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Updated by Jane Rubby on Jun 30, 2016
Headline for Places to Visit in Jaffna – Exploring Sri Lanka’s Forgotten Treasure
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Places to Visit in Jaffna – Exploring Sri Lanka’s Forgotten Treasure

After being inaccessible for so long, Jaffna today is booming with tourism like never before. Indeed life has returned to the city and here are 5 of the places to explore in this part of the country.


Jaffna Library

The Jaffna Library was known as one of the best in the region and prided itself on having a well stocked library that attracted countless people from across the country. While it was destroyed during the island’s civil war, today most of this library has been restored and it is open for public viewing. A monumental structure at the least, the Jaffna Library is located in close proximity to the heart of the Jaffna Town.


Jaffna Fort

Located on the water’s edge of the lagoon on the south side of the Jaffna peninsula, the ancient fort happens to be the second largest existing fort in the Island. Constructed originally by the Portuguese in the year 1619, the fort was re-built and expanded by the Dutch during the second half of the 17th and the 18th centuries with the intention of better facilitating trading activities. This is proof of Jaffna’s strategic importance to not only Europeans but its significance throughout Sri Lanka’s history as well.


Nallur Temple

Perhaps the biggest and most renowned attraction in Jaffna, the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil is Jaffna's premier place of Hindu worship. Characterized by a golden arch and elaborate gopuram this temple attracts a plethora of pilgrims as well as tourists throughout the year. According to history, the Nallur Temple was originally constructed during the time of the Tamil kings but the original structure was destroyed over the years. The current structure was created somewhere in the 18th century and somehow withstood all the turbulence that this city faced in the last 30 years. Host to the biggest festival in Jaffna, the temple comes alive with colour during this period which lasts for a total of 26 days.



Nainatheevu is an island popularly visited by those exploring Jaffna. There are boat services available to take guests to the island where the destination is just as interesting as the boat ride. In the island you can swim, bathe or simple bask in the serene ambience for the setting alone is absolutely beautiful out there. For those of you interested in making this trip part of your itinerary, consider a stay at Jaffna hotels in the heart of the town such as Jetwing Jaffna.


Sangilean Thoopu

The Sangilean Thoopu is an arch that is located in the region where the historic Tamil King Sangiliyan’s palace stood. The entrance arch looks as if it is part of the Dutch building which was constructed much later, but the truth is that it was built much earlier.