Jaffna, the major city in Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, has in recent years regained its lustre as a popular visitor attraction. The Jaffna Peninsula is itself virtually an island as it is only connected to the major part of the island of Sri Lanka by a relatively narrow causeway called Elephant Pass. This passageway is so called as it was traversed by wild elephants in the distant past. The peninsula of Jaffna inherits an eventful history stretching back millennia. In those distant days, this was the location of the island’s northern port, which functioned as the island’s sea link with its northern neighbor of India. In fact, the Mahavansa, a historic chronicle of the island states that the venerated Bo sapling, sacred to Buddhists, arrived in the island from India through this point of entry.
Today, there remains a number of interesting sights to be seen in the environs Jaffna. Notable among these is the much venerated Hindu temple, the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, located in the iconic town of Nallur nearby, which was the royal capital of the renowned Jaffna Kings who ruled a majority of the island during the 13th-17th centuries. The original shrine of Nallur Kandasamy, which stood at the location, was destroyed by Portuguese colonialists. It is the rebuilt temple honouring the God Murugan that stands today and presents a majestic sight that heralds back to the grandeur of the Aryacakravarti kingdom.
Another iconic landmark in Jaffna is the Nagadeepa Island. It is the true pinnacle of religious unity, as it bears both a Hindu kovil and a Buddhist temple in close proximity to one another, with cordial relations between the two institutions. The much-venerated Nagadipa Viharaya is a significant site for Buddhist pilgrimage, being counted amongst the 16 major venerated Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the island. Today it remains an appealing and picturesque visitor attraction. Of equal importance is the Naagapushani Amman kovil, a beautiful Hindu temple that draws devotees from across the island and around the world.
The Jaffna Fort is another scenic location which should be on the itinerary of every visitor to the region. You will see mighty ramparts suggestive of the location’s splendour apparent during the height of its power. Jaffna is particularly resplendent during festivals, of which there are several major occasions. The Chariot Festival at Nallur Kovil is a major event, as is Deepavali, the Festival of Light and the Harvest Festival, Thaipongal. With all these attractions and events on offer, there is no doubt that Jaffna is a remarkable destination that will captivate the visitor. Astute travellers considering Sri Lanka car rental or a selection of quality airport transfers Sri Lanka has to offer its visitors, will find an excellent transport provider in Malkey Rent A Car, a premier purveyor of transport facilities.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+