Be it culture, the food and the tourist attractions, Jaffna is a mix of marvelous flavours. A city s once known as Yalpaanam in the Tamil (the commonly spoken language in Jaffna) and Yapaapatuna in the Sinhalese it is set in the North of Sri Lanka and is awaking to a fresh start following the end of the civil war in the year 2009.
Located on a peninsular made of limestone, this easy going city is surrounded by the Jaffna Lagoon on the west and south. Rows of Palmyrah groves as well as leafless shrubs dot the city giving it that Mediterranean feeling.
Boasting a recorded history of over 2000 years ago in the Mahavamsa, mentioning local tribal people – Yakkas and Nagas (note island Nagadeepa located off the Jaffna peninsula), the city has seen the rise and fall of several sovereignties (Sri Lankan and under South Indian) as well as colonial times under the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English. You can visit the few remains from these colonial periods – the Dutch fort and Presbyterian churches while sighting the British colonial era Indo-Sarasenic style clock tower and Public library. Another important venue to put on your itinerary would be the Hindu Nallur Kandaswamy temple, considered a religious as well as social center it is often visited by Hindu pilgrims.
An evening dreamy walk along the waters at Casuarina Beach, just 20 kilometers from Jaffna is bound to be romantic, while the white northern sands at the Kilali beach attracts many for its calm beaches and tantalizing foods.
Do note that the weather is warm and in the months of April – May and August – September.