Jaffna, located on the peninsula right at the top of Sri Lanka approximately 400 km north east from Colombo, is the capital and largest city of the Northern Province of the island. Referred to as the cultural home town of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka, it is an ancient port city that faced the brunt of the Civil War for over 25 years. Following the end of the war in 2009, reconstruction is under way and displaced people are returning to their homes. Jaffna tourism is gradually catching on; its healthy climate and picturesque natural beauty is a magnet for tourists.
Jaffna is flat, low lying and surrounded by the Jaffna Lagoon to the west and south and Kokkuvil and Nallur to the north and east respectively. With a tropical rainforest climate, the city has the highest average temperature in the island and experiences the North East monsoon for a few months annually. Transportation links between Jaffna and Colombo include the A9 highway, served by coaches and buses as well as commercial flights via the Palali Airport. The railway line between the two cities is still being completed; however tourists can take the train to Vavuniya in the Northern Province and then hop on a bus to reach Jaffna.
There are several historical places to visit in Jaffna including Nallur Kovil, which is the main landmark of the city located northeast of the town centre. This temple is dedicated to the Hindu God Murugan and was built in 1807 during the British colonial rule. Other religious sites include Kadurugoda Temple, Naga Pooshani Ambal Kovil and St Mary's Church. Jaffna Fort is another attraction - this is the second largest Dutch Fort in Sri Lanka and is located immediately south of Jaffna city. The Jaffna Public Library is another must see - this gorgeous building was destroyed in 1981 and was the first building to be restored in 2003.