Hidden History

Throughout the Jaffna peninsula, ancient landmarks provide a glimpse to a rich history.

Take a tour around the vibrant city of Jaffna where the lull of the village life and emerging traces of urbanisation create a unique and complex identity. An arch land of palmyra groves, explore Jaffna’s distinct landmarks with fascinating histories.

First, visit the once majestic Manthri Manai (Minister’s Palace), which thought to have belonged to a minister of the kingdom of Jaffna. The building shows a blend of Dravidian architecture with Dutch as well as British influences.

Your next stop is the famed Jaffna Library. Today, restored after the civil war destruction, the library stands tall as a significant symbol of Jaffna. The initial collection included archival material on Sri Lankan history written in palm leaf manuscripts.The library is closed on Mondays.

At last, visit the ancient Jaffna Fort, one of the famous landmarks in Jaffna. This is one of the largest forts in Asia, which traces its roots back to the Dutch era. The fort had housed a Governor’s place, armouries and barracks, Queen’s House of Jaffna and several other structures. Don’t forget to glimpse a stunning sunset from the Jaffna Fort.

Hosted by


Your host’s love for outdoor adventure stems from his father. When not storytelling in Colombo, he can be found camping in Sri Lanka’s national parks with a camera in hand. His heritage is Dutch, German and British. He identifies himself as a “Dutch-Burgher” but speaks Sinhalese and Tamil in addition to English. His walk through the hidden parts of the city can also be led by his wife or a partner


Translate »