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Jaffna - a City that Keep a Trace of Portuguese Culture

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The Portuguese established Jaffna has a city and their administrative center in 1621. Jaffna was occupied with Catholics and Merchants from Portuguese largely because it is a port to Sri Lanka. During Colonial civilization, the city was populated with Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, and Eurasian Burghers. Over time, after Sri Lanka became an independent nation, the ratios changed rapidly as most of Sri Lanka’s Tamil population occupied Jaffna’s land.

Jaffna is the northernmost point in Sri Lanka. It accommodates most of the Tamil population in Sri Lanka. Since it has been occupied the Tamils, most of its cities are named in Tamil. Jaffna is influenced a lot by Hinduism and the entire city has a lot of beautiful architectural buildings related to Hinduism. As soon as you enter Jaffna, you will see a very distinguish culture and surrounding. More than three forth of the city is covered by Indian Ocean.

Nallur Kandaswami Kovil is the most significant Hindu temple in Jaffna. It is one of the biggest and oldest temples in the city. When visiting the temple, it is expected to respect its rules and regulations by wearing modest attire and remove shoes when entering inside. Even though Jaffna is highly influenced by Hinduism, there are many important Buddhist temples to be visited as well. Kadurugoda temple is one of the Buddhist temples in Jaffna and it is said to be there since Anuradhapura era. Elephant pass memorial, Nainativu Kovil and Nainativu Island are also must-sees when in Jaffna.

There are also many historic building built by Portuguese when they were ruling the country. Portuguese colonials first occupied Jaffna and made it a merchandising center. Hence, there is a lot of evidence that is still remaining from Portuguese influence.

Today, Jaffna has become a beautiful city with many tourism spots and sights to see. It is rebuilding magnificently, without losing its unique identity and shape of portuguese culture. The city comprises of many tourist hotels, motels, and restaurants due to the hike in tourism. It is indeed a must see when you come to Sri Lanka. 

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Jaffna – a City That Keep a Trace of Portuguese Culture. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 30, 2022, from
“Jaffna – a City That Keep a Trace of Portuguese Culture.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022,
Jaffna – a City That Keep a Trace of Portuguese Culture. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 Sept. 2022].
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