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Jaffna is one of the most beautiful towns located right on the northern tip of Sri Lanka. Jaffna is known for its predominant Tamil population and recognized as the cultural capital for Tamilians in Sri Lanka. The hospitality of the locals will surely impress any tourist to this place. They are just not wonderful people but are friendly too. If you are looking for a destination which offers beauty and great hospitality to travelers then Jaffna should be in your travel plan. But what should you see? Here are some of the best places to visit in Jaffna.

10 Best Places To Visit In Jaffna

The transportation system of this town is excellent which makes it easy for travelers to communicate in and around for sightseeing and shopping. There are many places to explore in this location but we have picked top 10 places to visit in Jaffna.

  • Sangilean Thoopu
  • Jaffna Library
  • Nallur Temple
  • Nainatheevu
  • Jaffna Fort
  • Kandarodei Temple
  • Keerinalain or Naguleeswaram Temple
  • Casuarina Beach
  • Dambakola Patuna
  • Charty Beach

1. Sangilean Thoopu

Sangilean Thoopu

Image Credit: AntanO for wikipedia

Among the important places to visit in Jaffna, this is definitely one. If you want to get the essence of the history of Jaffna then the existence of this Royal Palace can never be ignored. In the Nellore District, you can still get the view of the antique bathing pool and the remnant of the royal palace. You can definitely include this place among the top places to visit in Jaffna. This place holds the memory of the last Tamil King who ruled the Yarlpana Kingdom successfully. After visiting the Nallur Temple you can reach this place directly. From Jaffna town, you will get lots of private as well as public transport to reach this place.

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2. Jaffna Library

Public Library, Jaffna

Image Credit: Anton Croos for wikipedia

Jaffna Library is considered as one of the most significant historical and important places to visit in Jaffna. This library was opened in the year 1959. It was established by Alfred Duraiappah who was Mayor of Jaffna at that time. The construction of this library was similar to the Indo-Saracenic style. A tragedy happened with this library and it was burnt during the civil war in Jaffna in the year 1981. At this time this library was considered as the biggest library in Asia. It possessed almost 97000 books and manuscript.

Suggested Read: 8 Things To Do In Negombo That A Traveler Must Experience On Their Sri Lankan Vacay

3. Nallur Temple

Nallur Temple

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Pilgrims from all parts of the world visit Nallur Temple. The prime feature of this Nallur Temple is the golden arch and the extended Gopuram. People visit here mainly to explore this Gopuram. The premise of this temple was built during the eighteenth century. It was in the year 1620 when the Portuguese destroyed the old construction of this building which was constructed during the regime of Tamil Kings. This temple is now considered as the primary place to hold any type of religious festival.

4. Nainatheevu


Image Credit: Wikinamaste for wikipedia

This tourist place is famous for boat services. You can surely enjoy the boat ride and visit the island. This island is located at a distance of 2 to 3 hours from the city Jaffna. The amount of time you need to visit depends on the availability of boats to reach there. The main temple here was built by a wealthy foreign trader after receiving the blessings from the Goddess Amba Devi. Unfortunately, this temple was destroyed by the Portuguese but it was rebuilt during the 18th century. It was the year 1933 when the actual Gopuram was added to it.

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5. Jaffna Fort

Jaffna Fort

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Among the top tourist places to visit in Jaffna Sri Lanka, Jaffna Fort is considered as one of the major ones. This fort was established in the year 1618 by the people of Portuguese Origin during the Portuguese invasion in Jaffna. This fort is positioned near the city of Karaiyur. This fort is also famous as Fortress of Our Lady of Miracles of Jaffna. During the year 1658, this fort was conquered by the Dutch invaders and it was again in the year 1795 when this fort was again taken back by the British. From the period 1986 to 1995 this fort was captured by LTTE and it was recaptured by the Sri Lanka Army in the year 1995.

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6. Kandarodei Temple

Kandarodei Temple

Image Credit: Gane Kumaraswamy for wikipedia

This is another amazing destination which should be included in the top places to visit in Jaffna town. This is an ancient Buddhist place in Jaffna which is known for its historical events. This temple is near to Chunnakam and from the Jaffna Town, the distance is only 8 km. The total area of the land is a - acre and the entire structure is painted with ash-colored stone. There are 61 dagobas and some of them have only the foundation. This temple was founded during the Anuradhapura Era and stone scriptures are still there which proves the rich ancient history of this temple.

7. Keerinalain or Naguleeswaram Temple

Keerinalain or Naguleeswaram Temple

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Keerinalain ranks among the top 10 places to visit in Jaffna, this temple is a must visit one. Travelers from all parts of the world mainly arrive here to enjoy a bath in the natural water spring. It is said that all illness and sickness will get cured after having a bath here. Lots of Hindu Pilgrims visit this temple to take blessings. This place is located at 15 kms away from town and a perfect place to take a warm bath and rejuvenate your soul. The people having a religious belief will find peace at this place.

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8. Casuarina Beach

Casuarina Beach

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In Karainagar, Jaffna District Sri Lanka you will find Casuarina Beach which is one of the most attractive places to visit in Jaffna Peninsula. You need to drive almost 20 kilometers from Jaffna to reach this beach and it is also known as Casuarina. The main attraction of this beach is white sand. This beach has been named after the Casoorina Trees which are available all through the beach. If you want to walk around the entire beach then it will take 45 minutes to travel to explore one of the famous places to visit in Jaffna district.

9. Dambakola Patuna

Dambakola Patuna

Image Credit: terimakasih0 for Pixabay

If you’re a true history buff then Dambakola Patuna will be your best place to head towards while in Sri Lanka. This place is rich for its 2000 years history and it was the ancient port in Sri Lanka. To preach Buddhism, the daughter of King Ashoka, Sanghamitta arrived at this port. She brought the holy sapling of Bodhi tree which was planted by Sri Lankans King Devanampiyatissa. At present this tree is considered as the oldest tree in the world which was planted by a human being.

10. Charty Beach

Charty Beach

Image Credit: croisy for Pixabay

Located 23 km north of Jaffna town in Allaippiddy, this is a very clean beach and a great place to visit in Jaffna on your trip to Sri Lanka. You can chill here with your family or friends, take a peaceful walk along the shore, or even finish reading your old book. Needless to say, this is a great place to visit in the town for some blisful moments.

Further Read: 12 Alluring Things To Do In Nuwara Eliya, The Heart Of Sri Lanka

If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka which includes Jaffna in the itinerary then you need to note an important fact. During the season of Hindu festivals, the population of this place actually swells. The period of Festivals can be a good season for visitors to explore Jaffna. To visit during the rush season you need to get your accommodations booked well in advance for avoiding any trouble during your trip.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Jaffna

What is the most visited place in Sri Lanka?

The most popular among the best places to visit in Sri Lanka is the Dambulla cave temple. It tops the Sri Lanka tourist destinations. The largest temple complex in Sri Lanka, its statues and paintings date back to the 12th Century AD.

How can I go to Jaffna?

To reach Jaffna, you need to first take a flight to Colombo and from there, you can board a direct train to Jaffna that would complete the journey in around 8 hours.

Can I visit Jaffna during the current Covid situation?

Yes, Jaffna is one of the safest places to visit during the current Covid situation. However, you need to follow all the covid protocols like wearing a mask when in public, maintaining required social distance, and sanitizing hands at certain intervals. Also, make sure to check the Covid update of the destination you’re planning to visit.

What is Jaffna famous for?

Jaffna is the capital of the northern province of Sri Lanka that is known for its historical and cultural significance. From temples to forts, all you can find at one place.

Which are the best places to visit in Jaffna?

Some of the top attractions you must visit in Jaffna include:
1. Sangilean Thoopu
2. Jaffna Library
3. Nallur Temple
4. Nainatheevu
5. Jaffna Fort
6. Kandarodei Temple
7. Keerinalain or Naguleeswaram Temple
8. Casuarina Beach
9. Dambakola Patuna
10. Charty Beach

What is the best time to visit Jaffna?

The best time to visit Jaffna is February to April and June to August as the temperature and humidity during that time are on the low making it comfortable for travelers to explore the place.

Is Jaffna an island?

No, Jaffna is not an island but it is a peninsula i.e. surrounded by water on three sides. So, you will find plenty of Jaffna beaches where you can relax. India is also a peninsular country.

What is the old name of Jaffna?

It was known as Yarpalnam before it was renamed during the Portuguese period. It is named after an ancient musical instrument called Yarl

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