Jaffna is Sri Lanka’s northernmost peninsula city that had restricted travel for decades due to the civil war. Today, it is a major cultural attraction. Its Hindu tradition and Jaffna history and culture have given rise to some of the most vibrant monuments, temples, and historic sites. It is still catching on as a tourist destination, and due to this reason, Jaffna is a less crowded place. You are in for absolute amazement at how different it is to the rest of the country. Southern Indian traditions have placed a strong influence on its predominantly Tamil population. It is one of the most authentic places which has managed to preserve its identity despite the war that ravaged.
At a glance
Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil
It is the most famous Hindu Kovil in Jaffna. The current temple, which is the fourth, was built in 1734 A.D. It hosts the longest festival in Sri Lanka.
Nainativu or Nagadeepa
It is one of the most sacred Jaffna islands with a Buddhist legacy. It is said to be the site where Buddha called upon Naga Kings to resolve a dispute.
Built by the Portuguese in the 17th century, it used to be one of the best Dutch Forts in Asia. Scale its walls for stunning views across the Jaffna Lagoon.
This ancient port is where Sangamitta, the daughter of Emperor Asoka, landed in Sri Lanka with the sapling of the Sacred Fig Tree over 2000 years ago.
Kadurugoda Temple and ruins
The complex contains 20 gray coral stone stupas and foundations of several others. Sangamitta said to have visited this place on her way to Anuradhapura.
- Jaffna library is a classic example of Jaffna architecture style.
- Casuarina Beach is the best Jaffna beach with its white sand and casuarina trees.
- Jaffna Market is a colourful congregation of northern produce, especially palmyra products.
- Point Pedro is the northernmost point in Sri Lanka and the closest place to India.
- Delft Island has wild horses, an ancient Baobab tree, and a colonial fort made form coral.
Where to Shop in Jaffna
There are no stylish shops, but the street vendors and markets sell juicy Jaffna mangoes, sweets, palmyra products, and fresh produce.
Where to Eat in Jaffna
Mangos, Malayan Café, Cosy Restaurant, Green Grass, Jaffna Heritage hotel, and Hotel Rolex, are favourites among Jaffna food lovers.