Nagadeepa or Nainativu is one of the smallest island in the Gulf of mannar. The only way to the island is via a boat. It is both a place of religious significance and beauty. It is one of the places in Sri Lanka that they Buddha was said to have visited by the Great Chronicle of Mahavamsa. The island is sandy and flat and is home to a lot of palm trees. The island is located abt 30 km away from Jaffna. There are two main jetties in order to enter the island , one leads to a hindu temple and the other to the Nagadeepa Vihara.
The island was earlier visited by mechants who wanted to buy conch shells. However the major historical event was the Buddha’s visit to Nagadeepa to settle a dispute between the two kings of the Nagas Chulodara and Mahodara. Since the Buddha advocated non-violence and compassion somehow he was able to make the kings settle the dispute. The Kings later presented a throne to the Buddha who kindly refused and is now enshrined in the Nagadeepa Stupa and thus makes it one of main places of travel for Buddhist pilgrims.
One of the most visited holy places for Buddhists. The Vihara houses two very ancient artefacts which are placed strategically at the entrance on either side. A large ancient anchor and a big stone with an inscription written by King Parakramabahu I.
The stupa of the vihara enshrines a throne that was built by the two kings who wanted to express their gratitude to the Buddha who refused the token of appreciation. The Hindu Temple is also a major attractions with its distinctive red and white walls.