King Dhatusena built the Iranamadu tank during his reign from 455 – 473AD. The tank had been neglected for many years and the renovation work started in 1902 but was stopped halfway through, when the British Empire joined World War 1. Sri Lanka still being a part of the British Empire automatically joined up with the war as well. After the war, the work on the tank was started back again and it was completed in 1921. The tank is capable of irrigating almost 22,000 acres.
The Portuguese built this strategically located fort which made it one of the top priorities for any invader to capture this fort first. After the Portuguese, the Dutch occupied the Pooneryn fort in 1658 and the British in 1796. Later during the civil war, this fort was occupied by the Sri Lankan army until 1991, when the terrorists took over. The fort was recaptured by the Sri Lankan army in 2009.
The Chola dynasty – one of the longest ruling Indian dynasties in the world constantly contributed to the upkeep of the famous Sivan temple in Kilinochchi. Due to this fact, one can see some of the famous Chola architecture in the temple as well. The temple is dedicated to God Shiva who is one of the principal deities of Hinduism and in Shaivism, Shiva is one of the supreme beings who create. Due to this reason, visitors can see the Shiva Lingam at the temple which is said to help those who cannot conceive children where they bathe the Shiva Lingam with milk and the women drink it.
Kalmunai Old Survey Tower
An ancient tower which had been used for survey purposes of Jaffna from this point. The tower lies down a lesser travelled road from Pooneryn. A small church lies in the vicinity which is frequently visited by the locals in the area. This was declared as an archaeological monument after the war.
Chundikulam National Park
Earlier known as the Chundikulam sanctuary, now the government coupled several forests nearby to create a larger protected area, creating the Chundikulam national park in 2015. The park has extensive mangrove swamps and seagrass beds. Frequent birds that can be seen in the park are black tailed godwit, black winged stilt, brown headed gull, common sandpiper, greater flamingo, and many others. Deer and crocodiles can be easily seen in the park as well. The census indicates that the leopards and bears live in the Chundikulam national park as well, but they are not easy to be spotted since they are not used to visitors and are very shy.
This bridge connects Kilinochchi with Jaffna district and is one of the two bridges that connects the mainland with the Jaffna peninsula. One of the best places in the country to see many eagles sitting on top of electricity poles or hanging wires early in the morning. The eagles are keeping one eye on the water for their morning breakfast and another eye on the road to make sure that the vehicles passing by pose no threat to them. The bridge has a curve in the middle, to allow boats to pass under it, which is a unique sight in Sri Lanka when it comes to bridges.
Sand Hills of Manniththalai
One of the lesser-known areas of the country, these sand hills provide the closest to a desert experience in Sri Lanka. It is rare to see sand hills and dunes in the island and this is one of the unique places that you can witness such a natural phenomenon. For those travellers who are looking at a different type of hiking trail, the sand hills of Manniththalai provides the best opportunity.
Palmyrah product center
Although Sri Lanka is known for its tea, cinnamon and coconut, the northern province is famous for its palmyra trees. These trees are used for the production of a variety of products ranging from palmyra jaggery, buckets, hats, boxes, winnowing fans, punnets and a plethora of other goods. These products are environmentally friendly and avoid the use of plastics.
The Portuguese used Sri Lanka as a base to do their trading and African slaves were one of their ‘commodities’. These slaves brought a little piece of their home with them when coming from Africa and these Baobab trees are part of their heritage that was introduced into Sri Lanka during the colonial period. These trees are very rare, and they can be seen only on the Northern parts of the island. The locals’ legends say that the tree was planted upside down since it looks like the roots of the tree are sticking out towards the sky.
Ever wanted to hop on a fishing boat and explore several small islands? Around Kilinochchi you will have the chance, where these small islands are inhabited with local fishermen. These fishermen venture deep into the ocean in the evening and they arrive back to shore early in the morning. The way of life of these fishermen is incredibly unique where they battle with the ocean and take great risks to make a living. They have their own beliefs which are being observed to protect them while they are out in the ocean. Visit Palaitivu, Erumathivu, Kakkativu and Iranativu to witness these intriguing and bio diversified fishing villages in the middle of the ocean.
One of the longest beaches stretches in the island is also a hidden gem of a location for surfers as well. The beach is much cleaner, and it is safe to bathe in the ocean. There are no beach boys or vendors and therefore the travellers can get a good relaxing beach experience during their visit to Thalaiyadi beach. The water is clear as well.
Close to the sand hills is this beautiful beach, which is famous among the locals, but still remains a hidden beach to the world. Many sea birds can be seen in the morning and evening as well. The palmyra trees and the vegetation around the beach gives it the characteristics of a jungle beach.