my last visit to Vanni I had the time and privilege to spend more time
in Kilinochchi unlike during my previous trip, when I stayed most of the
time in the Mullaitivu district.
I am pleased to state that Kilinochchi is now blessed with a lodge quite
rightly called the A-9 Lodge as it is situated on the A-9 road or
otherwise called the Kandy Road. The great advantage in this is that it
is in the heart of the town of Kilinochchi and those who opt to stay
there have all the amenities within a walking distance. For example the
shopping area, the post office, the police station, the banks -
Thamileelam Bank, the Peoples Bank, and the Bank of Ceylon- are in the
same vicinity. If one wishes to go for a swim then the Kilinochchi
tank is only 300 metres away. The road to Vaddakkachchi passes by the
side of this tank. On the other side of this road is the main irrigation
channel that carries the fresh and sprinkling water to all the paddy
fields up to Kunchu Paranthan. I always made it a point to take a dip
every day in that main channel. It is not dangerous at all. The swimming
record of mine is only two metres. The depth of the water is only around
four feet at its maximum and the flow is not that forceful either. It is
almost stagnant I could say for all practical purposes. It is quite safe
and refreshing to bathe in it. One should take a dip in that water to
experience the rejuvenating effect of that clean and running water.
There is no facility to take a dive into that channel. But if one is
very keen he or she could do so on the other side of the road. There one
could stand on the concrete structure for the sluice gate and take dive
from there if one is very keen to impress the partner, girl or boy
friend. But I would not recommend it and it is not my cup of tea - not
at 70 anyway.
When it comes to food, unfortunately there is no restaurant run by the
lodge; not at present. But they are planing to incorporate one in the
near future. However I hasten to add that there is a very nice hotel in
close proximity to the Lodge. However the management will be only too
pleased to arrange the food catered from that hotel on the request from
the occupants free of charge. I have patronised this hotel almost four
or five times a week (rest of the days I managed to scrounge free meals
from my old innocent friends). I can assure you that the food is superb,
particularly the fish and the mutton curries are excellent. The fishmeal
- rice with three vegetarian dishes, Pappadam, Rasam or Sothi (no no you
can't have both) and fried chillies - costs only Rs.35.00. The same meal
where the fish is replaced with mutton then you have to pay Rs.45.00.
You get a free refill if you need more. My wife and I found the first
serve itself to be too much for us. In fact she suggested that we buy an
ever-silver "tiffin" carrier and get one take away meal so
that it would suffice for both of us - typical Jaffna woman's thoughts.
Oh! God for heaven sake one meal costs only Rs.35.00 and it is only 24p
or nearly 0.36 cents in USA. But I felt proud of our women's thrifty
The rooms are quite spacious, neat and tidy. The "Class I"
rooms have double beds and attached bath rooms with fully tiled walls. I
tried the mattresses and found them quite comfortable. The "Class
II" rooms are supplied with single beds and the bathroom is common.
But all the beds are supplied with mosquito nets. Since the Lodge
is about 100 metres away from the main Kandy Road there is no traffic
noise as such. The "Class I" rooms cost Rs.1000.00 and
"Class II" Rs.750.00 per night.
There is a big hall in the centre of the building, where there are
dining tables and chairs provided for the consumption of meals. Now I
understand why the "Tiffin Carrier" idea bloomed into my wife.
Outside this hall there is a common room on an open veranda where one
could relax and do some reading if one feels like it.
The number of their telephone is : 071345629
Anyone who wishes to make their reservations can do so by ringing the
There is a telephone facility within 200 metres of
the Lodge, where one could go and book their calls to any part of the
world. I was told that a call to England would cost Rs.34.00 per minute
and Rs.10.00 to Colombo.
The address of the Lodge is :-