Welcome to Jaffna and the North

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The north is largely much different from the rest of Sri Lanka. Situated in closer proximity to South India and having witnessed years of bloody strife, it is limping back to normalcy. All these factors have endowed the north with a mishmash of Buddhist Sri Lankan and Hindu Indian cultural traits. The most famous destination here is the town of Jaffna, which exudes colonial charm as well as Tamil cultural vibrancy in good measure. Jaffna is also northern Sri Lanka’s largest town and the cultural capital of Sri Lanka’s Tamil community. In fact, the Indian influence here is quite strong, complete with temple gopurams (temple gatehouse tower) instead of Buddhist dagobahs (Buddhist stupa).

Pristine beaches, remote temples and other off-beat attractions dot the Jaffna Peninsula and its nearby islands. Further south, lies the sleepy countryside of Vanni. This vast yet scarcely populated and largely ruined area serves as a grim reminder of the civil war years.

The church at Madhu attracts pilgrims from different...

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