Mar 17 2016. view 591
Make your next trip to Jaffna!
The first time I visited the North was exactly a year after the end of the war, and the sites and stories of the people were heartbreaking. When I went back a few years later, it was impossible to grasp how much it had changed. The city was being rebuilt and the people were slowly healing and getting used to this new freedom. It was then that I was able to truly appreciate the beauty of this place that we from the South were yet to discover.
1. The top of Sri Lanka
This was something I was really excited about. To go to the top of Sri Lanka! And I was able to go to Point Pedro several years before I made a trip to Dondra Head. I am very proud of that. It is a must that you take a picture with the flag and that has the distance from that point to the other end of Sri Lanka. I know I can be a typical tourist sometimes.
2. The beautiful kovils
Now I am not just talking about the beautiful Nallur kovil. The whole province has many beautiful kovils scattered everywhere. The colours are vibrant and the artwork of each one is admirable. I know it’s impossible to see each one but you must visit Nallur. It is a beautiful sight especially if you go in the evening. The devotees dress in equally bright colours and with the sunset in the background is an image that you will never forget.
3. The Library
Whenever I visit a new city I always read up about its history. And being a book lover myself I knew I had to visit the Jaffna Library. The people working there are friendly and allow you look at their rare book collection and answers all your questions patiently. I believe it’s on its way to regain its former glory.
4. The Fort
The Galle Fort will always be my favourite one but the Jaffna Fort is equally beautiful in its structure. It was built by the Portuguese in 1618, many years after they built the Galle Fort. If you are adventurous there are many unexplored areas to which you can wander off to.
5. The boat ride to Nagadeepa
I must say that if you are travelling all the way to Jaffna from Colombo or any other place from the South, you must stay at least two full days to experience all of it. It is a must that you visit Nagadeepa!
The boat ride is exciting and easily accessible. But what I love most is that this small island has a temple and a kovil. For me it was a symbol of both Sinhala and Tamil people living together in harmony.
6. The place where the Sacred Bo Tree was received
It is said that in 3rd century BC, it was brought to Sri Lanka by Sangamitta Thera, the daughter of Emperor Asoka. It is the oldest tree in the world and something we take pride in. You can visit the place where it reached our island! There is even a beautiful temple that was built in that place.
7. The beautiful beaches
I am at complete peace when I am at the beach. There is nothing else that will make me happier! Jaffna has two beautiful beaches: Casuarina and Kayts! What I love most is that they are not over crowded or polluted. Neither is it too rough. And you are safe because there are lifeguards at all times as well. We were even able to go on a boat ride at the Casuarina beach. And on the way to Kayts you will be able to see beautiful mangroves. If you go in the evening it will take your breath away!
8. The ice cream
Most of you would have already heard about Rio ice cream. Now there is even a branch at Wellawatta. But trust me it is a different and special experience altogether when you have it in Jaffna! When you make it to the Rio ice cream parlour after a long day in the overbearing heat it is like you have made it to heaven. The Nelli crush is to die for! And it has to be followed by the Rio special. You will have an immediate sugar rush and will be energized for the rest of your trip!!! (okay, maybe I am exaggerating a little)
When you travel the roads of Jaffna you will see so many small kovils with beautiful ponds on the side of it. There are random buildings with beautiful architecture.The trees around are majestic! It is obvious how man has not yet intervened. Or it could be that the people there really do love nature. I hope they will be able to continue to preserve its beauty.
By Jithendri Gomes