Jaffna Peninsula and Islands, Sri Lanka

"Years of war, emigration, embargoes, and loss of life and property have chipped away at the art, culture and optimism of this historic Tamil town. It's also heavily militarized, and locals complain about harassment and infringement of property as well as livelyhood. Peace and reconciliation are still works in progress." (Source: Lonely Planet Sri Lanka 2012)


Ruins of the civil war abound in the city of Jaffna

Jaffna Hindu College, a boys school for grades 6-13 (more)

A temple inside the Jaffna
Hindu College (more)

Statue of Cankili II,
the last king of Jaffna (more)

Jaffna Public Library, rebuilt in 2002 after it was burnt down

The new library resembles its original neo-Mughal design (1, 2)

Rice & curry lunch

A South Indian Thali

Ruins of former Kachcheri
(secretariat), destroyed by war

Now a civil war monument
(1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Was the LTTE police HQ in 1990. In 1995 the SL army wrested control

Roof was blown off in 2000,
It was mined at one time (info)

Jaffna Fort,
built by Dutch colonials

Built in 1680 over a
Portuguese original (1, 2, 3)

Badly damaged in the civil war (1, 2, 3, 4)

Currently under restoration
with help from the Dutch

Nallur Kandasamy Temple,
a large complex dating from 1734

Entrance. Its primary deity is Murugan

Decorated pillared halls
(1, 2, 3)

Water tank in the courtyard

A secondary gopuram (more)

Close-up of gopuram sculpture

Navalar Cultural Hall /
Archaeological Museum

Large dried fish for sale

A neighborhood in Jaffna

A neighborhood in Jaffna

A house destroyed by war

A colonial era bungalow

British Council, Jaffna

Alliance Francaise, Jaffna

Sundry UN offices, Jaffna

Indian consulate, Jaffna

St. James church

Bullet-ridden wall next door to us

A temple on K.K.S. Road (more)

Temple tower close-up (more)

Temple in Jaffna's Nallur district

Temple interior

A roadside shrine near Jaffna

Land mine territory east of
Jaffna (1, 2)

Ruins of Kantarodai, 2000 years old, north of Jaffna (1, 2)

The origins of these ruins
are disputed (1, 2)

Dagobas or something else?
A very political question in SL

Discovered in 1916, these are "restored" structures (1, 2)

One of many war damaged
building north of Jaffna

Odd devotional sculptures

Keerimalai Spring

Giant Hanuman statue and
temple north of Jaffna

Islands off the coast of Jaffna Peninsula
: Valanai, Punkudutivu, Nainativu (Nagadipa)

Houses damaged and
abandoned during the war

War caused an exodus of
the population here (1, 2)

Homes now being reclaimed
by nature (more)

Artful decay

A former home, once
called "Stanton Villa"

Hammenhiel Dutch Fort
just off Velanai island

Ruins of another Dutch fort
on Velanai island

Chaatty Beach,
Velanai Island (more)

St. Mary's Church, Kayts
Velanai Island (1, 2)

St. James Church, Kayts
Velanai Island (more)

Catholic church, Velanai Island

Catholic church, Velanai Island

A temple on Punkudutivu Island

A mosque on Valanai Island

Ferry to Nainativu Island

View of Nainativu Island (more)

Naga Pooshani Amman Kovil, Nainativu Island (1, 2)

External gopuram detail

Sculpture near entrance (1, 2)

Inside the temple complex
entrance, behind Nandi statue

Dedicated to naga goddess
Meenakshi, consort of Shiva (1, 2)

Close-up of temple tower

Nandi Bull (1, 2, 3)

Facing the inner sanctum (1, 2)

A notable Hindu pilgrimage site

Interior detail

Interior detail

An abundance of color

Nagadipa temple, a notable
Buddhist pilgrimate site (more)

Buddha and serpent sculpture

According to legend, the
Buddha came to this island

The shrine

Main altar with paintings
all around it (1, 2)

Stories on walls and ceilings
(1, 2)

President Rajapaksa meeting the
Chief Incumbent, Nagadipa (1, 2)

Monks and military men, a visual with a long tradition in Sri Lanka


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