North and Jaffna


Virtually all ground transport between Colombo and the north funnels through bustling vavuniya (vow – nya). For traveler, a stay

here is a convenient way to break up a trip from the south to Jaffna. It is scruffy truchers town with no real sight, but an afternoon here isn’t unpleasant.

The town arcs around an attractive tank that’s best observed from kudiyirippu pillaiyar kovil, a sprawling ganesh temple with a very ornate, if faded goparam (gateway tower) and a gold – clad image in its sanctum. The beautiful grand jummah masque is awash in aqua with shiny gold onion domes.

Vauniyas archaeological museum is modest but some of the 10th -15th century terracotta figures are delightfully primitive while the central hexagonal chamber has some fine 5th to 8th century Buddha status in Mannar limestone

The quietly charming madukanda vihara is a Rs 150 three-wheeler ride from town, 3km alone the A29 it was reputedly the fourth resting point in the 4th century journey of the sacred Buddha tooth rilic from India to Anuradhapura. The ancient ruins are upstaged by the white dagoba and 150 years old bodhi tree.