was primitive and we were unaware that fish do communicate with each other.Rodney Jonklass who dived under the bridge confirmed the sounds and also recalled that many fish around the reefs do make sounds often to attract mates and warn of lurking prey.If interested check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pOITH02VVrw(Do fish talk to each other ?)
      The question as to which fish constitute this orchestra is not clear, the grunting and twitching is thought to be from the Cat fish while the musical quality has been attributed to the nocturnal glass fish and the white Croker. Since the lagoon has connection to sea it has a multitude of both fresh and salt water fish.(Look at pic carefully and the connection with the sea can be seen below the span of the bridge).
      Recently,scientists have discovered that the male Midshipman fish(named because of the shiny photophores which resemble the gold buttons on the jackets of naval trainees), does call out to females to come into his lair to lay eggs, which he carefully looks after until they hatch.(I am sure all females would like a man like that !!)The midshipman is found in many places in California, Florida and even around Vancouver island.
      A few years ago,a team from BBC4 went to Batticaloa to record the sounds and also interview a well known personality in Batticaloa, Mr Prince Casinader (88), a relative and neighbour of ours.It is an interesting interview with a man who has lived through the vicissitudes of life in Batticaloa.He and the bridge has survived two major cyclones, The tsunami and the war. His only comment after the recording was that the musical quality noted in years past was not heard during the recording.Has that species of fish gone forever.?? If interested listen to this interview. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bn086#play
      I hope, this gives an insight to a remote quarter of the island which has great potential for tourism. The extent of the lagoon is around 58 kms ,from Eravur(north) to Kalmunai(south) and all this can be reached by boat. I am reminded of the canal boats of Kerala.!!
      I hope you all will enjoy the post as much as I have in presenting it to you. Warm regards to all. Eddie.


      1. Dear Eddie
        What a wonderful account of the bridge. Deepthie I don’t know whether you also went but the good convent nuns took us on a school trip to Batticaloa and we were taken to listen to the singing fish . But being naughty school kids we were having fun trying to mimic the singing fish and we not quiet at all to hear them .
        May be when we go to Pasikuda we can have a “ go “ at them🐋🐋🐋🐋🐋
        Eddie it is nice to learn such a lot from you and we will visit that bridge and try to recall thIs wonderful history of the bridge. Praxy


  6. What a fascinating post. I have heard of Singing Fish, but never took the time to research the details. Thanks for posting


  7. Thanks Eddie for posting an analytical,historical,outline related to the bridge,and singing fish. Enjoyed listening to the u tube site of “singing fish” included in the article.

    May I add some intriguing details about the singing fish, Researchers have found that there are more than 1000 types of fish produce sounds
    These vocalizations can take a wide variety of forms, including pops, clicks, whistles, purrs, grunts, groans, growls, barks, hums, hoots, rattles, and even tinkles.


  8. Thanks Sam and Simone. Yes, Simone you are absolutely correct.This brings into the conversation about vegetarianism plus Fish eating Vs Non Vegetarianism. The more you know about the lives of Fish, the more they are like us.! Imagine the Male midshipman calling for a female to lay eggs in his burrow and then to look after them till they all hatch. That is parenting in the 21st century.!!New age males.


    1. Dear Eddie
      Oh I do admire the male midshipman . What a kind act.
      By the way I logged on to
      The YouTube you had mentioned but it is not there☹️☹️☹️Praxy


      1. Thanks Praxy.I am sorry you could not access the you tube clip.You could do a google search “ Do fish talk to each other” to access it.Regards.Eddie.


  9. Thanks Eddie for the fascinating account of the Kallady Bridge ( Lady Manning bridge ). I gathered some of the information after I saw the picture of the bridge and did more research on it.



    1. Thanks Praxy.I am sorry you could not access the you tube clip.You could do a google search “ Do fish talk to each other” to access it.Regards.Eddie.


  10. Thanks a lot Eddie and Sam- for the post on the Kallady Bridge and the story of the Singing Fish .

    I am glad I was at least able to cross the new Kallady bridge, a few times while I was in Batti- 0ct 2014, as you can see from the photo I took, from the car window, as I was not able to get off the car for a photo .

    Singing Fish- I have heard a lot about them, and I think, my father has heard them, and he used to talk about it to us kids, after his travels around the country .

    This year, when we go to Passekuda- on our bus trip, we must make a visit to the Old Bridge and take a walk across it, if it is allowed .

    As for listening to the Singing Fish- well- lets see how we can wing this one .

    I have heard the white whales- called Beluga Whales , singing underwater , in Churchill River – near the Hudson Bay, Manitoba , Canada .
    These Beluga whales are also known as Sea Canary- as they sing like the Canary birds .
    The Belugas migrate in their thousands to the arctic, in the summer, via Hudson Bay and enter the Churchill river, to escape the Killer Whales , who cannot swim shallow waters like the Churchill R iver estuary .
    It is truly magical to listen to the Belugas communicating with each other as a social group- moms, dads, babies and all .
    I have the neatest video clips of the Beluga sounds .
    Also- most of you know, how other whales communicate with each other- and how they are harrassed to the extreme by under sea noise of ships etc ., interfering with their under water sonic communication process .

    Thanks Eddie for the lovely post – great job you did giving us a great teaching on Singing Fish and the old Kallady Bridge .
    By the way- in my next life- I want to be born as a Lady Midshipman Fish– Just Lay the Eggs and Take Off !!!



  11. Praxy– I was not able to make the school trip to Batti- back in 1962- as I was sick with Appendicitis- post op !
    I do recall all of you talking about it, and Mr Sebastian- our Zoo teacher talking about it later .

    Perhaps – we may get lucky – this time in 2014 !- to hear the Singing Fish — if we can all stay QUIET for a moment !!!
    Yes- lets have a ‘go at it ‘- when we are in Passekuda .

    eagledsindunona !


    1. Thanks Deepthie for your comment on the Beluga.They are very interesting animals.The singing fish of Batticaloa came to light long before our knowledge of Zoology and Oceanography was advanced and hence the aura of a unique experience at that time.
      Enjoy your stay in Passekuda, unfortunately it is not what I have experienced over 50-60 years ago.In the past it was a placid and private bay bordering lush coconut plantations.It was just 35 minutes from Batticaloa town and an excellent outing.The sandy floor of the tranquil bay is now strewn with coral and very uncomfortable, thanks to the tsunami.More distressing is that the best part of the bay is now crowded with bus loads of people. There is a carnival atmosphere by midday.It is best to get to the bay early or late in the evening before the bus loads arrive.Walk down the beach and speak to the locals and fisherman and they will tell you interesting stories of the new ownership of prime lands in the vicinity.
      I do not know where you are all going to stay but Uga bay is good and the Malu Malu has good beach access and comfortable cabanas.Enjoy. Regard.Eddie.


  12. Thanks Eddie for the hints on How To Enjoy Batti !
    Yes- we are yet another Bus Load of People- 20 of us , staying at Amaya .


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