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Updated by Tedd Joseph on Aug 23, 2016
Tedd Joseph Tedd Joseph
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Top 10 places to visit in Jaffna – Amazing History and Heritage

Jaffna is gaining more and more attention from local and foreign travellers. The peninsula is home to some truly fascinating historical attractions that are definitely worth exploring.


Nallur Temple

The Nallur Kandasamy Kovl is the premier worship destination for Hindus in Jaffna. The temple attracts thousands of travellers and worshippers each year. The kovil structure dates back to the 18th century but devotees believe that the original temple dates back to 1620. The best time to visit the Nallur Temple is on the first day of full moon in August when an important religious festival takes place. If you are looking for great Jaffna hotels to explore the area's many attractions, the Jetwing Jaffna is a great choice for comfort and ease of access.


Jaffna Fort

This ancient fort is the second largest fort in Sri Lanka and located on the southern side of the peninsula. It was built in 1619 by the Portuguese and expanded by the Dutch during the 17th and 18th centuries. The fort was an important destination for trading in Sri Lanka's north.


Dambakola Patuna

Dambakola Patuna, located about 20km from Jaffna town, is an ancient port in the island which is known by local Tamils as Mathagal. This is the port on which the Sangamiththa theraniya arrived when she brought the Sri Maha Bodhiya saplings. There is a lovely temple and a statue of the theraniya at the location.


Charty Beach

If you are looking for a quiet and secluded beach, visit Charty Beach at Allaippiddy, located about 23 kilometres to the north from the town of Jaffna.


Keerimalai Temple

Keerimalai is famed all over the island for its water springs with therapeutic properties. The Naguleeswaram Temple is located near the hot water pool and is a highly popular attraction in Jaffna.



Kandadorei is an ancient Buddhist destination located about 8 kilometres from the town of Jaffna. There are about 61 small pagodas scattered across a half acre of land. The pagodas are constructed with grey stone. There are also statues of the Bodhisathva and lord Buddha, coins and a stone scripture discovered in the area. These are found in the Jaffna Museum.


Casaurina Beach

Casaurina Beach features gentle waves and shallow waters that make up the best conditions for bathing in the sea.


Sangilean Thoopu

The Nallur Kingdom fell when the Portuguese took over the reign of the island. This magnificent arch is located where the King Sangiliyan's palace was located. Some believe that the Sangilean Thoopu is a part of a Dutch building that was constructed later on. Nevertheless, the structure is definitely worth a visit.


Jaffna Library

The Library of Jaffna was considered to be one of the best libraries in Asia before it was burned down during the civil war. Today, it is mostly restored and open for visitors. The library is located within close proximity to the town and one of the most important buildings in the area.