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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Attractions In Northern Sri Lanka – Attractions Off The Tourist Trail
Joanna James Joanna James
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Attractions In Northern Sri Lanka – Attractions Off The Tourist Trail

Simply put, the north of Sri Lanka is nothing like the rest of the country. Due to the war and the distance, it has always been disregarded in terms of attractions, but the area has so much to offer.


Nallur Kandaswamy Hindu Temple of Jaffna

A sacred kovil dedicated towards the deity Murugan, the history of this kovil goes back to the fifteenth century. It was later destroyed by the invading Portuguese and the current building was built in the seventeenth century. The location for the spectacular annual Nallu Festival that goes on for twenty five days, its biggest highlight is the massive ochre, a gold encrusted gopuram that towers over the road, depicting countless gods on its facade. The compound has huge murals, intricate artwork and even a pool.



A small fishing town, Kapitiya was relatively unknown until a few years ago. Home to the biggest coral reef in the country, it further has mangrove swamps, endless sand dunes and fourteen islands. If all that does not sound delightful enough, the seas off the shore (around an hour's drive in a boat) contain many pods of spinner dolphins which sometimes number in hundreds. Furthermore, between the months of November and April pods of sperm whales make their way past the region. Not just sperm whales, you can expect to see Blue Whales and Pilot Whales too. For adrenaline junkies, the lagoon serves as an ideal location for activities like kite surfing and parasailing.


Wilpattu National Park

A hotbed for the much famed Sri Lankan Leopard, the Wilpattu National Park gets its name from the many natural lakes or willus spread over the park. Consisting of a total area of one thousand three hundred and seventeen square kilometres, it has over thirty one types of animals such as sloth bears, water buffalos, spotted deer and mugger crocodiles. The number of bird species is even higher with plenty of owls and eagles to be seen. Although not as popular as the other national parks in the country, the Wilpattu National Park is a regular feature in Sri Lanka Holiday Tours and package


Jaffna Fort

First built in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese, the Jaffna Fort was later taken over by the Dutch and expanded. At the height of its era, the fort was considered the ultimate Dutch Fort in the continent. While much of the fort was destroyed over the years, restoration efforts have helped bring it back partially to its former glory. It is an iconic landmark in the city of Jaffna and tours of the fort is offered by all travel companies such as Connaissance de Ceylan. You can find many exhibits and war equipment like cannons inside the Jaffna Fort. The fort is built in the classic Vauban star design, making it an ideal location to view this rare and fine fifteen century architectural style. When you are there, do not forget to visit the ramparts. They offer a spectacular view of the surrounding landscape and the rest of the city.