Tripin 2017 - 2018 - page 107

Distance from airport
: 360 km
Modes of transport
: Bus, train, car
Best time of year to visit
: All year
: History & culture
Pro Tip
: Take a moment to stop at the
iconic Rio’s Ice Cream parlour. It’s the
best place to people watch.
: Organise a boat and
go island hopping
A bastion of Hindu tradition and Sri Lankan Tamil culture, Jaffna is a pressure point in the
island’s history. Having absorbed the brunt of a 26-year civil war, Jaffna is slowly rising from the
ashes. Upgraded public transport and paved roads mean that Jaffna’s days of isolation are past.
The palm-shaded suburbia of the city is an ideal base for short jaunts to surrounding attractions.
A highlight of the region are the islands off the coast of Jaffna. Delft, Eluvaithivu, Analaitivu and
Nainathivu are just four of the nine islands worth visiting. The low-lying beaches are pristine
and the hypnotic boat rides through remote villages offer a glimpse into authentic coastal living.
To scratch the cultural itch, don’t miss a visit to the Nallur Kandasamy kovil. With an intricately
carved golden tower rising 100 feet (30.5 meters) from the ground, it is the most striking temple
in the peninsula and dates back to the 17th century. Visit the town of Point Pedro, the most
northern point of the island and explore the Manalkadu sand dunes. The Doric House in Mannar
is worth a visit. Here stand the ruins of the home of the first British governor in Sri Lanka,
Fredrick North. Think isolated beach, framed by epic brick archways. Also, be sure to check out
Keerimalai Hot Springs. Located off the Jaffna peninsula, these springs are said to be therapeutic
due to their high mineral content. Locals gather at these springs on the new moon in July to dip
in to the water and pay respects to the souls of their departed ancestors.
Photo credit: Tom Tidball
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