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Day1
Program:
Half Day Tour to visit Jaffna Dutch, Fort, Jaffna Library, Museum, Nallur Temple, Sangilian Statue, Clock Tower, Naga Vihara Temple, OLR Church, Old Park, Duraiappa Stadium and Jaffna Market
Route:
Jaffna
Distance:
Maximum : 50 Km
Drive Time:
8.30am to 12.30pm
Meal Plan:
Lunch in a Local Restaurant
Places that can visit on this day:
Jaffna Fort

Jaffna Fort

Situated on the south side of the Jaffna peninsula at the water’s edge of the lagoon, the ancient fort in Jaffna is the second largest existing fort in the Island. Originally built by the Portuguese in 1619 and re-built and expanded by the Dutch during the second half of the 17th and the 18th centuries to facilitate trading activities of Sri Lanka’s northern region indicate not only of Jaffna’s strategic importance to Europeans but its significance throughout Sri Lanka’s history. The five sided inner defense works consist of thick and high ramparts and bastions with a wide and deep moat around it. The layout resembles a geometrically regular pentagon which is defined by the ramparts with a bastion at each corner of the pentagon. Beyond these defense works is the star shaped moat, the outline of which roughly follows the bastion and rampart walls. The outer defense works include the glacis, the ravelins and a covered way. Unlike the Dutch forts at Galle and Colombo, which were fortified towns, the Jaffna Fort had an almost exclusively military and administrative function. The fort is the only surviving example in Sri Lanka, where its inner defenses has a geometrically regular pentagonal layout. Moreover this is the only example in the Island, where outer fortifications consisting of glacis, ravelins and covered way are to be seen.

Library at Jaffna

Library at Jaffna

The origins of the Jaffna Library can be traced to the generosity and foresightedness of a book lover named K.M. Chellappah, who in 1933 began sharing the collection of his books among friends and fellow men with the view to enhancing their knowledge. This generous gesture was highly appreciated by the local community, which then decided to build a proper library. A committee headed by the then District Judge as Chairman, Rev. Dr. Isaac Thambiah as Vice-Chairman, and K.M. Chellappah and C. Ponnambalam as Joint Secretaries was formed on 9 June 1934. The committee decided to collect or buy as many ancient ola leaf manuscripts as possible from the villages of Jaffna and other areas where Tamil culture thrived. The embryonic Jaffna library was opened on 1 August 1934 with a collection of just 844 books and about 30 magazines and newspapers in a small room at Hospital Road, opposite the present electrical sub-station. From here, the library was moved to a rented house on Main Street near the Town Hall in 1936. Books could be borrowed on a payment of a nominal sum of Rs. 3 as membership fee. It had a starting capital of Rs. 1,184 and 22 cents largely from the efforts of Chellappah. The Jaffna Library became hugely popular among the people, both young and old.

Archaeological Museum

Archaeological Museum

The Jaffna Archaeological Museum displays many Sinhala and Tamil antiques. A Buddha statue, Bodhisaththva statue, a stone scripture and some coins of the 1st and 2nd centuries found in Kantharodai Archaeological Site and upper part of a Buddha statue found in Nilavarai are kept at Jaffna museum. Archaeological Museum situated on Main Street near the old rest house. The museum is open to public from 8.30 AM to 4.30 am every day except for Tuesdays.

Ancient Kadurugoda Viharaya

Ancient Kadurugoda Viharaya

The site was discovered in 1917 by the Magistrate P.E. Pieris where he reported that bricks from this site are being carried away by cart loads by the residents around the area for building of houses. An excavation done in the 1917-1919 has unearthed remains of a shrine room, parts of Buddha Statues, Bodhisattva statues, Buddha foot imprints and coins belonging to pre christian era. Kantarodai (Kadurugoda) in Chunnakam (Hunugama) has been identified as the Kadurugoda Viharaya in the Nam Pota, a book of important Buddhist centers in Sri Lanka, compiled in the Kandyan period. The term Kantarodai is a corrupted form of the Singhalese word Kandavurugoda or site of a military encampment. The Kandavurugoda became Kadurugoda and it was tamilised in to Kantarodai. In 1917, P.E. Pieris has located 56 Stupas in the area but today only about 20 remains. The largest is about 23 feet in diameter and the smallest is about 6 feet. There are also numbers of foundations of stupas which have disappeared. The stupas are made of coral stone and are gray in colour. They have a very distinguished design with small holes all over. The stupas don't have the standard"Hathares Kotuwa" above the dome. Instead a pinnacle is fixed to the top of the dome.

Nallur Kovil

Nallur Kovil

Nallur Kandasamy Temple lies about 1.5km from the Jaffna town on the KKS (Kankasanthurai) Road. This is one of the most important temples in the Jaffna Peninsula and the most well known. The history of the temple dates back to the time of King Parakramabahu VI (1411-1463) of Kotte Kingdom . King Parakramabahu VI had two adopted sons, Sapumal Kumaraya (prince) and Ambulugala Kumaraya (prince). The king sent prince Sapumal to the north where the South Indian Vijayanagar Empire was trying to attach Jaffna. The prince successfully drove away the invaders killing the king Arya Chakravarthi, and brought his wife and children to Kotte . The King Parakramabahu VI appointed the Prince Sapumal as the regional ruler of Jaffna. It was this prince who built the Nallur Kovil for the hindu people of Jaffna. Prince Sapumal later had to leave Jaffna to take over the Kingship of the whole island at Kotte . He was consecrated as King Buwanekabahu VI of Kotte . The Portuguese who captured Jaffna in 1560, demolished the Temple leaving no traces in 1621. The temple then stood at Sankili Thopu on the eastern side of the Point Pedro Road (The site was later used for erecting a Christian Church) Jaffna again fell to Dutch in 1658. They were more tolerant on religious freedom and the temple was allowed to be rebuilt in the current location in 1734 by Don Juan Mappana Mudaliyar as a humble temple dedicated to lord Murugan. The descendants of Mappana Mudaliyar, who were the temple trustees, had taken the task of restoring the temple to its present splendor.

END OF THE TOUR
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