A sacred islet in the north
Nainativu, or Nagadeepa as it is referred to in Sinhala, is one of Sri Lanka’s most visited islets and holds a significant place in two of our island’s religious histories. For Hindus, the Nagapooshani Amman Kovil is referred to in a number of ancient texts as one of 64 Shakthi Peethams in South Asia, or shrines dedicated to Shakthi, the Hindu goddess of power. And for Buddhists, the Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya is revered as a holy Buddhist site where the Buddha is said to have once settled a disagreement between two kings of the ancient Naga inhabitants.
The journey to Nainativu from North Gate by Jetwing takes you across two interconnected islands on the peninsula, to the Kurrikaduwan Jetty in just over an hour by road. Here, a crowded ferry awaits passengers to embark on a 15-minute journey to either the Nagapooshani Amman Kovil, or the Nagadeepa Purana Viharaya. Both sites serve as entry and exit points to Nainativu, while you may choose to walk or take a short tuk-tuk ride between them for a complete experience.