Fort Hammenhiel History
Hammenhiel is a small octagonal castle built into the sea. Also, it is located between the islands of Kayts and Karainagar of the Jaffna Peninsula in Northern Sri Lanka. The Portuguese built this fort in the mid-17th century and they called it Fortaleza do Caes (‘Fort Royal’). The fort was captured by the Dutch in March 1658. Also, they renamed it Hammenhiel (‘Heel of the ham’) due to their perception that the shape of Sri Lanka is similar to the shape of smoked ham. The Dutch rebuilt the fort in 1680 and used it for a garrison of about 30 soldiers. Also, the fort included a number of prisoner cells. After the British took possession of the fort, they used it as a prison.
Fort Hammenhiel Today
Currently, Fort Hammenhiel was being used as a hotel and owned by the Sri Lanka Navy. Cells in the old fort had been converted into guest rooms. You can reach Fort Hammenhiel by a short boat ride from the mainland (Karainagar). The hotel’s restaurant and reception area were in newly built buildings on the mainland.
How to get Fort Hammenhiel
Distance from Jaffna Railway Station 25km.
Path: Jaffna Town => Karainagar => Karainagar Jetty => Fort Hammenhiel Resort
If you are staying at a hotel in Jaffna town, you can hire a bike for rent per day from 1500LKR to 2000LKR. Most of the hotels have rental bikes or they will arrange a bike for you. This is the best option for backpackers.
By TukTuk or private car:
You can hire TukTuk or a private car in Jaffna town by bargain. There is no fixed price, it is different from driver to driver. If you are a budget traveler, this is expensive for you.
From the Jaffna bus station, you can find Karainagar buses. There are private and government buses running every 20min. This is a very cheap way to reach there but the Fort Hammenhiel Resort is located beachside and around 1km from the main road. So, you need to walk there. Also, some route buses don’t go through there and they stop at Karainagar Jetty.
- These buses go through the front gate of Fort Hammenhiel Resort.
- These buses stop at Karainagar Jetty.
Fort Hammenhiel Resort Reservation
To reserve any room at Fort Hammenhiel Resort, you need to book earlier to avoid disappointment. Currently, they only accept the direct booking and you can use their website for a reservation: forthammenhielresort.lk
Fort Hammenhiel Resort Rooms and Restaurant
The four air-conditioned guest rooms are furnished in a Colonial style with modern bathrooms and up-to-date amenities, such as satellite TV.
They serve delicious seafood and traditional dishes.