Kantarodai Ruins

Jaffna & the North

Some 1km via a squiggle of lanes south of the B380 is the beautiful and mysterious Kantarodai Ruins – two dozen or so dagobas, 1m to 2m in height, in a palm-fringed field. Their origins are the subject of fierce controversy – part of the raging ‘who was here first?’ historical debate. It’s an intriguing, albeit fenced, vista and the structures look quite otherworldly.

Originally flat-topped and low to the ground, the stone structures were built upon by Sri Lanka’s Department of Archaeology in 1978 – some say to restore the original dagoba shape that the ancient Buddhist community here had created; others say to impose a Buddhist history on an ancient culture that had its own set of traditions (maybe for burials).

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