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Point Pedro

Landmarks · Sacred & Religious Sites
Point Pedro is a town, located in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka, at the northernmost point of the island.Cotton is produced around Point Pedro in the fertile calcic red latosol soils. The eastern coast of Point Pedro forms a 3 mile wide, 20 mile long beach with sand dunes up to 100 feet high, extending to Thalayady. The porous soil has a water table deep underground with an estimated one billion litres of fresh water. The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 raised the salt content of the ground water. The tsunami destroyed parts of the town and submerged some parts with seawater up to 4 feet deep.The town came briefly under the control of the Tamil Tigers during the early 1990s, until the Sri Lankan Army recaptured it in 1995.EtymologyThe name of the town in Tamil is 'Paruthithurai', which translates to 'Cotton Harbour'. It has exported cotton to South India for centuries.HistoryAncient historyThe nearby Vallipuram (Water City) Temple was a complex of Hindu temples similar to 'Angkor Wat'.During pre-colonial and colonial times Point Pedro was a trading post. There is a large number of people in and around Point Pedro who trace their families to local traders, called Sambangarar, 'சம்பாங்காரர்' in Tamil, meaning 'ship people'.Portuguese historyThere are several Catholic churches built around Point Pedro along the coasts and in Nelliady. Sacred Heart College is a major Catholic high school situated in Nelliady.
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Side trips from Point Pedro

Duration: 1h 30 min

Places to visit with Point Pedro