Sri Lanka Hotel bookings / Tour packages

Jaffna

Jaffna is special for several reasons, one being that it was denied – or was it   spared? – tourism for two decades. In fact more aid workers than tourists travel   to Jaffna nowadays. But after three years of ceasefire, and with the undeniable   fact that the north is a magnetic destination, this situation should change. In   anticipation, we asked our travel correspondent to pack her bag.

Jaffna is many things, so many in fact that it cannot be done justice to in a   short travel article. From its rich history to colourful cultural traditions to   unique landscape to delicious mangoes and other Jaffna specialities – there is   too much to discuss. The images in my mind of Jaffna are its tall, straight   palmyrah palm trees; women riding bicycles equally straight and tall; and the   beaming unconditional smiles that readily come to people’s faces, especially if   you smile first.

It is unfortunate that Jaffna’s recent chequered history overshadows its much   more glorious ancient history. However there is no ignoring the effect the civil   conflict has had on Jaffna and its surrounds. It is evident throughout the town   and the peninsula. While the conflict has had a devastating impact, some say the   fact Jaffna was cut off from the rest of the island for 20 years has helped   preserve some of its distinct cultural traditions.