Jaffna is the northern part of Sri Lanka, has natural characteristics ranging from semi deserted sand dunes to numerous expanses of water. Sand Dunes at “Manalkattu” are reaching heights of 12 to 15 meters. Jaffna peninsula has created a lagoon south to the city, which is dotted by several islands. Sailing boats and fishing boats are sailing in calm water of the lagoon making mesmerizing view. That kind of natural setting of Jaffna with its considerable water front has the potential to be Venice of Asia.
Long stretches of untouched, unspoiled and secluded beaches are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, water skiing as well as sailing. Best known beaches around Jaffna are Casuarina beach, Kalmunani point near Jaffna, Thondamannar, Senthankulam and Keeramalai. Causeways and boat links are laid through Jaffna islands. Island of Kayts, Karaitive and Punudutivu are in the lagoon area. Other islands like Nagadeepa and Delft are only reachable by a boat. Delft is inhabitat island, about 32 Kms South West of the Jaffna Peninsula. It is a coral rock island having fantastic unique formation. Delft is a rich natural habitat with unspoilt beaches and shallow waters. You can hear the whisper of wind, cries of sea birds, heighing of ponies, among other natural melodies. Jaffna islands are providing fantastic opportunity to bird watchers. Hundreds of species of birds are making considerable appearances.
Jaffna Fort is situated on the southern area of Jaffna peninsula at the water’s edge of the lagoon and it is the second largest colonial era fort in Sri Lanka. It was built by Portuguese in 1619 and by Dutch after they invaded the country gain control of the Fort and rebuilt it for their purpose. Its layout resembles a pentagon, which is defined by ramparts and bastion at each corner of the pentagon. And the star shaped moat outlined bastions and rampart walls. The layout is unlike Dutch Forts in Colombo or Galle, because they were built as fortified commercial towns. But Jaffna Fort is built solely as a military and administrative facility.
Dambakola Patuna is located 20kms from Jaffna town and 10kms from Kankasanthurei. This is the one of the Buddhist sacred eight places of worship. The sacred sapling was brought here by Sangamiththa Therani, sister of Arahath Mahinda who introduces Buddhism into Sri Lanka. It was the southern sprout of the original Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi at Bodhgaya in India. Later it was planted at Mahamewna Uyana at Anuradhapura.
Nagadeepa Viharaya is situated at the Island about 24 Kms
away from the mainland. According to chronicles, Once island Nagadeepa (Naga=Snake, Deepa=Island) was home to people belongs to Naga clan. Lord Buddha has come to Nagadeepa, When Chulodara and Mahodara kings had a dispute over gem studded throne. When Lord Buddha preached the virtues of non violence, two kings were settled and offer the throne to Buddha. The Stupa was built at the place the Lord Buddha arrived with embedded jeweled Throne.
There are many places with historical significance in Jaffna. Nallur Kumaran Hindu temple is one of them. This temple is first built in 948 AD by Bhuvanekabahu during the Chola reign. It was destroyed several times by war but rebuilt and restored to the former glory.
Among other interesting place you could visit, Keeramalai Pond, Bottomless Well, Velloori Holy Pond at Nawanthurai are coming in first.
Sea at Jaffna is very shallow, only meter or less deep in most places, with sunlight bouncing at the sandy floor creating amazing view. You can see pink flamingoes at the salt flats and spiky Palmyra palms around shore line. Island beaches offer decent swimming in warm shallow water.
Attractions Places & Activities for Tourists Jaffna
- Water skiing
- Nallur Kandaswamy temple
- Jaffna Fort
- Archaeological Museum, Jaffna
- Sangiliyan Statue
- Kadurugoda Raja Maha Viharaya
- Annathiddy Pond
- Nagadeepa Viharaya
- Keeramalai Pond
- Bottomless Well
- Velloori Holy Pond
- Dambakola Patuna Temple