Located almost at the northernmost tip of the island, Jaffna was once a city rich with learning and culture. Ruined by the civil war that lasted for three decades, only some of the past glory can be glimpsed today. The region is only gradually emerging from the long years of isolation and fighting.
The Jaffna town is fascinating with its eclectic mixture of colonial charm and vibrant Tamil culture. The people of Jaffna are friendly and the city can be reached via land or air. The Jaffna Peninsula is linked to the rest of the land mass through Elephant Pass, a causeway across which elephants used to wade. The surrounding islands of Jaffna are interesting and hold many sites such as remote temples, beaches and more offbeat attractions waiting to be explored. The Dutch Fort on the Neduntivu islet and the Nallur Kovil are several must-visit sites.
The Palmyrah palm with its elegant fan-like fronds is a common sight in Jaffna. Locals tap it for toddy, the sap from its cut flowers; like the sap of the coconut or kittul palm, this liquid can be distilled to make arrack or processed into jiggery, palm sugar.