A bastion of Hindu tradition, art and creative culture, Jaffna welcomes visitors warmly. It’s intriguing, unimposing, slightly off the beaten path and a thoroughly rewarding place to discover Sri Lankan Tamil culture. Inescapably decades of war, emigration, embargoes and loss of life and property deeply affected this historic town, but the city is surprisingly green and leafy, with attractive palm-shaded colonial-era suburbs and beautiful temples and churches. Physically, new projects and upgraded transport connections show that Jaffna’s days of isolation are long past. Ancient sights both in the centre of town and on the outskirts make for compelling attractions.
Here at Hummingbird, we are proud to be one of the few DMCs to be promoting Jaffna tours to our clients.
Hummingbird Tour would include visits to
Jaffna Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1618 under Philip De Olivera following the Portuguese invasion of Jaffna. Due to numerous miracles attributed to the statue of Virgin Mary in the church inside the fort, Jaffna Fort was named as Fortress of Our Lady of Miracles of Jafanapatão. It was captured by the Dutch in 1658 then by the British in 1795 and finally taken over by the Ceylon Army in 1948. However with the onset of the Sri Lankan Civil War it came under siege on several occasions and was left damaged. After a 50 day siege it was recaptured by the Sri Lanka Army in 1995. Today the fort is garrisoned by a detachment of the Sri Lanka Army with access to visitors and is being renovated with Dutch funding.
Nallur Kovil is a huge Hindu temple, crowned by a towering god-encrusted, golden-ochre gopuram, is one of the most significant Hindu religious complexes in Sri Lanka. Its sacred deity is Murugan (or Skanda), and during cacophonous puja – at 5am, 10am, noon, 4.15pm, 4.30pm, 5pm and 6.45pm –offerings are made to his brass-framed image and other Hindu deities like Ganesh in shrines surrounding the inner sanctum.
The Delft Island was popularly known as Ilha das Vacas by the Portuguese. The tamils call it the Neduntheevu or Neduntivu. This is the largest island in the Palk Strait, northern Sri Lanka. The Portuguese built a fort in the island along with a 100 meter long horst stable. There’re ruins of a court house, pigeon communication tower and a religious stone which grows over time.
Nagadeepa Island. The temple is one of the places visited by Lord Buddha to settle the dispute between two warring Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara. The Nagapooshani Amman Temple is dedicated to Parvati who is known as Nagapooshani and her consort, Shiva. The temple complex houses four gateway towers ranging from 20–25 feet in height, to the tallest being the eastern Raja Raja Gopuram soaring at 108 feet high. The temple is a significant symbol for the Tamil people, and has been mentioned since antiquity in Tamil literature.
Naguleshwaram Kovil is one of the oldest shrines of the region, it is the northernmost of the island’s Pancha Ishwarams of Lord Shiva, venerated by Hindus across the world from classical antiquity. In the ancient times, five Lord Shiva temples have been built on the corners of the island to protect the country and Naguleshwaram is the Northern protection temple. The temple was largely destroyed during the civil war and Sri Lankan Army in 1983 finally took over. After nearly twenty years, a major expansion and reopening of the temple occurred in 2012.
The Keerimalai pond is located close to the Naguleshwaram kovil and it’s believed among the locals that the pond has got many curative properties and is also called the “Eternal Youth Pond” where many take a dip in its water for longevity. Even though the pond is situated right next to the Indian Ocean, the water springs are not mixed with salt water. Some believe that this pond is connected with the Neelavarai bottomless well in the Jaffna city.