Delft Island

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Travel Voice -

Delft Island has for long been a prominent landmark renowned for its natural and historical significance. Untouched by the ever-growing modern world, it is a primitive locale dotted with simple houses, fenced by coral walls. Although many refer to it as the Delft Island, as per the Dutch, the island is commonly recognised as ‘Neduntheevu’ by the locals. The small island is located south-west of the Jaffna peninsula, surrounded by the stunning blue waters of the Palk Strait.

Delft Island is a treasure trove of iconic attractions, some of which include;

  • A massive Baobab Tree - It is a 700 year old tree, supposedly planted by Arab Traders during the 7th century. The center of the tree is hollow and the bark resembles an elephant’s skin.
  • A Giant’s footprint - As per folklore, it is assumed to be Adam’s footprint imprinted on the rock, whereas some believe it to be the footprint of God Hanuman.
  • A growing rock - The rock is claimed to naturally grow a few inches every year. Due to its shape of a cobra, the rock has been converted into a small shrine and worshipped by locals.
  • Ruins of Ancient Stupas - Dating back to the Chola Dynasty, the ruins of 3 Buddhist stupas and 2 small shrines can be explored.
  • A Pigeon Cote/ Dovecote - It housed trained messenger pigeons, who were used by colonists as a mode of communication.
  • A Large Banyan Tree - A single tree that has extended to create a phenomenal forest of vines.
  • The Queen’s Tower - A charming dutch-built lighthouse. A fire was lit at the bottom of the tower, which was carried upwards through the tunnel to create a beacon for ships out at sea.
  • Ruins of Dutch Horses’ stables - Delft Island is famed for its freely roaming herds of horses inhabiting the area. Horses were originally brought to Sri Lanka by the Portuguese. The remnants of the stables used during the time are still evident.
  • A Dutch Fort - a fort built by the Portuguese and later fortified by the Dutch.

To visit the island, you can board the Navy-operated ferry service at Punkudutivu which leaves at 9 am. The return ferry from Delft Island is at 2.30 pm daily.