A Journey to the North of Sri Lanka

A Journey to the North of Sri Lanka

The train journey from Colombo to Jaffna is a mesmerizing voyage through the heart of Sri Lanka, offering travelers a unique perspective on the island’s diverse landscapes, culture, and heritage. Spanning approximately 400 kilometers, this scenic route takes passengers on an unforgettable adventure from the bustling capital city of Colombo to the historic city of Jaffna in the northern part of the island.

Departing from the iconic Colombo Fort Railway Station, the train meanders through lush countryside, picturesque villages, and verdant farmland as it makes its way northward. Passengers are treated to panoramic views of rolling hills, dense forests, and shimmering lakes, providing ample opportunities for photography and sightseeing along the way.

As the train travels further north, it passes through several notable cities and towns, each with its own unique charm and character. One of the highlights of the journey is the city of Anuradhapura, renowned for its ancient ruins, majestic stupas, and sacred Buddhist sites. Here, passengers can disembark and explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Anuradhapura Archaeological Site, home to some of Sri Lanka’s most significant historical and cultural landmarks.

Continuing on, the train traverses through the cultural heartland of the island, passing by quaint villages, bustling markets, and verdant rice fields. The journey offers a glimpse into the daily lives of local communities, with friendly smiles and warm greetings from fellow passengers adding to the experience.

As the train approaches its final destination of Jaffna, passengers are treated to breathtaking views of the Jaffna Lagoon and the iconic Jaffna Fort, a testament to the region’s rich history and heritage. Upon arrival at Jaffna Railway Station, travelers can explore the vibrant city center, visit historic temples and churches, or indulge in delicious Jaffna cuisine, known for its unique flavors and spices.

For foreign travelers embarking on this unforgettable train journey, there are a few essential things to keep in mind. Firstly, it’s important to book train tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to secure a seat on the train. Additionally, travelers should be prepared for long travel times, as the journey from Colombo to Jaffna can take upwards of 9-10 hours.

It’s also advisable to pack essentials such as water, snacks, and sunscreen, as well as entertainment like books or music to pass the time during the journey. Lastly, travelers should be respectful of local customs and traditions, particularly when visiting religious sites or interacting with local communities along the way.

Places you must visit when you are in Jaffna

1. Jaffna Fort: 

Built by the Portuguese in the 17th century and later expanded by the Dutch, Jaffna Fort is a prominent landmark in the city. Visitors can explore the well-preserved ramparts, bastions, and underground tunnels while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding area.

2. Nallur Kandaswamy Temple: 

One of the most significant Hindu temples in Sri Lanka, Nallur Kandaswamy Temple is dedicated to Lord Murugan. The temple’s elaborate architecture, intricate carvings, and vibrant religious ceremonies attract devotees and tourists alike.

3. Jaffna Public Library: 

Known for its iconic architecture and vast collection of Tamil literature, the Jaffna Public Library is a cultural hub in the city. Visitors can explore the library’s exhibits, archives, and reading rooms while learning about Jaffna’s literary heritage.

4. Keerimalai Naguleswaram Temple: 

Located near the scenic Keerimalai Springs, Naguleswaram Temple is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temple’s tranquil surroundings and natural springs make it a popular destination for spiritual seekers and tourists seeking relaxation.

5. Casuarina Beach: 

Situated along the northern coast of Jaffna, Casuarina Beach is renowned for its golden sands, clear blue waters, and swaying casuarina trees. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking while taking in the scenic views of the Jaffna Peninsula.

6. Jaffna Market: 

A bustling hub of activity, Jaffna Market offers visitors a glimpse into the local way of life. From fresh produce and seafood to handicrafts and traditional snacks, the market is a sensory delight where visitors can shop, eat, and interact with locals.

7. Point Pedro Lighthouse: 

Located at the northernmost point of Sri Lanka, Point Pedro Lighthouse offers panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding seas. Visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for breathtaking vistas and photo opportunities.

Whether exploring its historic landmarks, immersing oneself in its cultural heritage, or simply enjoying its natural beauty, Jaffna promises a memorable experience for travelers seeking to discover the charm of northern Sri Lanka.

In conclusion, the train journey from Colombo to Jaffna offers travelers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the beauty, culture, and heritage of Sri Lanka in a unique and unforgettable way. Whether marveling at scenic landscapes, exploring ancient ruins, or immersing oneself in the vibrant local culture, this journey promises to be an enriching and memorable experience for all who embark upon it.

FAQs about the train ride from Colombo to Jaffna

1. How long does the train journey from Colombo to Jaffna take?

The train journey from Colombo to Jaffna takes approximately 9 to 10 hours.

2. What are the different class options available on the Colombo to Jaffna train?

The train offers different class options including first class, second class, and third class.

3. Are there any scenic views or iconic landmarks along the route?

Yes, the journey offers scenic views of landscapes, villages, and occasional glimpses of wildlife. Iconic landmarks include historic bridges and railway stations.

4. Are there restroom facilities available on the train?

Yes, restroom facilities are available on the train, although they may vary in cleanliness and comfort.

5. What is the best time of year to take the Colombo to Jaffna train ride?

The best time to take the Colombo to Jaffna train ride is during the dry season, from December to March, when weather conditions are more favorable.

6. Can I bring luggage or oversized items on the train?

Yes, you can bring luggage or oversized items on the train, although storage space may be limited, especially in crowded carriages.

7. Are there any safety tips or precautions I should be aware of during the journey?

Some safety tips to consider include securing your belongings, especially in crowded areas, and being cautious when boarding or disembarking from the train.

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Memorable and enjoyable 15 days in Sri Lanka with Green Holidays The green holidays organised our whole trip to Sri Lanka according to our suggestions and requirements. We had a perfect, peaceful and enjoyable 15 days holiday. Pradeep and Rashmi booked the accommodation, vehicle for travel and the the driver/guide within a very short time. They were very prompt in responding to our messages and accommodating our last minute changes. The hotels they booked were comfortable, check in was so smooth and the service was good. We were able to do much more than we anticipated because of their coordination. Our guide/driver Romesh was very polite, trustworthy and punctual. We travelled with Romesh from Colombo to Batticaloa, Jaffna, Kandy and Galle in his car without any incidents and reached safely at the airport on time for our return flight. We thank Pradeep, Jay, Rashmi and Romesh for making our trip a pleasant and an enjoyable one.
Emmanuel P
Emmanuel P
Travel in peace and with Personal contact of Green Holidays We used the services of Green Holiday for our stay in Sri Lanka. They arranged the complete tour picking us up at the Bandaranayaka Airport and taking us to Jaffna, Batticaloa, Bentota, Colombo and Kandy including Ella. Green Holiday provided us with a Chauffeur/ tour guide ( Upul) who knew so much about SriLanka and its History and personally took care of our safety and was with us to ensure our check in at the hotels was flawless. Upul is a honest trustworthy person to rely on and was very caring. Thanks to Green Holidays for providing a knowledgeable person to be with us throughout the trip. We had the pleasure of dealing with Pradeep who planned out our trip to our liking with several changes requested by us and was available on the phone anytime 24/7 to discuss and review options. Rashmi from Green Holidays was our local contact in case of any emergency or for information once we were in in Sri Lanka. We were glad to have the assurance of a personal contact while on vacation. Green Holidays has earned our trust to make our vacation relaxing and trouble free. We recommend Green Holidays as a reliable trustworthy company to book your vacation packages. Their team worked vigorously to ensure our vacation is pleasant, memorable and safe.
Koushik S
Koushik S
We had such an amazing trip and we are back with lots of lovely memories. Thanks to Green Holiday for arranging a wonde We had been to Srilanka for 5 days and we did have such a fantastic trip. The whole place was very clean and the natural look was just fantastic
Sam B
Sam B
Great driver, great Organisation My boyfriend and i took a two week holiday on sri lanka. One week on road, one week beach holiday. Apart from a little mishap at the start when our arrival time was wrongly put at 09.30 instead of 05.30. However all it took was a quick phone to Dilan our driver who rushed to pick us up immediately. Due to delays on the way here and a little visa issue (always double check your passport numbers twice people) we arrived in the arrival hall at 07.30…once we had called the adventure began at 08.15. Dilan was an absolute godsend. Kept us entertained with facts about the areas we were visiting, made good conversation during our long journeys and got us there safe and sound every time. Dilan would also help us plan out our day and was honest enough when something was either gonna be a rushjob or whenever he felt we weren’t gonna get the best bang for our buck at a certain attraction. which we really appreciated, since we had completely missjudged the traffic and the distances on this journey. He also helped us handle check-ins and check-out and as we later found out when we made excursions of our own, he also kept pesky scammers away whenever we went to visit a place on foot. As for the rest of the trip everything went incredibly smoothly. Hotel staff were super friendly with us and safaris and other tour providers were informed well in advance so that we would literaly rock up, get into another car or jeep or were handed over to a local guide and be on our way right away. So long story short, we would like to thank Green Holiday and Dilan for making our trip the adventure of a lifetime and wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone traveling in sri lanka.
Robert P
Robert P
Skvělá zkušenost Naše zkušenost s touto společnosti byla skvělá. Náš pruvodce Upul byl velmi ochotný,trpělivý a vzdělaný. O historii Srí Lanky jsme se od nej dozvěděli snad úplně vše . Ten člověk znal odpověď úplně na vše opravdu úžasný průvodce a skvělý řidič. Mohu jen doporučit
Hana K
Hana K
Absolutely reliable company with best guides. First of all, this company we used for arranging our whole vacation in Sri Lanka worked just perfect. We had no issue whatsoever. For travelling around the island for several days we had a guide Upul. He just was the best! Not only he was driving us around safe, he also knew about history, gave us all the explanations in a very interesting way. He took us in many great, beautiful and even fun places, always stood by our side, guiding us through crowds to the most interesting points and telling us all the information - about history, religions, politics, traditions, nature, you name it. Upul was truly able to answer any question we had. On top of that, he was always smiling, in a good mood, treated us with dignity and patiency. We truly appreciated it and thanks to him and a perfect organization we had the best time in Sri Lanka. I also want to say, that the company manager got in touch with us on the second day, asking how satisfied we were with Upul, checking if everything was ok. It was a nice thing to do. Overall, I truly recommend this company if you want to spend your vacatin with no hassle and great guiding.
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