The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
Point Pedro, also known as Sakkotai Cape, is the northernmost point of Sri Lanka. A trading post during pre-colonial and colonial times, it is an unpretentious spot which nevertheless is replete with significance and well worth a look for those with a sense of history and looking for simple pleasures. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of the Indian coastline, about 40 miles away.
Sri Lanka’s most northerly point is marked by a simple signpost, a display board looking out to see and a monument, erected since the end of the civil war, proclaiming: “Unity in Diversity is the Strength of Sri Lanka". Close by, to the west, there is a white lighthouse built by the British in 1916, now standing in the shadow of a telecommunications tower. There is not even a car park, just ample room to pull up by the side of the road.
Point Pedro is a corruption of the Portuguese Ponta des Pedras, meaning “rocky cape”. The coastline is sandy with coral rocks and remains in its natural state with fishermen bringing their daily catch onto a sandy beach. Manatkadu, the closest village to Point Pedro, has an abandoned old Catholic church due to the advancement inland of the sand dunes.
The town of Point Pedro, a few miles inland, is the Jaffna peninsula’s second town and is beginning to fight back from a difficult phase in its history. It was once a trading port – the small harbour is now overseen by the Sri Lankan army – and is largely reliant upon fishing and cotton exports as well as the usual commercial trades.
Take a short coastal drive east to Valvettiturai and see wide, deserted sandy beaches, studded by the occasional fishing boat or rudimentary fishing hut and lone palm trees stoutly growing in mountainous sand dunes.
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