Jaffna Peninsula

Very rich history of Jaffna in the North of Sri Lanka dates back to 2000 BC. And in 1621 the Portuguese founded a colonial administrative capital in Jaffna. Jaffna is rich in Hindu culture. Hindu temples are abundant here, including the temples of Sri Bala Katirkaman, Perumal and Nallu Kandaswamy. Tourists enjoy the beauty of the annual festivals offered by the Hindu temples of Jaffna. Bicycles can be hired to drive around the historic city.

Nagadipa Temple — Nayanativu Island (40 minutes by road, 20 minutes by sea from Jaffna)
Nagadipa Vihara is an ancient Buddhist temple that is located in Nagadip. This is one of the islands in the cluster that hovers next to the western coast of the peninsula, and the Polk strait forms a space around it. A stupa of modest size marks the third visit of Buddha to Sri Lanka. Among the many images in this island temple is the beautiful golden Buddha statue.

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil — in Jaffna town.
This main landmark of Jaffna is located 3 km away. to the north-east of the city center, and is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan. The Portuguese Vice King of the Jaffna Peninsula ordered the destruction of the former temple on February 2, 1625. However, in the same place a new temple was built in 1807 during the British occupation. The original temple with a statue of Hindu gods and Buddha, built by the prince of the Kingdom of Kotte Sapumalom. And today in Nallur Kandhaswami Kovil prayers are read in the name of the Prince of Kotte — Sapumala. According to the chronicles of the head of the Franciscan order in Ceylon, the father of Negaro, Prince Sapumala, after his accession to the throne in the city of Kotte as King Bhuvanekabahu VI, decided to populate the northern regions of Sri Lanka, at that time these areas were emptied.
Today this Kovil has turned into a huge complex, encompassing numerous shrines and ornate corridors. In the complex is a beautiful courtyard and a large tank. One of the temple sectors was built in 1734, and in 1749 this place turned into a shrine dedicated to Islamic Sufis. However, in the same year of 1749, the Hindus removed the arch of the Islamic shrine.

Dambakola Pathuna — Madagal
Dambakola Pathuna is about 20 km away. from Jaffna and 10 km. from Kankasanturai on the Jaffna Peninsula. Distance form Colombo 427 km. on the roads A3 and A9.
Dambakola Patuna is a seaport where a Buddhist nun Sangamitta Terani arrived in Sri Lanka and brought a seedling of the sacred Bo tree, an outgrowth from that very sacred tree of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi from Bodhgaya in India, under which Prince Siddhartha attained supreme enlightenment, thereby becoming Buddha Gautama. Today the sacred plant is known as the oldest tree on Earth, and this tree is known under the name of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura.
A small stupa and a temple in Damabakota Patuna has modern extensions. A new statue in honor of Sanghamitta Terani was opened here at a ceremony in 2010.

Kiramalai Pokuna — in Kiramalai.
The place is said to have therapeutic value, containing medicinal waters. The object itself represents historical and religious significance.
From the source in the rocks of Tellipallai-Mavvidapuram at an altitude of 10 meters, spring waters flow through the cracks and cracks of aerated rocks, colliding with sea water. The reputation of a medicinal place for the health of the human body comes from the fact that the key waters, while they flow through the cracks of the carbonated rock, acquire chemical meanings and useful properties.
The legend says that one sadhu (a hermit) named Nagulaswami (from Sanskrit: «having a face of a mongoose») from India came to bathe in the waters of this spring, after which his mongoose face turned into a human face. Thus, the Tamil name of Kiramalai («kiri» — mongoose, «malai» — mound) was fixed for this place.

Delft Island
The island is remote from the Jaffna peninsula, is more than 30 km. south-west of Jaffna. Delft was occupied by all three colonial powers in Ceylon. The gloomy and barren landscape is devoid of trees, except for one squat baobab. Coral stone lands are filled only by crowds of wild ponies, which were brought to the island by the Portuguese. These wild horses wander freely over the grassy plains of the island, open to all winds. The Law on the Protection of Animals prohibits the export of these horses from Delft Island to any other place.

St. Mary's Cathedral — in Jaffna.
Stones at the base of St. Mary's Cathedral were laid in 1789 in a simple Portuguese-Goan style without ornaments or ornaments. Its huge size, however, is impressive. Originally the church was controlled from Goa, India by the father of Leonardo Rebeiro. The marble elements of the exposition on the high altar were brought from Europe between 1901 and 1904 by the French doctor and priest Henry Julien. Julien became the second bishop of Jaffna in 1893-1918, and introduced the cathedral already complemented by a magnificent chime of bells. It was the first of its kind temple in the north. Two old old bells in 1861 were transported from here to Madhu, and the smaller one was given to the founding parish of the city of Nallur.

Kadurugoda Temple — in Kantarodai.
Kantarodai, where the Kadurugoda Temple is located, is described in the Sinhalese annals as far back as the 3rd century BC. Buddhist Center, located 10 km. north of Jaffna and 2 km. west of Chunnakam village. There are twenty miniature dagobas, one to three meters high. They are strikingly different from any other Buddhist religious site in Sri Lanka. It is believed that each of the miniature dagoba contains within itself the remains of Buddhist monks. The temple is still undergoing archaeological research these days.

Nagapushani Amman Kovil — Nainativu Island.
Nagupushani Amman is a very ancient Hindu temple. It is believed that this temple was built many centuries before our era, even by representatives of the prehistoric race of people of Sri Lanka. The temple was erected and intended to worship the Goddess Nagapushani (patroness of snakes) in Naga. In the temple of the island of Ninative, the object of worship and the holy of holies is a stone depicting the figure of a five-headed cobra. The festival in Sri Nagapushani Amman Kovil is usually held in the Tamil Aani month (June / July) every year, and lasts for fifteen days.
During the festive season, many childless couples come on pilgrimage to Kovil to receive the blessings of Nagapushani. Devotees whose prayers for children were heard by the Goddess, and she gave them offspring, also come with their newborn children to fulfill their vows. Ninativu is a unique islet, on which there are many religious places belonging to all the main religions of Sri Lanka, namely — Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam.

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