A Complete Guide to Exploring Jaffna

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Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province, of Sri Lanka. It is located in the most northern region of the island of Sri Lanka. The Jaffna peninsula is almost an island itself connected to the main island over a causeway at a Place called “Ali Mankada” or Elephant Pass in English. This was so named since this was indeed the route used by elephants to travel between the peninsula and the main island in the ancient past. The peninsula itself is a number of islands connected through causeways.

The peninsula has a history dating back to the pre-Christian times with the port of Dambakola Patuna in the northern sea being one of the major ports of Sri Lanka connecting India. According to Mahawansa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka, In 250 BC the sapling from the original Sri Maha Bodhi was brought to Sri Lanka through the port of Jambukola Patuna now called the Dambakola Patuna.

Jaffna was a predominantly Tamil area with a small minority of Singhalese and Muslim population until the 1970s. Ethnic Cleansing by the Tamil Tiger Terrorists since the 1970s has left the Jaffna almost exclusively Tamil, apart from the military personnel today.

After almost 30 years of Civil war, the LTTE was completely wiped out in 2008 and now this area has been open to civilian travel after a period of 30 years.

There are two routes to Jaffna from Colombo. One is through Anuradhapura, Vavuniya and Kilinocchi. This is the most popular route with better routes. The second is through Putalm, Mannar, Pooneryn and Chavacachcheri. This is a newer route which has been rebuilt recently. The road from Puttlam to Mannar goes through the Wilpattu National Park and the road conditions on this segment is bad. In addition, this route is closed after dark due to wild animals in the park.

Fascinating Places to Visit in Jaffna

Lesser Known Attractions of Jaffna

Also See

Map of  Jaffna

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travel Directions to Jaffna

Route I from Colombo to Jaffna Route II from Colombo to Jaffna
Through : Negambo – Chilaw – Puttlam – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya –  Kilinochchi – Elephant Pass
Distance : 410 km
Travel time : 8 hours
Driving directions : See on Google Maps
Through : Negambo – Chilaw – Puttlam – Eluvankulama – Mannar – Pooneryn – Chavacachcheri
Distance : 370 km
Travel time : 8 hours
Driving directions : See on Google Maps

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