TCT Sri Lanka Travel Diaries: The Ancient Kingdom of Jaffna

Our girl on the ground bringing us all things Sri Lanka, straight from the elephant's mouth, is travel blogger and all-round island girl Demi Perera. Demi is the creator and editor of her own popular e-zine Girl Travels World. In her spare time she loves to recline on her hammock under a coconut tree. What we have here is a match made in heaven... 👏👏👏


In the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka sits the ancient kingdom of Jaffna. It's the heart of Sri Lanka's Tamil population and locally known as Yalpanam. Jaffna is a place of great historic significance. It was a heavily contested port town during the Portuguese, Dutch and British occupation of the island and decisive in Sri Lanka's more recent civil war.

Jaffna fort, which was built by the Portuguese and renovated during the Dutch colonial period, still stands today; it's a remarkable piece of history. After several decades of ruin and destruction the port is currently under restoration with the aid of Dutch funding and promises to be an excellent addition the the many places of significance in the town. 

  Image:    @Sahan_perera

No visit to Jaffna is complete without a walk around the local market which is the heart of the community. It's the place where local people gather to buy produce, catch up, exchange stories and socialise. The distinctive yellow building fills with vendors each morning. If cooking is your thing  this would be the best place to pick up freshly ground spices of every variety.  Spices are sold by weight and you can buy as little or as much as you like for a few pence. The spices in Jaffna are slightly different from those around the rest of Sri Lanka. Due to the region's Tamil and European heritage Jaffna spices are renowned for their exceptional flavour.

To experience the unmistakeable taste of the north on the TCT menu choose the Jaffna goat curry with potato. It is one dish that you cannot miss. Combine the dish with Sri Lankan mixed fried rice for an outburst of unforgettable flavour. Complete your Sri Lankan adventure with The Drunken Sri Lankan on the Cocotails Menu. With a fiery mix of Arrack, turmeric and ginger beer you'll be transported to the dazzling shores of Sri Lanka's north and its exceptional cuisine.