Sangiliyan Statue


Glistening in the sun, this gold-hued statue was first erected in 1974. It portrays Cankili II, the last king of the Jaffna Kingdom (he died in 1623). During the war the statue was removed. It was restored in 2011 but not without the kind of controversy that is common in the north. Some Tamils contend that the current version lacks some of the heroic features of the original.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Jaffna attractions

1. Cankili Thoppu Archway

0.15 MILES

The provenance of this Jaffna Kingdom relic is fairly secure. This archway is thought to be one of the palace’s original entrances. Among its weathered…

2. Yamuna Eri

0.18 MILES

This U-shaped pool made of carved stones is neglected but still intact – it’s thought to have been the women’s bathing pool of the royal family. The tank…

3. Mantiri Manai

0.24 MILES

Set back from the road, it's easy to sense the beauty that was once part of this building's soul. Completely derelict now, and with walls covered in…

4. Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil


This huge Hindu temple, crowned by a towering god-encrusted, golden-ochre gopuram, is one of the most significant Hindu religious complexes in Sri Lanka…

5. Miralliamman Kovil

0.66 MILES

Easily overshadowed by the nearby Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, this temple tries hard to be noticed with especially vibrant colours.

6. Jaffna Archaeological Museum

0.81 MILES

This small, unkempt but interesting museum is hidden away at the end of a messy garden behind a concrete events hall. At the door are a pair of rusty…

7. Old Park

1.07 MILES

A grand expanse of grass with very old, huge shade trees, first laid out by the British in 1829. Besides a playground and the cute Dora Cafe, it has the…