Jaffna is located in northern Sri Lanka. It is situated on a flat, arid peninsula near the island’s northern extremity. It is a commercial centre for agricultural products from the arm and adjacent islands, and it is connected to the rest of the country by road and train. Jaffna is no longer an important port, but it still does some business with southern India. Fishing is vital to the economy.

For centuries before Europeans took it, Jaffna was the capital of a Tamil state, and the city retains many distinct Tamil cultural elements. Jaffna was the Portuguese’s final holding in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) before the Dutch captured it in 1658. Jaffna is a Portuguese translation of the Tamil term “port of the lyre.” The Dutch left behind a fort, a chapel, and Kandaswamy Kovil, a well-known Hindu temple.

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From the 15th century, Jaffna, with Nallur as its capital under King Sangili, emerged as a significant city in Sri Lanka. During British rule, a type of local government body known as the “Road Committee” was established in Jaffna in 1861. This evolved into the “Local Board” by 1898 and 1906, following the regulations of the 13th Ordinance. By 1921, this body was upgraded to an “Urban District Council,” and later to a “Municipal Council” in 1940. On January 1, 1949, under the provisions of the 29th Ordinance of 1947, it became the Jaffna Municipal Council.

During the Western colonial period, the city hall, a significant building for managing the city, was located near the present-day Duraiappah Stadium. After the civil war that began in 1983, this building was completely destroyed. Subsequently, the municipal council’s building temporarily relocated to the Nallur area. A new city hall is currently being constructed on the same site, with foundation laying ceremonies having taken place on September 7, 2019.


Attractions in Jaffna

The inhabitants’ warmth will undoubtedly amaze any visitor to this area. So, if you’re looking for a resort that offers majesty and good hospitality to visitors, Jaffna should be on your list. In addition, this town’s transportation system is excellent, making it simple for visitors to go around for sightseeing or shopping. The following are some of the best sites to visit in Jaffna.

Places to visit in Jaffna 

How to reach Jaffna

Jaffna is accessible by road from most Sri Lankan towns and by train from Colombo. The most common method to go to Jaffna is to fly to Colombo and then take the road or rail, depending on your degree of comfort. Travelling inside the city is straightforward, with numerous taxis and tuk-tuks patrolling the streets throughout the day.

By Train
The railway, which goes through the heart of Sri Lanka via Anuradhapura, is the shortest and most picturesque route from Colombo to Jaffna.
The train from Colombo Fort to Jaffna runs five times daily, with the first departure at 05:45 am and the last out at 20:30. It takes about 7 to 8 hours, with the busiest portion between Anuradhapura and Colombo. So make sure your seat reservations are in functioning condition before then.

By Bus
Going from Colombo to Jaffna by overnight bus is feasible, but we recommend breaking up the route by overnighting in Kandy or Dambulla.

Picture of Ravindu Dilshan Illangakoon

Ravindu Dilshan Illangakoon

As co-founder and Head of Content at Sri Lanka Travel Pages, I ensure that every blog post we publish is AMAZING.



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