Jaffna is the cultural town of the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Jaffna District, the northernmost region of the Island of Sri Lanka, is one of the oldest habitation sites in Lower South Asia, populated by Tamil speaking people. Jaffna is situated within ten degrees of latitude to the north of the equator. It is in close proximity to the sub-continent of India and separated from it by the Palk Strait and the Bay of Bengal.
Jaffna is the northern capital and has an airport based in Palali. Due to the current circumstances there are no international flights to Palali. To get to Jaffna one must fly into Colombo the southern capital and get a domestic flight to Palali.
There is air service to and from Colombo, provided by the national airline Sri Lankan Airlines. Flights are available from origins throughout Europe, United States, Southeast Asia, China, Japan, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan. Other airlines, include Qatar Airlines and Emirates. Colombo's international airport is at Katunayake.
There are several private bus services operating from Colombo to Jaffna, cost varies from 900 Rupees onwards for a person. The drive takes half a day to complete (9 hours +) following the A9 motorway which runs through the middle of Sri-Lanka. From/to Vavuniya the journey costs approximately 180LKR by private bus and takes around 3.5 - 4 hours. Currently the road is being upgraded causing slight delays. Vavuniya has good connections to other parts of the Central North. Alternatively buses pass through Anuradhapura (1-1&1/2 hours south) however Vavuniya to Jaffna buses leave regularly throughout the day so any waiting in Vavuniya should be minimal.
Travellers are advised that bus drivers may frequently switch off air conditioning to save energy and petrol. However, this causes the air to warm up and be stale in the enclosed bus. Unfortunately, complaining does little. Hence do take precautions.
Before the escalation of the war there was a train service running from Colombo to Jaffna but now it only runs half way to Vavuniya from where you will have to get a bus towards Jaffna.
Once in Jaffna there are several modes of transport.
By auto (tuk-tuk)
these are three wheelers which are very common in south east asian countries. These are the quickest and probably the cheapest way to get around to places.
Public transport system available in Jaffna are the buses. See http://jaffnavisit.com/category/bus-root/ for route maps.
These are private hire mini-vans, best if you need transportation for the whole day.
The locals get around on cycles and Mopeds, Cycling is not safe with the number of dogs on the street.
Selva Sannithi Temple
Nagapoosani Temple (Nainatheevu)
Sri Naga Vihara Temple
vaddu kannaki amman temple -vaddukoddai
There isn't a lot to do on Jaffna unless you arrive at festival times. Nallur Kovil Thiruvizha (festival) is the biggest event in the Jaffna calendar when all the faithful come home to pray.
Water isn't good because of mineral content. The local brew is toddy, from the coconut or the palmyrah tree. Toddy from the palmyrah tree is sweeter.
Kandy - public bus 8 hours Rs400 - there are regular public (red) bus towards Kandy during the day. So don't believe in any of those people telling you that the bus has departed and asking you to ride on his vehicle instead.