The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
The Jaffna peninsula, situated at the northern tip of Sri Lanka, is reawakening after years of hardship and is slowly becoming an attraction for the more adventurous and resilient traveller to Sri Lanka who yearns to see parts of the country that were previously off limits to tourists.
The North East monsoon rains are between October to January, although in many ways the best time to visit is when the lagoons are filled with water, the land is a resplendent green and migrant waterbirds are an attraction for bird lovers.
Other tourist activities in Jaffna are slowly growing, although it should be recognised that the region has many priorities ahead of equipping itself for the tourist trade as people begin the rebuild their lives.
Cycling is popular on the quiet, flat roads and you can spend a few hours exploring the town, pausing at sites such Jaffna market and the majestic Nallur Kovil, which is the most important Hindu temple in the Jaffna region. Jaffna Fort was severely damaged during the terrorist conflict, and now houses a Sri Lanka army garrison, but restoration work is underway with financial assistance from the Dutch government. Jaffna Library has also been restored after suffering heavily during the conflict.
Crab curry is a speciality of the Jaffna region and with Red Dot's help you can learn the art of preparing this sumptuous dish. To add to the pleasure, you will have ample time to sit down and eat it afterwards.
The isolated islands just off the Jaffna coast are also fascinating to explore. Take a trip on a local ferry to Delft Island – about one-and-a-half hours each way – to discover a simple, escapist island where wild horses roam the plains, and explore the ruins of a Portuguese Fort.
On the far north-west coast, Mannar Island is also a joy for the committed birdwatcher, especially during migrant season from November to February. Mannar Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1560, and later falling into the hands of the Dutch then the British, is now home of the Sri Lanka Archeology Department. It is found on Mannar Island, Sri Lanka, alongside a bridge that now connects up to the mainland. It is a square-shaped fort with four bastions and is worth a look especially as it is rarely overrun with tourists.