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Jaffna

Jaffna was the capital of a Tamil kingdom for centuries before it was conquered by Europeans, and the city still has many distinctive Tamil cultural characteristics. Jaffna fell under Portuguese rule in 1619 and was their last possession in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) before its capture by the Dutch in 1658. The name Jaffna is a Portuguese adaptation of a Tamil word meaning “port of the lyre.” A fort and a church remain from the Dutch period, and near the fort is a famous Hindu temple, Kandaswamy Kovil. 

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