King Cankili Archway and Mantri Manai

Although the Jaffna Kingdom was once an independent domain in the north from the 13th century to the 17th century, there are just a few remnants that hark back to the glory days. Two particular monuments are the King Cankili Archway and the Mantri Manai, which are believed to be have been built in the latter stages of the kingdom period.

King Cankili Thoppu Archway

Built by King Cankili II in the year 1619, the King Cankili Thoppu Archway is believed to be the façade of the royal palace of the king. Although the archway is the only remaining structural edifice of the complex, the ruins of the foundations indicate what the palace would have looked like.

Mantri Manai

Just like the façade of the royal palace, the Mantri Manai is also a significant monument that belonged to the Jaffna Kingdom. According to archaeological excavations, it is believed that the complex was used by the ministers of King Cankili II. Built in the 17th century, it was one of the few structures that were not destroyed during colonial rule.

❂ Useful Tips:

  • It would be advisable to ask a local tour guide to show you around the place.
  • Look for the inscription to King Cankili in the carvings of the archway.