The Keerimalai Hot Springs is a natural spring lying on the northern coast of Jaffna, next to the west sea of Palaly. A bathing tank is built around this spring and a wall of stone separates the water of the spring and the sea. The spring is situated so close to the sea but still manages to get fresh water from an underground fresh water source. The spring waters flow through the crevices and fissures of the carbonated rocks encountering sea water as it emerges at Keerimalai. It is not a hot water spring, but the water is definitely soothing. The water has curative properties, since it flows through the fissures of the carbonated rocks; it acquires chemical values that are of therapeutic benefit to the human body.
Since the spring is built like a swimming pool, it is a very different experience to take a bath at this place. The ethereal feel of the water is embodied by the pleasant weather of this area. The spring is encased with stone steps, which makes it safe.
For the Hindus the springs are an important site and they gather here on the new moon day of July to dip into the sacred waters and to pay homage to the souls of their ancestors. Legend says that an Indian priest by the name of Nagula Swami took a bath in these spring waters after which his mongoose-like head turned into a human one, hence the name of Keerimalai, “keeri” – mongoose and “malai” – mound in Tamil was given to this place.
However from a visitor’s perspective, it is an amazing sight to see a freshwater spring right next to the ocean.
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