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What You Should Know More About Jaffna

  • Travel Advice

    • Always dress keeping in view the local traditions and cultures.

    • Do not drink more than you can handle.

    • Do not get over friendly with your guide.

    • Avoid getting over friendly with the hotel staff.

    • Do not trust anyone with your valuables or luggage.

    • Do not let anyone mislead you.

    • Acquire all the necessary information before traveling to a new place.

    • Do not travel in cabs or taxis before negotiating the price. It is a good idea to hire prepaid taxis or cabs.

    • Do not entertain the touts or the beggars.

    • Do not misbehave with the locals of the region.

    • Do not indulge in brawls or physical fights with a local or a tourist.

    • Never leave your valuables or important documents in the hotel room.  

    • Do not book a hotel in a shady region.

    • Do not dress obscenely.

    • Make sure you learn a few words from the local language. This will not only help you in interacting with the locals but will also give them a feeling that you are interested in their cultures and traditions.

    • Greet the locals with a smile.

    • Carry with you all the necessary medication that you may need during the vacation.

    • Do not eat unhygienic street food.

  • Drinking Law

    The legal age for drinking in Jaffna is 20 years.


  • Our Recommendations: What You Can't Afford to Miss?

    Keerimalai Hot Water Springs

    Located in proximity to Naguleswaram which lies close to the Kanksanturai of Jaffna Peninsula, the Keerimalai Hot Water Springs are believed to possess a certain therapeutic value. They are called healing waters for a reason. The spring water passes through the fissures and crevices of the carbonated rocks. It then acquires the residues of the minerals. Thereafter, the springs encounters the sea water as it surfaces at the Keerimalai. Hindu Tamils gather at these springs on the day of the new moon in July so as to take a holy dip in the waters and pay tribute to the soul of their dead ancestors.  


    Point Pedro and surroundings

    The northernmost point of Sri Lanka, Point Pedro has a light house at the coastal village which is a key attraction here. In the western end of the Point Pedro there is this Velvettiturai which is an infamous coastal village. For several decades the place was under a strong hold of the petty local smugglers. It has also been the landing point of the illegal immigrants who come here from South India. Until some three decades ago, the illegal immigrants known as Kallathoni who came here from the state of Tamil Nadu in India found Velvettiturai to be a convenient shore. At the northern end of the Manalkadu Desert which is a mere 5 km south of the lighthouse, there is a beautiful village of Vallipuram. Vallipuram once used to be the principal city of the Jaffna peninsula. It is today a home to the second largest Hindu Kovil of Sri Lanka. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this shrine is one of the very few shrines of Sri Lanka. 

      

    Manalkadu Sand Dunes

    Jaffna also houses a mini version of a desert which is Manalkadu. The Manalkadu Sand dunes begin right at the town of the Point Pedro. It is a sparsely populated coastal stretch that is filled with many isolated villages which are cantered around the well of the village. There are acres of sand dunes here that are covered with thick bush. Beyond the sand dunes, you can also spot one of the most magnificent beaches of the Northern Province.


    Nagadipa Viharaya

    Another important place to see is the Nagadipa Viharaya. It is an ancient Buddhist temple that is located in Nagadipa. Nagadipa is an island in cluster which is situated in proximity to the Jaffna peninsula’s western coast. It has Palk Strait enveloping it. The stupa with moderate dimensions celebrates the third visit of Buddha to Sri Lanka. Right next to the stupa, the image House has a fine golden Buddhist statue.  This is a great tourist attraction here.


    Vaitheeswara Kovil

    Located in the town of Jaffna is the Vaitheeswara Kovil that lies along the KKS Road. This kovil is majorly known for the number of festivals that it hosts on annual basis. One major festival that is celebrated here is the Shivan festival which usually lasts for 20 odd days. The celebration ends with the full moon day in the month of March. Another festival that is celebrated here is the Ambal Devi festival that goes on being celebrated for ten days in the month of July. During the festival, a lot of tourists and locals swamp the place.


    St. Mary’s Cathedral

    Prominently known as the Jaffna Cathedral, the St. Mary’s Cathedral is located in the Jaffna Town. The founding stone of the cathedral was laid in the year 1789 in Goanese style. However, the construction of the cathedral was started a year later. It was led by Portuguese pastor Leonardo Rebeiro of the Oratory of Goa. There’s no surprise that the cathedral is architecturally beautiful, thereby making it an attraction you cannot miss.



    Nallur Kandhaswamy Kovil in Jaffna


    The principal place of Hindu worship in Jaffna is the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil. It is characterized by elaborate gopuram and golden arch which attracts a number of worshippers and pilgrims all round the year. There are some shops in the vicinity which cater to the needs of the devotees. You can shop for items like camphor, plantains and coconuts. The present building of this kovil has been in existence since the 18th century. The original temple however goes back to the times when Tamil Kings were destroyed in the year 1620 by the Portuguese. This temple is also the place of the most important religious festival that is celebrated on the Jaffna’s Peninsula. The festival lasts for 26 days and ends on the August’s full moon night.  

     

    Kadurugoda Temple

    Kadurugoda Temple lies amidst the palmyrah trees about 10 km away from Jaffna. It is a popular ancient Buddhist historical place. Here in the temple, you can spot small dagabas that are spread over about ½ acre land. These small structures are built by ash-coloured stone. Most of the dagabas only have a foundation. Some coins, a Buddha statue, stone scripture and Bodhisaththva statue are preserved in this museum.  


  • What You Will Like There?

    The top of Sri Lanka 

    Point Pedro in Jaffna lies on top of Sri Lanka. So, going to the top definitely has something exciting about it. When you go here to the top, it is a must for you to take a picture with the flag that has the distance written on it. The distance is from the point where you are to the other end of Sri Lanka.


    The beautiful kovils 

    Jaffna has a number of kovils. However, the most beautiful one of it is the Nallur kovil. This province has several beautiful kovils scattered everywhere. The artwork as well as the colors here are very vibrant. Of course, it may not be possible for you to visit all the kovils but don’t miss out on the Nallur. It can be a beautiful sight especially if you go in the evening. Make sure you visit the kovil in bright colors to match up with the colors here. With the backdrop of sunset, the entire image will simply be unforgettable.  


    The Library 

    Whenever you visit any new city, the idea is to know about its history. Reason? If you wish to understand the place better, you need to know what happened to it in the past. So, all you book lovers, make a visit to the Jaffna Library and understand the history of the place. People working here in the library are very friendly and will even give you an access to the rare book collection that gives you answers on the history of Jaffna. In case you are unable to find your own answers in the books, you can interact with the staff here and get your questions answered.


    The Fort 

    For many tourists, the Galle Fort is the best spot. However, Jaffna Fort here is equally beautiful in its structure. The fort was built in the year 1618 by the Portuguese after several years of the construction of the Galle Fort. For everyone, who enjoys adventure and wishes to explore the hidden treasures, this can be your go to place.  


    The boat ride to Nagadeepa 

    In case you are traveling all the way to Jaffna from Colombo or even any other place from the South you must at least stay here for 2 days to days to fully explore it. In Jaffna one most important place to see is Nagadeepa! Here a boat ride is very easily accessible. This small island also has a kovil and a temple for you to explore.  


    The place where the Sacred Bo Tree was received 


    If legends are to be believed, in the 3rd century BC, the sacred BO tree was brought to Sri Lanka by Sangamitta Thera who was the daughter of mighty King Asoka.  This is the oldest tree in the world. Sri Lankans take immense pride in this tree. It also has an even more beautiful temple that was built in this place. This is a great sightseeing attraction here.


    The beautiful beaches 

    Beaches are certainly going to make you happy. Jaffna has two beautiful beaches for you to explore and unwind – Kayts and Casuarina. The best part about these beaches is that these are not over polluted or over crowded. Neither are these beaches rough. Moreover, you’ll be safe here as there are life guards here available at all times. A number of water sports can be enjoyed here. Boating is also an important activity here at the Casuarina beach. On your way to the Kayts, you’ll be able to spot magnificent mangroves. Make a visit during evening to best enjoy the place.  


  • Recommended Reads For Destination (Govt. Websites, Travel Forum Articles)?