If you really want to get a feel for Hindu and Tamil tradition and culture in Sri Lanka, head off the beaten to track to Jaffna.
You’ll find this historic town in the north of Sri Lanka to be a little off the beaten path, but well worth discovering. It’s dotted with colourful Hindu temples, ancient forts and even some isolated islands in the surrounding peninsula. Jaffna is known for the warmth and friendliness of its people, as well as its amazing southern Indian-influenced food. It’s a region with a troubled past, after a devastating 26-year-civil war, but rebuilding and healing is well underway.
If you’ve only got a few days to spend here, make a beeline for the historic Jaffna Fort. You should also visit the truly stunning Nallur Kandaswamy, a Hindu temple dedicated to the god of love, war and beauty, and one of the most sacred places of pilgrimage for Sri Lankan Hindus.
More time to spend in Jaffna? Spend a lazy afternoon strolling through its vibrant street markets or get lost among the palmyra palms, temples and charming buildings of Jaffna city centre. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s plenty to do nearby. Why not go island hopping on a day trip, or take a tuk tuk to the pretty Keerimalai and Kankesanthurai beaches?
Jaffna and other parts of the north have a very different feel to other regions in Sri Lanka. As well as having a unique language, culture and traditions, this part of the island is relatively untouched by tourism. This means you can explore its many fascinating sights in peace, and enjoy a raw, authentic travel experience.
Plan your trip to Jaffna today!