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The joy of being in Jaffna

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Author Topic: The joy of being in Jaffna  (Read 188 times)
indunil
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« on: October 18, 2010, 03:57:03 am »

The yearning to make the journey to Jaffna is a discerning one. Today, everybody wants to go up North after the dawn of peace and it is now becoming one of the most-visited places in the country.

Reaching Jaffna by aeroplane rather than the long journey on the A9 highway, you get a sense of real Jaffna feeling, like a magical wonderland. Having a peninsula with its scattered islands at the northern tip gives Sri Lanka its pearldrop shape. Jaffna is indeed beautiful.

Nearly touching India, the name Jaffna is Yarlpanam in Tamil which means ‘harp’ and ‘town’, where it combines to give the meaning of ‘town of (the) harper’.

Lawyer Shereen explained that according to etymologists, Yarlpanam became Yappanam, Jappanam, Jaffanam and then became Jaffna during the Portuguese and the Dutch period. She said, “A wandering minstrel or ‘panan’ from Tamil Nadu came with his lute-like instrument (or ‘Yarl’) and sang before the King of the then Uttara Desam (northern country).”

The King was said to have been awe-struck by the performance that he presented the minstrel with the peninsula earlier known as the Manattri of sandy track. She said,”The yarlpanam (minstrel) along with his lute returned with his settlers and populated Jaffna.”

Decorated with palmyra trees and flat semi-forest land, you can faintly see the shocking devastation that had gripped the Northern Province for the past decades. But, you also see smiling faces of people with new buildings, brightly-coloured guesthouses and even a pizza parlour to allure and dazzle you in Jaffna. Ready for a new beginning and a positive future, you see it in the eyes of the Jaffna people that they are ever ready to meet their countrymen from all corners parts of the country, to make friends.

On any given day, many devotees pay homage to the magnificent temples in Jaffna including the renowned Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil. In addition, take a trip to Kayts, Delft, Kakaraitivu, Chirutivu (Sirutivu) or the other islands to make your journey to Jaffna pleasant. The armed forces also do a great job of maintaining peace and have made Jaffna safer for travel anywhere so you needn’t worry.

As for food, Jaffna has some of the delicious dishes ever to try some mango-flavoured toddy at Manatthri made from palmyra liquid and savour succulent seafood including Jaffna crab. What’s more, no adventure is complete without mingling with the locals and understanding that they are very friendly and amiable people. This definitely sums up your visit to Jaffna making it a joy and a holiday to remember!

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