I always feel enchanted, whenever I travel to Jaffna by bullock cart, bicycle, car, foot, helicopter, jeep, motorbike, plane, ship, train or even through Kilali lagoon during difficult times. Journey to Jaffna ~ may it be before the war, during the war or after the war, I always cherish the memories of Jaffna which is closer to my heart.
Jaffna which is beautifully called “Yaazhpaanam” in Tamil. It is famous for its unique architecture, tradition, cuisine, rituals and festivals. According to 2007 statistics, Jaffna district’s population was 650,720 (1,85,405 families). Jaffna district is geographically divided into Valikaamam, Vadamaraatchchi, Thenmaraatchchi and Jaffna Islands. It has an area of 1,025 square kilometres (approximately 395.8 square miles).
Jaffna as it today begins to bustle with visitors and new businesses. Beautifully woven Palmyrah products in bulk cross the Pannai Lagoon, and decorate the stalls. Old statues still stand in line as landmarks are cleaned and painted and polished. Travellers from the rest of the country storm the stalls to buy authentic Jaffna products
Bicycles ~ the common mode of transport for women, children and children in Jaffna take the lead as usual on highways, streets and alleys. Sometimes, the whole family travels on a bicycle which can be often witnessed in the Peninsula. Men and boys whistle and ride, if their bicycles do not have bells. Women, of course, ride carefully with full gear! “Wow! Women in Jaffna are so brave and manoeuver through vehicles without getting hit” mentioned by my fellow foreign journalist while visiting Jaffna in 2000.
“The heart that truly loves, never forgets people and place!"
Saravanamuththu Kanagaraj sells newspaper in the morning in Jaffna