Attractions

Top Choice Church in Mannar Island & Around

Our Lady of Madhu Church

This mainland church is Sri Lanka’s most hallowed Christian monument (though it's thought to be have been constructed over an ancient Hindu shrine). Its walls shelter Our Lady of Madhu, a diminutive but revered Mado…
Top Choice Hindu Site in Jaffna

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. Its sacred deity is Murugan (or Skanda), and during cacophono…
Top Choice Fort in Jaffna

Jaffna Fort

Sections of this vast complex overlooking the Jaffna lagoon have been recently restored, though much work continues. Once one of the greatest Dutch forts in Asia, it was built in 1680 over an earlier Portuguese orig…
Top Choice Historic Site in The North Coast and Keerimalai Spring

Keerimalai Spring

This spring is a beautiful little spot: the men’s side has a picturesque stepped pool of bright aquamarine water set against the ocean, while the women have a smaller pool nearby, surrounded by tall walls. The water…
Top Choice Fort in Mannar Island & Around

Dutch Fort

An imposing Portuguese-Dutch construction, this fortress is situated right by the causeway to the island and is ringed by a moat. It's a bit shambolic, but the walls are atmospheric and contain the roofless remains …
Top Choice Historic Site in Mullaittivu & Around

Sea Tiger Shipyard

The LTTE navy was a guerrilla force that operated for decades, often organising suicide attacks on government ships and ports. This site is where experimental submarines and fast boats were built to carry out attack…
Top Choice Beach in Northeast Shore

Manalkadu Beach

A small dirt road runs for 3.1km off the B371 to this lovely beach. There are a few fishing boats, some palm trees and not much else on the sand. The views extend up and down the sand as far as you can see. Back fro…
Top Choice Historic Building in Jaffna

Cankili Thoppu Archway

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 yet intricate carvings is an inscription to King Sangili from 1…
Library in Jaffna

Jaffna Public Library

Tellingly, one of the first major buildings to be rebuilt after the 2002 ceasefire was Jaffna's Public Library. It had been burnt down by pro-government mobs (some say forces) in July 1981, a destruction that many T…
Hindu Site in Mannar Island & Around

Thirukketeeswaram Kovil

On the mainland, 10km east of Mannar Town, Thirukketeeswaram Kovil is one of the pancha ishwaram, the five historical Sri Lankan Shiva temples established to protect the island from natural disaster. It’s an imposin…