It’s been more than 2 years since the end of the war and the northern most town of Sri Lanka Jaffna was opened for visitors. However it’s since of recently the government allowed foreigners to visit the city without the special permit. Hence my partner in crime and close friend “a Phd student from Australia” suggested to head up to Jaffna for the weekend.
There was not much information available online about Jaffna in terms accommodation options or things to do. Our basic plan was take the overnight bus on Friday after work and return by plane on Monday morning to Colombo.
Initial impressions of Jaffna town was it looked like a normal town in Sri Lanka maybe 15 years ago with iron shutters and hand painted sign boards on top of rows of small shops. It gets incredibly hot during the day time so be prepared for that!
After finding ourselves a decent accommodation at the old Colonial Mansion names Sara’s Guest house we headed to the main town of Jaffna to look around and visit the main sites. The centre of the town where you find the main bus terminal life goes on as normal as can be with people selling their ware and commuters arriving and leaving the town. We hired a tuktuk and drove around the town looking and making pictures like typical tourist would do and the main highlights for us were the Jaffna Public Library and the Dutch Fort.
The next day was much more adventurous as we took a boat from the KKD jetty to the Nagadipa island to visit the Buddhist temple where the legend believes lord Buddha visited to solve a quarrel between 2 rivalries. The highlight of the trip was the vegetarian lunch offered by the Hindu temple to all pilgrims! We sat on the floor with our legs crossed and ate with our hands from a banana leaf. It was delicious. Also the worth mentioning is the gorgeous landscape you see en route to Nagadipa it’s an absolute contrast to the lush green you see in the rest of the island. The shades of blue stretching miles into the horizon with pale sandy strips of land.
It was already the time for us to leave Jaffna Monday morning, on the Air force plane from Palali I have to admit that was a quite an experience Itself taking a military plane. Well all about that in another update on the blog.