Jaffna, the city of Palmyra
Jaffna, the city of Palmyra as it is identified is at the Northern peninsula of Sri Lanka that has much historical significance but the 30 year war diminished its prominence as a tourist region. Nevertheless, now that there is peace prevailing and transport renewed with new train and bus services plying, many have begun their site seeing tours. Those who remember the important and popular places are encouraged with a revived enthusiasm. The name Jaffna is derived from a famous poet or singer who played the oriental instrument ‘Yarl’ which is something like a harp.
Sadly, Asia’s best library was damaged during the conflict but yet a new and refurbished building stirs much interest now. Jaffna is also synonymous with the tastiest Mango variety called ‘Karuththa Kolumban” which is really delicious and sweet due to the saline soil they say. There are many star hotels operating to cater to the ever growing visitors. It is worth going around witnessing how normalcy is restored and lives come to terms with a rehabilitating process and trade interactions. Schools, hospitals and shopping complexes are back to proactive functions.
The culture of the folk is predominantly based on Hinduism although Christian Missionaries established many Churches, Schools and Missions during their heydays. The Jaffna fort remains as an edifice. The legacy of colonialism is very visible blending with the local society. Many from the region have migrated or domiciled for a long period in the Europe. The US and Australia and hence, there is a kind of cultural transfer between them and their kin remaining in the homeland.
A direct luxury express train form Colombo gives a pleasant experience all the way to and fro apart from private tour coaches. A visit to the Northern capital is a unique and different experience indeed.