Periya Mandapam Limestone Caves in Jaffna – යාපනය පෙරිය මන්ඩපම් හුනුගල් ගුහා සංකීර්ණය

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Very few visitors Jaffna know that there is lot more to this land than the Nagadeepa, Kadurugoda Viharaya, Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil and Point Pedro. Most of the Jaffna Peninsula is covered in coral rock and limestone. With granite almost non existent, all building constructions are carried out using these material.

There are number of limestone caves in Jaffna which is unknown to may travelers. Although not the most attractive, the Limestone Caves in Mayakkai are the most significant of these. Even with no formal excavation, three prehistoric hand axes and other tools have been discovered at this site. If the observations of the archaeologists are proved true, These axes belongs to Acheulean  type tools which were used from about 1.76 million years ago till about about 160,000 years ago.

The limestone caves at Periya Mandapam is a true wonder of nature. A large open pit exposes a circle of caverns spreading in all directions. A large Tamarind (Siyambala) Tree stands at the center of the pit providing a natural roof for the caves.

Although these caves have not being explored, they run far and wide as explained by one disappointed farmer owing land close to this cavern complex. The farmer after digging a well to water his crops found it opening it to a tunnel.

Unfortunately this wonderful creation of the nature lies in the middle of farmland unexplored and unprotected.

Also See

Map of  Periya Mandapam Limestone Caves in 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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Traveling Directions to Periya Mandapam Limestone Caves in Jaffna

Jaffna can be reached through 2 directions. First one is over the Elephant Pass which is the normal route to Jaffna. The other entrance is from Pooneryn over the newly built Sangupiddi Bridge. This road connects to Mannar.

Route 01 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Kurunegala)Route 02 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Puttalam)
Though : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance :400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Puttalam – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Travel time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on google maps
Route from Jaffna Town to  Periya Mandapam Limestone Caves
Though : Palali Road
Distance :27 km
Travel time : 50 mins
Time to spent : 45 min – 60 mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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