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Point Pedro

An 8 - 9 hour drive up north of the country will lead you to a busy commercial town known as Point Pedro which is located in the district of Jaffna. Popularly dubbed as the northernmost point of Sri Lanka, the little town was once at the crossroads of conflict, changing hands between the Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) until the internal strife ended in 2009. Contemporarily the town has become a major commercial centre, sprawling with life. Moreover, Point Pedro still retains its colonial and religious heritage with intriguing structures that will beguile you considering the past it has been through. Coupled with one of the most scenic coast roads in the country, the commercial town never ceases to amaze.

Top Reason to Visit

The scenic views of the beautiful coastal road, coupled with historical and cultural significance in the form of colonial ruins like the Theru Moodi Madam and the spectacular religious monuments like the Vallipura Aalvar Kovil, will always leave you speechless. Thus making it the top reason to visit the amazing town of Point Pedro.

While You’re There

Picturesque views from sunrise to sunset:

Sri Lanka is known for its magnificent sunrises and sunsets, however, there is always a catch as you would normally have to choose what to witness due to the separated east and west coasts. Point Pedro, however serves to be unique, in that it is an ideal location to experience both, an amazing sunrise and sunset. The beautiful coast road that runs along the Munai beach and the Point Pedro Lighthouse creates a mesmerizing effect, making it all the more special to either stagger out of bed early in the morning or stay late in the evening at the beach.

Historical significance:

Even after a three decade long civil war, many colonial structures still stand today and even serves the same function as at its inception. One of the more notable structures is the Theru Moodi Madam, which dates back to the Dutch colonial period. Its purpose during the ancient times was to give temporary shelter for the weary traveller. This gateway like structure boasts of a number of mysterious and elaborately carved ruins that date back to colonial times. Even today it still serves as a temporary shelter for some local travellers. The walls of this ancient shelter tells intriguing stories of many past travellers and the society that dwelled within the town.

Unique places of worship:

Point Pedro is also famed for having a multi-ethnic society that coexists peacefully and is exemplified through the many places of worship seen throughout the town. There are several churches lined up along the road, two of the more unique ones being the St. Lourdes church and St. Thomas’s, still possessing its near original grandeur. Moreover, the Hindu Vallipura Aalvar Kovil, located just 5-KM from the central town area, is another unique place of worship that showcases a ‘gopuram’ (a monumental gatehouse tower, usually ornate, at the entrance of a Hindu temple) and is also known for hosting a celebratory water cutting festival in October.

A resilient society:

The people of the town can be considered one of the more resilient in the country. Facing great adversities, such as the three decade long civil war and the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004, the society has bounced back in such a way that the town’s past would not be so obvious for the outsider. It really is a treat to explore the busy town and the unique lives of the local people going about their day.

Insider Advice

Travel: Getting about in Point Pedro is not difficult since most places of interest are located close by to one another, so walking is the most logical option. Should you choose to hire a tuk-tuk though, the cost will be around LKR 150 to LKR 250 for most trips.

Weather: Point Pedro generally experiences the best weather for travelling during the months from January to March since the temperatures and humidity is just so. The other months, however, result in quite a harsh weather as the temperature and humidity climb, making it quite difficult to travel around the town.

Money: It is important to carry cash in hand with small notes like LKR 20s, 50s and 100s since credit and debit cards are largely unaccepted, apart from the supermarkets.

Clothing: When travelling around the town, it is best to be clad in casual / light wear since the weather can be hot and humid. It is important, however, to adhere to the conservative attire when visiting a place of worship.

Safety: The town is generally a very safe and friendly to outsiders, however, do make sure that you keep your belongings close by since it can get misplaced or stolen.

Meals and refreshments: Point Pedro has some simple hotels and shops for food that serve local cuisine scattered across the town.

All in all, Point Pedro may look like a simple town, however, is packed with an amazing society, along with great history, spectacular views of the Indian Ocean and unique places of worship.

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