Ten degrees of latitude to the north of the equator
Beautiful & Important:- Beautiful island of Sri Lanka that is gaining importance as a tourism location. Jaffna is an ancient port city, which is one of the most densely populated areas of Sri Lanka
Tamil population: Cultural and home town of the Tamil population of Sri Lanka.
Area:- 2560 square km. The peninsula is almost an island except the narrow neck of land occupied by the Chundikkulam Bird Sanctuary and the causeway known as Elephant Pass which connects Jaffna with the rest of Sri Lanka. Most of the area of Jaffna is dry and sandy. Good amount of area of Jaffna district is covered by shallow lagoons.
Jaffna has a written history of about 2000 years. Historical facts of Jaffna are described in the books of the Mahavamsa and Chulavamsa, the Yalpana Vaipava Malai, Kailaya Malai, and Irasamurai. There is a reference of a place- Manipallavam in one of the five great epics of Tamil literature ‘Manimekalai’ which might well be Jaffna. Manimekalai speaks about Buddha’s visit to Jaffna. It is also mentioned in the Mahavamsa that Lord Buddha used his siddhi or yogic powers to visit Jaffna by air to resolve a crisis and to introduce Buddhism.
In the 16th century, there was a stronghold of Portuguese in Jaffna who surrendered to the Dutch after a bitter three-month siege in 1658. Remains of Portuguese and Dutch fortifications spread around the peninsula, but most are either ruined or still in military use. The Dutch handed it over to the British in 1795. During the 1980s and 90s Jaffna has been fought over by Tamil guerrillas, Ceylon government troops and planes, and the Indian Peace Keeping Force – a period surely worse than never be in its history. Most of the residents of Jaffna are Sri Lanka Tamils, a minor presence of Sri Lankan Moors (Muslims) and Portuguese Burghers (Roman Catholics) is also there.
Nagadeepa Temple – Jaffna
Nagadeepa, one of the small islands in the north of Jaffna peninsula, located at a distance of one hour journey from Jaffna town to the end of the road, is a very important to Buddhist travellers. To reach to Nagadeepa you need to resort to a boat ride and total distance boat + road is about 30 km.
The Buddhist temple in Nagadeepa is considered to be among the 16 holiest sites for Buddhists travelling to Sri Lanka, as Lord Buddha visited this island and preached here. The current Buddhis temple in Nagadeepa has been rebuilt after the original stupa was destroyed.
Delft Island Fort – Jaffna
Delft Fort, 35 km fom Jaffna, was built by Portugese, made of huge, beautiful chunks of the brain and fan coral. Delft Fort is in Neduntivu islet in Jaffna peninsula. The small Dutch fort is only a short walk from the ferry dock. Behind that is a beautiful beach with many exquisite shells.
Kantarodai (Kadurugoda) – Jaffna
Kantarodai (Kadurugoda) is a mini Buddhist Stupa complex, situated in North of Jaffna at Kankesanturai road, about three km west of Chunnakam. At Kantarodai, there are nearly 100 curious miniature dagobas crammed into a tiny area of not much over a hectare – the largest is only about four meters in diameter. It was discovered in 1916 and thought to be over 2000 years old.
Archaeological Museum – Jaffna
An interesting little Archaeological Museum situated on Main St, Jaffna, near the old rest house is worth a visit for tourists.
Jaffna Library – Jaffna
Jaffna Library, one of most significant tourist attractions in Jaffna city, houses many rare books and articles on Sri Lanka. The library is built in accordance with Hindu architecture. In 1981, it was set on fire by a Singhalese crowd due to the ethnic tensions and refurbished in 2003 by the government of the country.
Nagapoosani Temple (Nainatheevu) – Jaffna
Nagapoosani Temple (Nainatheevu), built by the Nagas to worship the Serpent God, is a famous ancient temple of Jaffna, resided by a 5 headed cobra.
Naga Vihara – Jaffna
Naga Vihara is an international Buddhist center located at Stanley Road, Jaffna.
Selva Sannithi Temple – Jaffna
Selva Sannithi Temple, famous tourist destination of Jaffna, is one of the well known shrines, popular among the people of various castes and sects.
Nallur Temple – Jaffna
Nallur Temple in Jaffna is a Hindu temple, highly frequented by the Tamils tourists residing in this place. Main deity of the temple is Lord Murugan. A temple car festival is held here every year. Temple opens from 6:00 am to 5:00pm. Men will be required to remove their top clothing to enter.
Kandaswamy Kovil Temple – Jaffna
Kandaswamy Kovil is situated on Point Pedro Rd in the Nallur district of the city. Architecture of the temple is based on the south Indian Dravidian style. The original Kandaswamy Kovil, torn down by the Portuguese, has been variously described as dating before 10th century.
Beaches around the Peninsula – Jaffna
Popular tourist beaches in Jaffna include Kalmunai Point near Jaffna, Palm Beach on the north coast, Kasuarina Beach, and Chati Beach, among which the best known is tranquil Kasuarina on Karaitivu Island, where the water is very shallow. This is more popular and quite a large beach however still not up to the beauty level of other beautiful beaches.
Clock Tower – Jaffna
The main attractive feature of the Clock Tower is its unique architecture, having a Moorish domed top which makes it look like it belongs somewhere in North Africa.
Keerimalai Hot Water Springs – Jaffna
Keerimalai hot water spring are located near village of Naguleswaram that is believed to have water with medicinal value.
The well is situated at Nilavarai, Achchuveli. this amazing natural well with its aquamarine color is said to be bottomless, with salt water in its depths attesting to its connection to the sea. this square shaped well of unknown depth is quite popular among the local people. the water never gets depleted and it serves sufficiently the irrigation purposes of the neighbouring areas.