Jaffnapatam, Or Jaffna. I. A peninsular district of Ceylon, on the N. W. coast, of irregular shape; area, 700 sq. m.; pop. about 220,000. It is traversed by two long and narrow lagoons, and the surface of the peninsula is unbroken by a single hill. Large fields of madrepore and breccia have been elevated near the shore in consequence of the gradual upheaval of the W. coast, and have formed shallow estuaries which contain large deposits of excellent salt. A still more abundant production is the palmyra, 200 trees to an acre being below the ordinary rate, and the number of palms is estimated at nearly 7,000,000, supplying food for nearly one fourth of the population. Water is scarce, but skilful irrigation favors the rice crops, and many fruits are raised in gardens formed of artificial mould. The sheep reared on the dry plains of the district are the finest of Ceylon, and cattle abound. The staple product is tobacco. The first crop of it needs high preparation, but three subsequent crops are obtained without additional manuring. It is chiefly sent to Travancore for account of the rajah of that place. II. A town, capital of the district, on the W. shore of the peninsula, in lat. 9° 47' N and Ion. 80° 9' E., about 200 m.
N. of Colombo; pop. about 8,000. It is protected by a fort, the best in Ceylon, consisting of a pentagon built of blocks of white coral and surrounded by a moat. The streets are broad and shaded by surca trees; the houses are of only one story, but are spacious and have fine verandas, and most of them stand detached in enclosed gardens. There are many fine buildings, including a church in the shape of a Greek cross and a mansion for the English commanding officer. The whole place resembles a Dutch town in its apparent cleanliness, and is singularly rich in flowers. Tamils and Moors reside in the native part of the town, and are intelligent and laborious tradesmen. Cotton cloth, jewelry, and cocoa-nut oil are manufactured, and there is much trade carried on in the bazaars.