Ayanar Kovil

Jaffna & the North

The main temple on the island of Analaitivu.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Jaffna & the North attractions

1. Naga Pooshani Amman Kovil

3.36 MILES

This lovely complex is an airy Hindu temple set amid mature neem trees. The main temple deity is the naga goddess Meenakshi, a consort of Shiva. (The term…

2. Nagadipa Temple

3.79 MILES

This is the North’s only major Buddhist pilgrimage site. According to legend, the Buddha came to the island to prevent war between a naga king and his…

3. Fort Hammenhiel

5.68 MILES

A tiny islet in the bay is home to the pocket-sized Fort Hammenhiel, a small Portuguese-built bastion that passed on to the Dutch in the 1650s. The thick…

4. Kayts


Kayts is a moody little village with a few scuttled fishing boats down by the ferry dock and some big old bayan trees. This was the port from which…

5. St Anthony's Church

6.41 MILES

Built in 1820, this large colonnaded church is dishevelled, but the faithful have strung colourful garlands from the soaring rafters. Immediately west,…

6. Casuarina Beach

9.83 MILES

An attractive stretch of sand with good swimming and, as the name indicates, a shoreline backed by mature casuarina trees. It's popular with folks from…

7. War Memorial

9.99 MILES

About 2km north of the AB19 along a dirt track is a sombre memorial to Lieutenant General Denzil Lakshman Kobbekaduwa and others. In 1992, the LTTE set…

8. Chaatty Beach

10.03 MILES

Chaatty Beach is no white-sand wonder, but it’s passable for swimming and has changing rooms, picnic gazebos and snack vendors. It's just 11km from Jaffna.