Nilavarai Bottomless Well, Jaffna

The Nilavarai Well is a well located in the Nilavarai area in the Jaffna District of Sri Lanka. The significance of this well is that it is considered as a bottomless well, with the depth of the well not clearly determined. This natural underground water well is a must-visit spot in terms of things to do in Jaffna, or when you are traveling to the Northern territory of Sri Lanka.

The well is considered as an archaeological monument in Jaffna, and has some legends connected to it by both Buddhist and Hindu devotees.

nilavarai bottomless well
Nilavarai Bottomless Well, Jaffna

History of Nilavarai Bottomless Well

Researchers have found that the Niravalai Well used to be an age-old well that facilitated the irrigation and waterways within the Jaffna Peninsula. It was found that several tunnels lead away from the well at different depths, and these tunnels carry water towards different directions. It is also believed that one tunnel leads to the famous Keerimalai Hot Springs, also located in Jaffna.

Getting There

Located in the Nilavarai area, you can reach the Nilavarai Bottomless Well, in 50 minutes from the Jaffna city. Proceed towards the Point Pedro Road, and at the Puttur area, turn left on to the Puttur Road. Nilavarai could be reached after traveling for 2 kms along this road.

Nilavarai Well Facts

A recent expedition carried out by divers from the Sri Lanka Navy brought in some interesting discoveries about the well. The automated robot that was sent underwater was able to find the depth of the Nilavarai Well at 52.5 meters. This expedition by the Navy also revealed that the first 18.3 meters of the well contains fresh water, while the water below this level was found to be salty.

nilavarai bottomless well history
Nilavarai Bottomless Well Facts

Things to Note

The well was open for bathing and swimming until the recent years, but several drowning-related deaths have led to the well being closed for bathing at present. The Naval expedition mentioned earlier was able to spot a few carts that had fallen into the well, while a separate group of divers were able to discover a dead body from the deep waters.

Therefore, it is important to note that the Nilavarai Well Puttur is a mystery of its own, and leaving it as it is would be the best course of action. It is also important that all visitors to this venue – one of the most famous attractions in Jaffna – need to preserve the condition and surroundings of this well so that future generations would get a chance to see and learn about its history.

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