Must Visit Places in Jaffna
Places to visit in Jaffna
Jaffna has being off limits for most Sri Lankans for more than twenty years, and after the war thousands are visiting Jaffna. The war was mostly fought on the east so most attractions in Jaffna remain unharmed and you can see them in good condition. In this article I will talk about must visit places in Jaffna and then talk about other attractions in the Jaffna peninsula. Jaffna is a long way away from Colombo so most people tend to visit most places in Jaffna peninsula when they visit Jaffna. Planning your trip is very important when your visiting Jaffna, sometimes you have to go through high security zones, and you need to get the proper permission, and sometimes you need roads close at 6PM so you might find yourself stranded if not careful. Another important thing to remember is that if you are tourist, even though you have a valid passport you will not be given permission to enter high security zones. You need special permission from the defense ministry. It is also important to think of food and lodging. There are not many top quality hotels in Jaffna and the few places available are relatively expensive. A good option is to rent a house, which is usually more affordable. Below mentioned are must see places in Jaffna and the surrounding area.
Top places to visit in Jaffna
Below are some popular places to see in Jaffna
- Jaffna Nallur Kovil - a sacred destination of Hindu's, The Nallur kovil is about 1KM from the Jaffna town. There are some beautiful paintings and statues inside the kovil and outside the temple on top of the entrance you can see some beautifully carved statues. The carvings outside the kovil are not as colorful as the ones you normally see in Hindu kovils, which is a bit disappointing. Don't forget to try out ice creams from the famous ice cream shop nearby when you visit there.
- Jaffna Library - The Jaffna library was one of the best in Asia before being burned down by some idiots. Now most of it is restored and part of it is open for public viewing. It is one of the monumental building in Jaffna and very close to the town.
- Jaffna Fort - Jaffna fort is a place where bitter battles took place among LTTE and the Sri Lanka army.Originally build by the Portuguese there are still remains of the fort and if you can find a local guide or a person serving in the armed forces you can learn some fascinating stories about the battles and the fort.
- Nagadeepa Island - Nagadeepa island is one of the three places in Sri Lanka where Lord Buddha has visited so Nagadeepa viharaya is an important destination for Buddhist pilgrims. There is also a popular Hindu kovil there, so although it is tricky to get there you can see huge crowds in the island. There are boat services available and it can get very hot inside those, and the life jackets provided are very dirty. You will be sweating and full of dirt when getting out of the boat so it is advisable not to wear white or light color clothing. If you have pull some strings you can catch a ride in one of the navy speed boats which is an enjoyable way to visit the island. The Nagadeepa island is a bit far from Jaffna and it will take around 2-3 hours to get there, depending on the availability of the boats etc.
Must visit places in the Jaffna Peninsula
Although not very close to Jaffna, below mentioned are few more must visit places in Jaffna Peninsula.
Point Pedro - This is quite a bit away from Jaffna, but this is the top most corner of Sri Lanka, so if you are visiting Jaffna you might consider visiting there. There is nothing much to see, just a big Sri Lankan flag, but you can boast that you have being to the furthest corner of Sri Lanka.
Dambakola Patuna - An ancient port in Sri Lanka, this is where Sangamiththa theraniya landed while bringing the Bo saplings used at Sri Maha Bodiya. There is a temple and a statue of Sangamiththa theraniya.
Keerimalai - Keerimalai is renowned for its natural water spring where illnesses and sicknesses are cured miraculously after bathing in it. Only a stone wall separate the pool from the sea but the water is fresh water coming from a spring. There is a Hindu kovil as well, very popular among Hindu's.
Casuarina beach - One of the best beaches in the Jaffna peninsula, the shallow waters and the very gentle waves making it an ideal for safe sea bathing. You can a long way toward the sea in the clear blue water and a great place to visit to have a break during your travels. There are houses for rent if you want to stay in the place for a bit longer.
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