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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Hindu Temple
“அதிகாலை 4.00 மணிக்கு நல்லூர்க் கதவுகள் திறக்கப்பட்டு அதிகாலை 5.00 மணி பூஐை வழிபாடு நிறைவடைந்த பின் நல்லூர்க் கதவுகள் மூடப்படும். காலை 7.30 மணிக்கு நல்லூர்க் கதவுகள் திறக்கப்பட்டு பகல் 12.00 மணி பூஐை வழிபாடு நிறைவடைந்த பின் நல்லூர்க் கதவுகள் மூடப்படும் மாலை 3.00 மணிக்கு நல்லூர்க் கதவுகள் திறக்கப்பட்டு மாலை 06.00 மணி பூஐை வழிபாடு நிறைவடைந்த பின் நல்லூர்க் கதவுகள் மூடப்படும் வெள்ளிகிழமைகளில் அதிகாலை 4.00 மணி முதல் மாலை 06.00 பூஐை வழிபாடு நிறைவடையும் வரை நல்லூர் கதவுகள் திறந்திருக்கும் The historic Kandaswamy Temple stans at Nallur 1 1/2km from Jaffna on the Point Pedro Road. The temple was built in the 15th century, by Sanpaha Perumal the adopted son of Bhuvanekababhu, the king of Kotte, who led an expedition to the North and brought Jaffna under the suzerainty of Kotte. Having established himself as the ruler of the Jaffna Kingdom, Sanpaha Perumal set about the task of building the city and erecting the temple. Then he appointed Vijayabahu as the ruler and returned to Kotte. After some time, the deposed king Kanagasuriyan attacked and drove away the invader, He and his descendants managed the Nallur Temple up to the arrival of the Portuguese. Bhuvanekabahu’s name nae is still mentioned by the ssher on ceremonial occasins”
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Store
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Natural Feature
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Hindu Temple
“Keerimalai Naguleswaram temple (Tamil: கீரிமலை நகுலேஸ்வரம் கோயில்), historically known also as the Thirutambaleswaram Kovil of Keerimalai, is a famous Hindu temple in Keerimalai, located north of Jaffna, Northern Province, Sri Lanka in the suburb of Kankesanthurai. One of the oldest shrines of the region, it is the northernmost of the island's Pancha Ishwarams of Lord Siva, venerated by Hindus across the world from classical antiquity. Hindus believe its adjacent water tank, the Keerimalai Springs, to have curative properties, which irrigation studies attribute to high mineral content sourced from underground. Keerimalai is 50 feet above sea level, and situated west of Palaly. Hindus flock in large numbers on Aadi Amaavaasai day which falls during the Tamil month of Aadi, to carry out rituals for their forefathers and bathe in the natural springs. Carried out largely by men, “Keerimalai” is particularly famous for this festival. The temple was largely destroyed by Jesuit missionaries following the Portuguese conquest of the Jaffna kingdom, restored by Arumuka Navalar in 1894, was occupied by the Sri Lankan Army in 1983 and bombed by the Sri Lankan Air Force in 1993. After nearly twenty years, a major expansion and reopening of the temple occurred in 2012.”
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Point of Interest
“Neduntheevu or Neduntivu (Tamil: நெடுந்தீவு, Sinhala: ඩෙල්ෆ්ට්) (also known by its Dutch name Delft) is an island in the Palk Strait, northern Sri Lanka. This island is named as Delft in the Admiralty Chart unlike the other islands, whose names are Tamil. The island's area is 50 km² and it is roughly oval-shaped. Its length is 8 km and its maximum width about 6 km. Neduntivu is a flat island surrounded by shallow waters and beaches of coral chunks and sand. It is home to a small population of Tamil people, mostly living in quiet compounds close to the northern coast.[1] The vegetation is of a semi-arid tropical type, with palmyra palms, dry shrubs and grasses that grow on the pale Grey porous coralline soil. Papayas and bananas grow close to the local people's homes. In the western coast of the island there are remains of a 1000-year-old temple[citation needed] built by the Chola Dynasty,[citation needed] as well as the ruins of a Dutch colonial fort. The water is slightly brackish, and it is taken from shallow wells using buckets made from palmyra palm leaves.[2] A naval battle was fought off the coast of the island in 2008 during the Sri-Lankan Civil War. There are feral ponies on the island, descendants of forebears abandoned there in the Dutch period. The island was named after the Dutch city of Delft by Rijckloff van Goens. He named the eight most important islands after Dutch cities.”
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Point of Interest
“A Lasting legacy of the country’s colonial past, and today a maritime heritage, the famous Dutch Fort in Jaffna, was the innovation of the Portuguese who built it in 1618. It was re-built by Dutch colonisers who took over the Fort in 1680. The 400 year old edifice, designed in the shape of a pentagon, is a symbol of Dutch architecture. Its five bastions were named, after provinces of the Netherlands – Zeeland, Holland, Gelderland, Utrecht and Friesland. The interior of the Fort has, with time, seen buildings such as the Dutch Lieutenant Governor’s residence, military barracks, powder magazines, warehouses, a Dutch Reformed Church, guardrooms, police quarters, a jail and court house become mere stone remnants. Yet, the limestone and black coral outer structure still remains solid. The large rampart overlooking the ocean and the tunnel system are a testament to the skill and readiness to defeat any firepower from outside. The Dutch insignia is still visible at the entrance to the Fort. Inside, there is a great deal to explore amidst the destroyed structures, the belfry of probably the Dutch Reformed Church standing alone amidst the remnants of the past. The many fortifications, such as ravelins, the dry ditch and the moat are typical fortress defences. The moat in the outer rampart is a series of five tunnels, which have been preserved. A walk along the rampart and in the grounds is a truly exhilarating experience and of course allows more time to explore and understand the design as well as purpose of the Fort. It is also quite romantic to watch the sunset from the rampart.”
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Library
“Until 1981, the most famous and largest library in Southeast Asia was located in Jaffna . Then she and her approximately 95,000 books went up in flames. The current library - built like an Indian palace - is new and, with its 25,000 books, once again provides a point of contact for the city's thirsty citizens, as well as researchers from all over Asia.”
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Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurant
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Point of Interest
“Nilavarai well is a deep underground natural water well thought to be bottomless. It is an archeological monument in Jaffna Peninsula and has many enthralling legends adding to the mysteries that encircle it. Almost all legends are connected with the Ramayan, the chronicles of Rama – the seventh avatar of God Vishnu. According to legend, Seetha, wife of Rama, while on the return journey to India was overcome with thirst and as there was no water to be found, Rama had gallantly shot an arrow on to the earth creating a well and it was the origin of Nilavarai. Varying legends replace different characters such as Hanuman, a devotee of Rama, shooting an arrow to create the well in a bid to quench Rama’s thirst and so on. Regardless, since the olden times the well has been a source of fresh water that never seemed to deplete and is also used for irrigation activities in the area. In contrary to the beliefs of the well being bottomless, a recent expedition carried out by the divers of Sri Lanka Navy with the help of an automated robot managed to find the bottom of this mysterious well at a depth of 52.5 meters (172 feet). It was further discovered that several tunnels located at different levels inside lead towards different directions. At least one of the tunnels is believed to be connected to the Keerimalai pond. The Naval expedition further revealed that the first 18.3 meters of the well contains fresh water while the water after that point turns salty in respect to the depth. The divers were also able to find debris of 3 carts fallen into the well. The well could be treated to be a rare gift of Mother Nature and a place of iconic importance that attracts thousands of visitors due to its mysterious formation and the resounding legends.”
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Vegetarian / Vegan Restaurant
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Museum
“Jaffna Archaeological Museum is located in Nallur, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The land was given to museum by Arumuga Navalar Foundation, and front portion has Navalar Cultural Hall. The museum houses a rare collection of antiquities. Buddhist and Hindu religious collection are in big collection, which are in various forms of metal, wood and stone. The excellent collections begin in time from the period of ancient period Sri Lanka to the colonial era. Also, some of the archaeological excavations findings of Kandarodai can seen at this museum. For Jaffna Archaeological Museum and beyond, use our Northern Province.”
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Point of Interest
Natural Feature