Velanai Island, also known as Leiden in Dutch, is a small island off the coast of Jaffna Peninsula in the North of Sri Lanka. There are number of villages within the island such as Allaipiddy, Mankumpan, Velanai, Saravanai, Puliyankoodal, Suruvil, Naranthanai and Karampon.
The Kayts Causeway is a road that brings you from Jaffna Fort across the water to the island town of Kayts. It’s a scenic drive through the lagoons with fishermen, birds and farmers. Traces of the civil war are still evident in Kayts, where there are a number of beautiful but dilapidated houses that were abandoned by their owners.
The causeway is just right above sea level Araly which is even more impressive. Flocks of seabirds follow you, the sound of the waves lingered in your ears and the moist ocean breeze refreshed you.
Once you there, you loved it. It’s a different world than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. across the islands, the breathtaking nature, passing lovely lagoons full of colourful birds and endless lonely beaches it felt like you traveled back in time. Experience sri lankan countryside as it was 20 years ago: no tourists, just a few lovely little country towns where locals are smiling and waving while you’re passing through.
On the road you can stop to see views of the well-preserved Dutch fort on Fort Hammenhiel Island, a 19th Century church and Kayts’ own Portuguese fort