From VVT, the coast road curves east to Point Pedro. This area was devastated by the 2004 tsunami; locals say fishing boats were found 1km inland. The shoreline is beautiful, with a narrow white-sand beach and a coral reef offshore – the sea is too shallow for good swimming however. You’ll pass a succession of tiny fishing hamlets, where large rays, sharks as well as snapper and barracuda are harvested from the ocean, their flesh sun-dried in neat rows by the road.
Ramshackle Point Pedro is the Jaffna peninsula’s second town; it has a few faint hints of a lingering colonial style and was hit hard by the 2004 tsunami. It’s still a very poor settlement; you’ll struggle to find anywhere to eat. From Point Pedro bus station walk 100m south and then east, passing a curious stone tollgate that locals claim dates from the Dutch era. Some 500m beyond, turn left towards the sea up St Anthony’s Lane and past the town’s two finest churches. The coast road continues 1km east to Point Pedro Lighthouse (off limits; no photos), beyond which the fishermen’s beach becomes wider. The nicest area of Munai Beach is nearly 2km further on, as are some attractive views of Vadamaraadchi Lagoon. Three-wheelers from central Point Pedro charge Rs 200 one-way to Munai Beach.
Further southeast is the much-revered Valipura Kovil, 5km from central Point Pedro. Its gopuram is painted in an unusually restrained colour palette and the temple interior has some very pretty Krishnas. It’s famous for the boisterous, recently revived water-cutting festival in October, which attracts thousands of pilgrims. Puja is at 7am, 9.30am, noon, 4.15pm and, on Sunday, 6pm.