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|Year and Month||March, 2012 (16th to 19th)|
|Number of Days||3 and half days|
|Crew||2 persons (me and wife)|
|Accommodation||District Secretaries officers rest booked through a friend at the kathcheri|
|Transport||Lite Ace van|
|Activities||Visit the interior of the kilinochchi district to see development and destruction and LTTE bunkers|
|Weather||Excellent. Avoid rainy season as most roads are good but gravel roads. May get muddy and will need a 4 wheel drive.|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
The Black and White sides of the district. Visit interior of the district away from the A9 road to see the Destruction of the war and current development
As most visitors see new awakening of Kilinochchi along the A9 road we decided to stay few days and travel inside to see the area.
We started the journey to visit to Kilinochchi on the 16th of March 2012 evening at 1.30 PM noon time and decided to spend the night at Anuradhapura and to leave to Kilinochchi in the morning next day to save time.
Both of us arrived at Anuradhapura Sarvodaya center at 6.30 pm and rested. Early morning we left at 6.30 AM from Anuradhapura to Kilinochchi
Had a good breakfast at the famous Nelum Kole Bath kade restaurant at Rambawa. (A9 road). Food was clean, cheap tasty and almost many travelers stop for a meal there.
Arrived at Kilinochchi at about 10.30 am and went to Katchcheri to meet a friend who booked a room for us at the District Secretary’s rest. It was Rs 500/ a day clean room with attached bath and fan mosquito nets..
Normally it’s reserved for officers on circuit but we were lucky to get it as all hotels and Inns at Kilinochchi charge Rs 1500/- to Rs.2000/-non AC and 3500/- for AC rooms which were too expensive for us.
NOW an awakening town
Kilinochchi District was created as the 25th administrative district of the country in 1984 which was earlier came under the purview of the administrative district of Jaffna.
The City of Kilinochchi was established in 1936 as part of a colonization project that sought to ease overpopulation and unemployment in Jaffna.
According to interpretations Kilinochchi name was derived as of as Giraa-Nikey (or Giraa Nochchiya), meaning the Nika (Vitex negundo) trees that formed a ‘sanctuary Kilinochchi’ or roost for a large flock of parrots Giraawas (‘birds’).
Kilinochchi is considered as one of the most important strategic locations of the country which inherits a longstanding political, socio-economic and cultural history.
Total extent of land area in Kilinochchi is nearly 538 square miles with a population of 150,000 according to the recent unofficial census in 1998.
The Britishers wanted to improve the communication and literacy level of the people in the North. In the 1930 s there had been only a few families in Kilinochchi.
The people outside were reluctant to reside at Kilinochchi due to the threat of Malaria.
Kilinochchi is the one of the coolest towns in the hot dry zone, because of the tank in its heart. The tank covers approximately an area of 4km to 4km, containing a large catchment area. Highly populated, with lots of boutiques, shops and traders. The general temperature is about 32 degrees Celsius, varying in the daytime and night. The general rainfall is about 1250 to 1500 mm per annum. The elevation of Kilinochchi is 150 m from mean sea level.
Kilinochchi city is situated along the Jaffna-Kandy A 9 main road and from Kilinochchi its only 60 km to Jaffna, towards North and to the South 50 km to the next biggest town called Mankulam and to the East is Mullaitivu District and to the West Pooneryn.
Population is about one and a half million in the town limits. Initially Kilinochchi area was under the Jaffna district, but by the speedy development and expansion, the government had to segregate Kilinochchi from Jaffna district and establish a new district called Kilinochchi district in 1984.
Most of the district was under the control of LTTE up till October 2008.
The Pooneryn peninsula in the northwest of the district was the venue for a large number of conflicts during the civil war Sri Lankan Army 15 November 2008 re-captured from LTTE
By January 2, 2009, the SLA captured the Kilinochchi town and had control over a large part of the district
Kilinochchi is also considered as one of the key environmentally important locations of the country. All the streams which starts from the jungles South of Kilinochchi flow to the huge Iranamadu tank, which is the third biggest tank in Sri Lanka
It’s mentioned by Reverend Ellawala Medhananda Thero that Iranamadu tank (Ranamaduva Tank) was constructed by King Sadhatissa.
After lunch and rest we went to the Iranamdu tank,
A viewing gallery is constructed at the site by the army. Three bus loads of visitors were there when we went to the site.
Iranamdu tank, provides water to fertile Kilinochchi soils up to Elephant Pass and Pooneryn through a systematic irrigation network which is controlled by various anicuts and sluice gates
Close to the tank at the left side a huge building with set of irrigation pumps are housed constructed by the LTTE which supplied water to town and for irrigation.
The next visit was to the Bunker that Tamil Chelvan was living and was killed.
It’s about 1 KM from the Iranamadu tank on a gravel road towards north
Could not go inside as rain water filled inside the underground Bunker.
Our next visit was to Ramanadpuram Wattakatchchi area to visit the Bunker where Velupillai Prabakaran used to meet his cadres in Kilinochchi to discuss battle plans.
We obtained permission to see inside
The outside appearance is like a normal house.
INSIDE THE HIDE OUT BUNKER OF THE COWARD PRAPBAKARAN.
According to the military the bunker has been in existence for about 15 years, The high ranking LTTEers had their meetings with Prabakaran was held at this place.
It’s said that ferocious dogs too were there and no outsiders was allowed to enter.
Next we traveled east of Vattkatchchi to other side of Iranamadu tank.
An airstrip of the LTTE was now being developed by the Sri Lanka Air force to be used as a regional air port.
After having obtained permission from the Commanding of the Air Force camp we entered the camp.
It was late 6.30 PM when we arrived at the rest room in Kilinochichi town.
Nest day we set out to travel towards Pooneryn. And we took the Left turn at Paranthan Junction.
It was a newly constructed road but NOT tarred or carpeted.
The northern terminus of the A 32 route along the north-western seaboard of Sri Lanka, the town of Pooneryn or the place referred to in local historical records as ‘Punakari’, is on the south shore of the Jaffna lagoon. It has now become the focal point in our mass media after its recapture by the Sri Lankan Forces on November 13.
It is not known exactly when people first inhabited Pooneryn. However, the strategic importance of this place was first observed by the Portuguese and then by the Dutch mainly for the protection of their interests in Jaffna and from any possible invasion by the troops of the Sinhalese kings or by Wanniars. It is timely to see how this north-eastern seaboard of the island gained attention during the colonial past, particularly during the Dutch administration.
The peninsula Jaffna is connected to the mainland of Sri Lanka by a narrow stretch of land.
Poonaryn is historically important because of its fort constructed late in the Portuguese administration and built upon by the Dutch when they took over.
Later, in 1805 it was converted to a rest house by the British. W. A. Nelson in his work The Dutch Forts of Sri Lanka records in 1984 that ‘much of the fort structure, very overgrown, still stands combined with remains of the rest house’. From 1983, following the upheavals in the north, Pooneryn has been occupied by the Sri Lankan Army. Subsequently it became a LTTE controlled area for about 15 years and regained after a great victory achieved by the Sri Lankan Army on November 13, 2008.
From there we proceeded to Sangupiddy Bridge linking Pooneryn and Jaffna opened on January 12, 2011 The Sangupiddy Bridge which will connect Pooneryn and Jaffna.
Next we visited Kalmunai point near Pooneryn which was used by the LTTE to shell the Palaly airbase. Permission has to be obtained at the start point to K point. An army officer is detailed to travel in the vehicle for security reasons.
As it was getting dark we returned late in the night to Kilinochchi via Uruthipuram road connenting to A9 at Karadi junction. This area was very famous for bears. The Tamil translation of bear is Karadi.
This was the famous place called Karadi Bokku in the heart of the city where in by-gone days bears used to come to drink water. The petrol station at Kilinochchi is at this junction
Next day it was to visit Lumbini Viharaya which was reconstructed & restored according to its original grandeur declared opened on the Vesak day on 08th May 2009.
Towards the town centre, enclosed by a short wall it appeared right by the main road with large Bo Tree is The Lumbini Viharaya. It revealed a little known link between the temple or rather the Bo tree with a legendary event in the annals of history. It is believed that in the 3rd Century BC, Theri Sangamitta on her voyage to Sri Lanka from India bearing the sacred Bo sapling spent her first night of rest at this site along with her entourage
It is mentioned that a segment of the sapling was planted before being taken to Anuradhapura where it stands famously today. The Lumbini Viharaya in effect bears the significance as the first site in the Island, where the sacred tree has taken root and it remarkably prevails to this day, unharmed. While its immediate surroundings have often been subjected to destruction, the proof of the tree’s sole existence is regarded a blessing.
By 10.AM we left KILINOCHCHI to Colombo and arrived at about 6.30PM in the evening after a
covering a distance of 830KM for three days Colombo Kilinochchi and travel within the district