Once you want to enter or leave Jaffna Peninsula, for sure you will be passing by Elephant Pass. It is located in the gateway of Jaffna Peninsula. The pass lies about 340 km north from capital. It has an important military base and used to be the island’s largest salt field. It was regularly the site of battles during the Sri Lan kan civil war. Elephant Pass connects the militarily significant town of Chavakacheri in the Jaffna peninsula to the Sri Lankan mainland.
The history of Elephant Pass
Elephant Pass has been a strategic military base since 1760. When the Portuguese built a fort, which was later rebuilt and garrisoned by the Dutch in 1776. Then later by the British. A modern military base was built there in 1952 by the Sri Lankan Army (SLA). At one time, the base and its outlying camps expanded to cover an area 23 km long and 8 km wide.
Why to stop at Elephant Pass
The Elephant Pass War Memorial is situated at Jaffna peninsula. You can find it right after you pass the Elephant Pass Saltern on A9 road. It has been constructed to commemorate late Corporal Gamini Kularathna. Who lost his life during his effort to safeguard the Elephant Pass camp in 1991. He actually jumped with hand grenades to the armour plated bulldozer filled with bombs to destroy the army camp.
It’s a patriotic place with a huge military importance in the life of Sri Lanka. You can visit the Memorial for free. Local soldiers will tell you stories and shows you informal videos and books about the importance of the place. Three bloody battles fought between LTTE and Sri Lankan army for this pass.
You can see the real armoured bulldozer which the brave soldier neutralised. As well as visit the Memorial built in remembrance of the soldier. Ceremonial respect given by soldiers to him every day at 6pm. It’s worth to visit in the evening as well to witness it.
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