Travel to Jaffna
Jaffna situated in the Northern province and is the Capital of province. Although cursed by the 30 years of war, to day Jaffna is rising from the ashes with the blessing of numerous development projects conducted by the government. Almost all the banks, merchants even a branch of CSE (Colombo Stock exchange) located in Jaffna. So it is not what you think....!!!!! Population of Jaffna district is around 582000 being more than 50% of the total population of Northern province. Around 99% of the population consists of Sri lankan Tamils.So better to know little Tamil. Use of English is little.
Situated on the south side of the Jaffna peninsula at the water’s edge of the lagoon, the ancient fort in Jaffna is the second largest existing fort in the Island.
Originally built by the Portuguese in 1619 and re-built and expanded by the Dutch during the second half of the 17th and the 18th centuries to facilitate trading activities of Sri Lanka’s northern region indicate not only of Jaffna’s strategic importance to Europeans but its significance throughout Sri Lanka’s history.
The five sided inner defense works consist of thick and high ramparts and bastions with a wide and deep moat around it. The layout resembles a geometrically regular pentagon which is defined by the ramparts with a bastion at each corner of the pentagon. Beyond these defense works is the star shaped moat, the outline of which roughly follows the bastion and rampart walls. The outer defense works include the glacis, the ravelins and a covered way. Unlike the Dutch forts at Galle and Colombo, which were fortified towns, the Jaffna Fort had an almost exclusively military and administrative function. The fort is the only surviving example in Sri Lanka, where its inner defenses has a geometrically regular pentagonal layout. Moreover this is the only example in the Island, where outer fortifications consisting of glacis, ravelins and covered way are to be seen.
Dutch Fort in Neduntivu islet
Five hundred years ago ,Portuguese built this fort in Neduntivu (an islet of Jaffna peninsula )At That time , they called this islet ,Ilha das Vacas .During the Dutch rule of Sri Lanka, Dutch called this islet ,Delft Island.
There is a ancient buddhist historical place called 'Kandarodei' situated in the midst of palmyrah trees beyond Manipai about 10 Kilometres away from Jaffna. There are small dagabas numbering 61 scattered over about 1/2 acre land. Those small structures are constructed with ash-coloured stone. Some dagabas have only the foundation.
A Buddha statue, Bodhisaththva statue, a stone scripture and some coins believed to be in the 1st and 2nd centuries were found in this area. They are preserved at Jaffna museum.
Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil
Original temple, supposedly built by a rich foreign trader who received blessing from Goddess Ambal Devi when passing by in the sea, was demolished in the sixteen century by Portuguese. However Ambal statue was hidden by locals and temple was rebuilt in 18 century. The actual gopuram was added in 1933.
Many parents bring their new-born babies to this temple seeking the blessing of Godess Meenkashi (wife of Shiva) to whom this temple is now dedicated.
Nallur Kandasamy Kovil
Nallur Kandasamy Kovil is Jaffna's premier place of Hindu worship. Nallur Kandasamy Kovil characterised by a golden arch and elaborate gopuram attracts hundreds of pilgrims and worshippers. Shops in the vicinity cater to the needs of the devotees by selling coconuts, plantains and camphor. The present building of the kovil goes back to the eighteenth century. The original temple said to go back to the times of the Tamil kings was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1620 and stood on the site presently occupied by St.James Church about a quarter mile from the present temple.
This temple is a place of the most important religious festival on Jaffna's Peninsula. It last 26 days and finish on the first day of August's full moon.
The Nallur Kovil is a beautifully decorated place of Hindu worship. The best time to visit the temple is during July-August when the hindu festivals begin
Nagadipa Purana Vihara
This temple, located in the village of Nagadipa on (close to Jaffna) Nainativu Island, is one of 16 hallowed by visits of the Buddha places of veneration in Sri Lanka.
Purana Vihara were constructed by the two warring Naga kings, Mahodara and his nephew Chulodara, at the site where Lord Buddha during his second visit to Lanka - five years after attaining Enlightenment - intervened and mediated in settling a dispute over the possession of a gem-studded throne; This precious throne which was offered to the Buddha, was returned by him to the Naga Kings and was later enshrined in stupa located next to the temple.