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Jaffna

Jaffna Sri LankaJaffna, which boasts one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches of Sri Lanka, is today sadly not easily accessible from the southern parts of Sri Lanka due to the ongoing ethnic conflict. And though we do not recommend travel to this part of the island, it would be worth your while to read about the destination, as we are hopeful that this ethnic conflict which has befallen our beautiful motherland for the past 25 odd years would soon be laid to rest and all would be peaceful again, making travel to the pristine areas of Sri Lanka, where the true beauty of the island lies, possible once again.
Distance From Colombo : 396 km
Jaffna meaning 'harp', or 'the town of a harpist' is the capital city of the Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Most of the residents of Jaffna are Sri Lankan Tamils with a presence of Sri Lankan Moors (Muslims). Almost all Sri Lankan moors were driven off from Jaffna by the LTTE in the 90s, as a result of the ethnic conflict which started in the early 1980s which leaves Jaffna exclusively Tamil, apart from the military personnel. It was the second largest city in the country for several decades, until the recent civil conflict. Most residents of Jaffna were and are still Tamil speaking, Sri Lankan Tamils.

In the local Tamil dialect it is currently spelt as Yaalpaanam and it is generally believed that the term Yaalpaanam is derived from Yaal and Paanam meaning land of the harp player alluding to a myth of a blind lute player receiving the land as a royal grant. Currently in Sinhalese, it is known as Yapanaya. Jaffna may also be a latter-day simplification of the name Yapa Patuna. A prominent port in the area was known as Yapa Patuna in Sinhala and Yaalpaana Pattinam in Tamil since medieval times. The ports of Jaffna were on the ancient silk route which can be traced from China via Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Java and Malaya. Marco Polo vividly described the various aspects of life in Jaffna. He was travelling by the silk route by sea guarding a Chinese princess - a daughter of Kublai Khan - and a future wife of the Persian king. Jaffna was the safest route for an emperor's daughter and a future queen of Persia.
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