Introduction to Jaffna and the North of Sri Lanka
Inevitably, the effect of decades of civil war and emigration is evident in Jaffna’s city centre, with around one in five of the city's structures suffering war damage. Visitors won’t be able to ignore the ruined homes and damaged civic buildings, but Jaffna is slowly re-emerging as the former bastion of Hindu tradition, art and Tamil culture that it formerly was. Today it welcomes visitors seeking an ‘off the beaten track’ destination to be rewarded with discovering the rich Sri Lankan Tamil culture and arts.
As confidence and finance is returning to the city and new structures appearing, (including the city’s first shopping mall), upgraded road, rail and air connections, optimism is driving Jaffna’s tourism. The city is surprisingly green, boasting many trees and palm-shaded colonial-era suburbs, and a number of attractive temples and churches. Jaffna is also well placed for excursions to the scenic islands to the west and the coast and lagoons of Jaffna’s peninsula.
Impressive Jaffna Fort sits beside Jaffna lagoon, built in 1680 by Portuguese and extended in the 18th century. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil is a vast Hindu temple near Nallur and one of the most important Hindu complexes in Sri Lanka, complete with a colonnaded holy pool. The temple is also the site of a spectacular religious festival in summer – the Nallur Festival.
For a taste of local colour, Jaffna Market covers several blocks, selling mostly fruit and vegetables but some specialist stands, including one selling Jaffna cigars.
In Jaffna we offer the Jetwing hotel, an ideal property for exploring the city.
We offer a private tour covering the North & East of Sri Lanka. It is a fully guided private 10 day tour of visiting the Jaffna Peninsula, Wilapattu National Park, Anuradhapura, Thirukonamalai Konesar Temple & Hot Water Wells, Sigiriya Rock Fortress as well as experiencing a breath taking train journey to Jaffna through the north province. See here for full tour itinerary.
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