Casuarina Beach

Casuarina Beach is one of the most popular in Darwin, extending from Rapid Creek through Casuarina to Lee Point.

Except for the very high spring tides, the beach is a wide expanse of white sand, a great place to walk the dog, go for a run or just enjoy the evening breeze and setting sun. It’s easy to find, simply drive along to the end of Trower Rd.

The occasional crocodile is spotted here too, so be vigilant. Crocodile traps are set to remove them from the area, but there is always the chance one will be passing by. At high tide the water washes half way up these sandstone cliffs (left). 8 metre tides ensure the beach is never quite the same each time you visit.

Jaffna Fort

Jaffna fort is located by the south of Jaffna City, bounding to the Lagoon. The famous Jaffna Library, the Dore Appa Stadium are located close by. This fort covers the area of 22 acres and consider as the second largest fort in Sri Lanka. Jaffna fort was constructed with black corals, which can be easily find in Janna District.

Jaffna Fort was constructed by Portuguese in year 1619. As what happened to most of the other forts in Sri Lanka, this was captured by Dutch in 1658 and then came under British rule in 1795. During the Dutch ruling time, this fort went through major reconstructions and it was completed in year 1680. Due to this, today this fort is mention as a Dutch Fort. With getting freedom from British, Jaffna Fort became under Sri Lankan government rule in year 1948.

During the r resent past, Jaffna fort was under terrorist control but captured by Sri Lankan forces in year 1995. This fort got badly damaged during the war time. Now it happy to see that the renovation is going on and soon Jaffna Fort will gain its past pride and the beauty.

Jaffna Library

Tellingly, one of the first major buildings to be rebuilt after the 2002 ceasefire was Jaffna’s Public Library. It had been burnt down by pro-government mobs (some say forces) in July 1981, a destruction that many Tamils deemed a cultural attack – few acts were more significant in the build-up to civil war.

In its reconstruction, architects kept true to the elegant original neo-Mughal design from 1959. Today it’s a bright spacious place that’s very actively used by Jaffna’s citizens.

Jaffna residents have long considered their city to be one of Asia’s finest intellectual capitals, and the library is an important Tamil cultural centre and historic institution (it was inaugurated in 1841). The original world-renowned collection destroyed in the fire included more than 90,000 volumes, including irreplaceable Tamil documents such as the one surviving copy of Yalpanam Vaipavama, a history of Jaffna.

Jaffna Market

Jaffna Market has no shortage of spectacular sights. Located right in the heart of the town, this prominent yellow tinged block is most popular for selling fresh produce, exotic spices and local confections. It is also a veritable treasure trove where with every turn something wondrous lurks ready to be explored.

They say to truly know a town all one really needs to do is walk its streets. If this is true then Jaffna can be described in one word. Bustling. The junction between Hospital road and Stanley road where Jaffna market begins is a hive of activity watched over by the great poet Avaiyaar whose statue graces Stanley road with it’s silent yet dignified presence. Even at the crack of dawn, the streets were filled with people all walking at varying speeds through the astounding maze of paths that make up the cultural and commercial hub of Jaffna. Bicycles and scooters (a common sight in Jaffna) were also moving into the streets all the while being accompanied by an orchestra of busses tooting their horns at anything that dared to move.

Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil

In the hot arid lands of Nallur, in Jaffna, rises the majestic Hindu temple for Skanda/ Murugan – the god of love, war and beauty. It has reigned over the land for centuries, attracting devotees from various walks of life. The temple itself embodies a kind of peace that can only be felt in the most divine of places.

The temple was originally founded in 948 AD. However, it reached fame when it was rebuilt in the 13th century by Puvaneka Vaahu, a minister of the Jaffna King Kalinga Maha. The Nallur Kandaswamy Temple was built for a third time by Senpaha Perumal (a.k.a Sapumal Kumaraya) who was the adopted son of the Kotteking. Nallur served as the capital of the kings of Jaffna, and was a highly defensive fort and city. There were courtly buildings, the palaces, businesses and much more.

The third built temple was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1624 AD; and many churches built over the ruins. The location of the original temple is now covered by the St James Church, Nallur. Part of the original Sivalingam from the temple remained in the vicarage, but was destroyed during the recent civil war. Now only the platform where it was mounted remains.

The current temple was built in 1734 AD by Don Juan. However, the ‘Golden Era’ of the Nallur Temple began in the latter 1890s with the takeover of the temple administration by Arumuga Maapaana Mudaliyar; who started renovating it to bring it back to its earlier magnificence.

Nagadeepa Temple

The Nagadeepa Purana Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the sixteen most sacred places of worship by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Pilgrims have been coming to the Nagadeepa since about the 1st century AC to worship at its famous Rajayathana stupa. The Rajayathana stupa was constructed by two warring Naga kings, Chulodara and Mahodara, at the site where Lord Buddha during His second visit to the country on a Bak Maha Amawaka Poya Day, five years after attaining Enlightenment, intervened and mediated in settling a dispute over the possession of a gem-studded throne. The precious throne was offered to the lord Buddha, was returned to the Naga Kings and was later enshrined in this Rajayathana stupa.

History records that the Nagadeepa Purana Rajamaha Vharaya was developed and reconstructed by pious kings, Devanampiyatissa, Dutugemunu and converted into a fully accomplished sacred place. During the period of Portuguese, Dutch and British all the Buddhist religious places were destroyed and the Nagadeepa Viharaya too has been subjected to it and Buddhists were deprived of worshiping these religious places.