Forgotten King’s Tower on Delft Island – මතකයෙන් ගිලිහුණු ඩෙල්ෆ් දුපතේ රාජ (කිංග්ස්) කුළුණ

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ඉලුක්පකඩවයි පඩවුතුරේ පැරණි මිනින්දෝරු කුළුණ - Illuppaikadavai Padavuthurai Survey Towerඉලුක්පකඩවයි පඩවුතුරේ පැරණි මිනින්දෝරු කුළුණ - Illuppaikadavai Padavuthurai Survey Tower
ඉලුක්පකඩවයි පඩවුතුරේ පැරණි මිනින්දෝරු කුළුණ – Illuppaikadavai Padavuthurai Survey Tower

This island called by the Portuguese ilha das Vacas, had a fort built by them. The Dutch called it Delft Island. The Tamils call it the Neduntheevu or Neduntivu. Delft is the largest island in the Palk Strait, northern Sri Lanka. The island covers 11,500 acres and is a low and arid island. Delft Island is a mostly bare island with little shade. Delft Island is a mostly bare island with little shade. The most common tree here is the Palmyra tree. The Palmyra Toddy is one of the chief articles of food in Delft.

The island has been occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British in the past. Other than the Portuguese Fort, much if the ruins found in the island belongs to the Dutch period or the British. The island was a primary breeding site for horses from the time of Portuguese continuing on to Dutch and the British.

Among the archaeological heritage of this island, the Queen’s Tower which lies at at the south-eastern ridge of the island in quite popular among the visitors. This is well preserved trigonometric station built by the British. However, what is unknown is the existence of another trigonometric station called King’s Tower on the same island.

Very little is documented about the trigonometric station, Kings Tower. However W. H Cole in 1884 records 2 triangulation stations in Delft as observed in 1876. One on the north western end of the island and the other on the south eastern point of the island. The southeastern station is the Queen’s Tower as known today and the Northwestern station has to be the Kings Tower.

Based on Cole’s observations this tower is built about 14 feet above the sea level and consists of a platform of lose stones and sand enclosing a solid circular pillar of masonry of 5 1/2 feet of diameter and 1 foot above the ground level, built on a foundation 8 feet in diameter and 3 feet deep. The pillar contained 2 marks, one flush with its upper surface and another 1 foot below it. In 2013 it was reported that the only the basements of the ‘Kings Tower’ remain at present. The location of these ruins are marked on the Google Map below.


  • Lewis, J., 1909. NOTES ON DELFT. The Journal of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain & Ireland, 21(62), pp.341-360.
  • S. de A. Goonatilake, S. Ekanayake, T.P. Kumara, D. Liyanapathirana, D.K. Weerakoon and A. Wadugodapitiya, 2013. Sustainable Development of Delft Island: An ecological, socio-economic and archaeological assessment. Number 14. Colombo: IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, Colombo.
  • 1890. Account of the Operations of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India Volume 13 – Details of the Principal Triangulation of Five of the Component Series of the Southern Trigon. 1st ed. India: Office of the Trigonometrical Branch, Survey Of India, p.16g.

Also See

Map of King’s Tower on Delft Island

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

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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Traveling Directions to Jaffna (King’s Tower on Delft Island)

Route 01 from Colombo to JaffnaRoute 02 from Colombo to Jaffna
Though : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance :400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Puttlam – Anuradhapura – Vavunia
Distance : 400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps
From Jaffna to King’s Tower on Delft Island
Total distance: 32 km
Duration: With boat trip (between 2-3 hours)
Driving directions:  See Google Map  (Kurikadduwan Jetty)