Jaffna is rising since the end of the 30 year old civil war. After years of hardship, it is slowly becoming an upcoming attraction for the more intrepid and spirited traveller to Sri Lanka who yearns to see parts of the country that were previously off limits to tourists. Travelers will revel in Jaffna’s authenticity and the scores of its famed enthralling historic cultural sites.
This enigmatic city has a culture that sets it apart from the rest of the island, influenced by a multiplicity of traditions. Jaffna is an expression of the Portuguese, Dutch and British histories in the country with the Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim identities with gopurams rising to the skies next to quaint churches along streets that flaunt the splendour of Dutch and British residences.
Explore through the town; cruise along the lively streets bursting with colour; pass by local markets and little shops. See its highlights such as the spectacular and majestic Nallur Kovil, the restored Jaffna Library, ancient old St Mary’s cathedral and many other sites including the Dutch Fort. Stroll around the fortifications and marvel at the breathtaking views on the sides facing the lagoon.
The North East monsoon rains are between October to January, although in many ways the best time to visit is when the lagoons are filled with water, the land is a resplendent green and migrant water birds are an attraction for bird lovers.
The Jaffna Crab curry is a renowned culinary specialty of the Jaffna region. Do get to taste it, if not, your journey of Jaffna would not be complete.
The isolated islands just off the Jaffna coast are also fascinating to explore if you have longer than a day in Jaffna. Take a trip on a local ferry to Delft Island – about one-and-a-half hours each way – to discover a simple, escapist island where wild horses roam the plains, and explore Sri Lanka’s undiscovered northern coastline in depth.