Point Pedro

Point Pedro (Tamil: பருத்தித்துறை, romanized: Paruttittuṟai; Sinhala: පේදුරු තුඩුව, romanized: Pēduru Tuḍuva) is a town, located in Jaffna District, Sri Lanka, at the northernmost point of the island.

Point Pedro
පේදුරු තුඩුව
Sandika Amman Parameswari Temple, Point Pedro
Point Pedro
Coordinates: 9°49′0″N 80°14′0″E
CountrySri Lanka
DS DivisionVadamarachchi North
  TypeUrban Council
  ChairmanSabanayagam Raveenthiran (TNA)
  Total11.65 km2 (4.50 sq mi)
  Density1,044/km2 (2,700/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone)

Cotton is produced around Point Pedro in the fertile calcic red latosol soils. The eastern coast of Point Pedro forms a 3 mile wide, 20 mile long beach with sand dunes up to 100 feet high, extending to Thalayady. The porous soil has a water table deep underground with an estimated one billion litres of fresh water. The Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 raised the salt content of the ground water. The tsunami destroyed parts of the town and submerged some parts with seawater up to 4 feet deep.

The town came briefly under the control of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) during the early 1990s, until the Sri Lankan Army recaptured it in 1995.


The place name of Point Pedro is a corruption of the Portuguese "Ponta das Pedras" meaning "the rocky cape".[1] The name of the town in Tamil is Paruthithurai, which literally mean "Cotton Harbour". The harbor exported cotton to South India for centuries.[2]


Ancient history

Vallipuram, a village nearby was an ancient settlement with rich archeological remains.[3] During pre-colonial and colonial times Point Pedro was a trading port. There is a large number of people in and around Point Pedro who trace their families to local traders, called Sambangarar, 'சம்பாங்காரர்' in Tamil, meaning 'ship people'.

Portuguese history

There are several Catholic churches built around Point Pedro along the coasts and in Nelliady. Sacred Heart College is a major Catholic high school situated in Nelliady.

Point Pedro- Northernmost point of Sri Lanka

Dutch colonial history

In the 17th Century Philippus Baldaeus, a Christian missionary from the Netherlands, settled in Jaffna following the Dutch occupation of Ceylon. He documented the lives and customs of the Tamil people of Northern Ceylon. His studies were published in the Netherlands and later in Germany. In Point Pedro's market there is a stone inscription commemorating Baldeus giving lessons from the Bible under a tamarind tree. The tree was uprooted by a cyclone in 1962.

British colonial legacy

Wesleyan missionaries from Great Britain established schools in the area including Hartley College and the Methodist Girls High School.

There are American mission schools at Uduppiddy and Thunnalai.

Heritage sites

Heritage sites in Point Pedro include the lighthouse, the hill of St. Lourdes church of Thumpalai and Vallipuram temple.


Point Pedro has a small harbour, which is controlled by the Sri Lankan army. If the much-delayed and frequently re-planned Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project is completed, deepening the Palk Straits between India and Sri Lanka to allow larger ships to pass, rather than having to travel 650 km (350 nmi) around Sri Lanka, then Point Pedro and other ports in the Jaffna peninsula may see a significant increase in maritime trade, especially with India.


Schools in the town include Hartley College, Velautham Maha Vidyalayam, Vadamarachchi Hindu Girls' College and Methodist Girls High School.

See also


  1. Tennent, Sir James Emerson (1860). Ceylon: An Account of the Island, Physical, Historical, and Topographical, with Notices of Its Natural History, Antiquities and Productions. Longman, Green, Longman, and Roberts. pp. 535. point pedro.
  2. Sivasubramaniam, K. (2009). Fisheries in Sri Lanka: anthropological and biological aspects. Kumaran Book House. p. 261. ISBN 9789556591460.
  3. Journal of the Institute of Asian Studies. Institute of Asian Studies. 1994. p. 118.

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