A9 highway (Sri Lanka)

Last updated
A9 highway
Route information
Part of Asian Highway AH43
Maintained by the Road Development Authority
Length 321 km (199 mi)
Major junctions
South end Kandy
North end Jaffna
Major cities Kandy, Matale, Anuradhapura, Vavuniya, Jaffna
Highway system
Sri Lanka A-Grade Highways

The A9 Highway is a 321-kilometer-long (199 mi) [1] highway in Sri Lanka, which connects the central city of Kandy with Jaffna, a city on the northern tip of the island.

Sri Lanka Island country in South Asia

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is historically and culturally intertwined with the Indian subcontinent, but is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.

Kandy City in Central Province, Sri Lanka

Kandy is a major city in Sri Lanka located in the Central Province. It was the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka. The city lies in the midst of hills in the Kandy plateau, which crosses an area of tropical plantations, mainly tea. Kandy is both an administrative and religious city and is also the capital of the Central Province. Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. It was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1988.

Jaffna City in Sri Lanka

Jaffna is the capital city of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It is the administrative headquarters of the Jaffna District located on a peninsula of the same name. With a population of 88,138 in 2012, Jaffna is Sri Lanka's 12th most populous city. Jaffna is approximately six miles from Kandarodai which served as an emporium in the Jaffna peninsula from classical antiquity. Jaffna's suburb Nallur served as the capital of the four-century-long medieval Jaffna Kingdom.



The A9 highway in Killinochi District Hills On The A9.jpg
The A9 highway in Killinochi District

The A9 highway north-bound begins at Kandy, in the central hills. The highway begins at the heart of the city, next to the Kandy Lake. Within Kandy, it meets the A1, A10, and A26 highways.

The A 1 road is an A-Grade trunk road in Sri Lanka. It connects the capital city of Colombo with Kandy.

The A 10 road is an A-Grade trunk road in Sri Lanka. It connects the Katugastota with Puttalam.

The A 26 road is an A-Grade trunk road in Sri Lanka. It connects Kandy with Padiyathalawa.

It moves north through the hills to Matale. It passes Dombawela and Naula, before reaching Dambulla. At Dambulla, the A9 crosses the A6 highway. The A6 provides connection to Sigiriya, Habarana, and Trincomalee. Traffic between Jaffna and Colombo transfer between the A6 and A9 highways at this point.

Matale Town in Central Province, Sri Lanka

Matale often written as Mathale, is the largest town of Matale District of the Central Province, of Sri Lanka. It is 142 kilometres (88 mi) from Colombo and near Kandy. Surrounding the town are the Knuckles Mountain Range, the foothills were called Wiltshire by the British. It is a mainly agricultural area, where tea, rubber, vegetable and spice cultivation dominate.

Dambulla Town in Sri Lanka

Dambulla is a town, situated in the Matale, Central Province of Sri Lanka, situated 148 km (92 mi) north-east of Colombo and 72 km (45 mi) north of Kandy. Due to its location at a major junction, it is the centre of vegetable distribution in the country.

A6 highway (Sri Lanka) road in Sri Lanka

The A 6 road is an A-Grade trunk road in Sri Lanka. It connects Ambepussa with Trincomallee.

The A9 passes Kekirawa and Maradankadawala, before reaching the Anuradhapura-area. The A13 highway at Galkulama and the A20 highway provide access to Anuradhapura. The A9 meets the A12 highway at Mihintale. The town of Medawachchiya provides connection to Mannar and the historic ferry to India, via the A14 highway. Passing Iratperiyakulam, the A9 reaches the city of Vavuniya. The highway runs through the heart of the city. At Vavuniya, the A29 and A30 highways run to the east and west of the A9.

Anuradhapura City in North Central Province, Sri Lanka

Anuradhapura is a major city in Sri Lanka. It is the capital city of North Central Province, Sri Lanka and the capital of Anuradhapura District. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was the third capital of the kingdom of Rajarata, following the kingdoms of Tambapanni and Upatissa Nuwara.

The A 13 road is an A-Grade trunk road in Sri Lanka. It connects the Galkulama with Anuradhapura.

The A 20 road is an A-Grade trunk road in Sri Lanka. It connects Anuradhapura with Rambewa.

Passing Omanthai, Puliyankulam, Mankulam, and Murikandy, the A9 meets the A34, before reaching Kilinochchi. After passing the A35 highway, it crosses Elephant Pass, into the Jaffna Peninsula. The highway goes past Mirusuvil and Chavakachcheri on its final run up to Jaffna, the cultural centre of the north. In Jaffna, it meets many other roads, including the A32 highway. The A9 passes through the city centre and terminates at the Jaffna Fort.

Omanthai Town in Sri Lanka

Omanthai is a little town in North Sri Lankan district of Vavuniya. The last Sri Lankan army check point which divided the Government and LTTE controlled areas used to be in Omanthai for many years.

Puliyankulam Town in Sri Lanka

Puliyankulam is a town in Vavuniya District, Sri Lanka. A road going through this town connects Mankulam to Vavuniya. Another road going through Puliyankulam connects Nedunkeni, Oddusuddan and Mullaitivu to Vavuniya.

The A 34 road is an A-Grade trunk road in Sri Lanka. It connects Mankulam with Mullaitivu.


Civil war era

Due to the civil war in the north of the country between the Sri Lankan armed forces and Tamil Tiger rebels, the highway was closed in 1984. Since then, parts of the highway were at times under the control of the LTTE. After the cessation of hostilities between the two sides in 2001, the highway was ceremoniously reopened up to Kilinochchi with certain restrictions on February 15, 2002. [2] During the time, around 20% of the highway ran through the LTTE controlled areas.

Sri Lankan Civil War armed conflict in Sri Lanka (1983–2009) between the government and the separatist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

The Sri Lankan Civil War was an armed conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on 23 July 1983, there was an intermittent insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which fought to create an independent Tamil state called Tamil Eelam in the north and the east of the island. After a 26-year military campaign, the Sri Lankan military defeated the Tamil Tigers in May 2009, bringing the civil war to an end.

Kilinochchi Town in Northern, Sri Lanka

Kilinochchi is the main town of Kilinochchi District, Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Kilinochchi is situated at the A9 road some 100 km (62 mi) south-east of Jaffna. It was the administrative center and de facto capital of the LTTE until 2 January 2009, when troops of the Sri Lankan Army recaptured the city.

After fighting resumed between government forces and the rebels, the road was closed again in 2006. [3] After mounting a series of offensives against the rebels, the Sri Lankan Army brought the entire highway under its control on January 9, 2009, with the freeing of the strategic Elephant Pass area. This was the first time in 23 years that the government had full control of the entire highway. [4] [5]


On March 2, 2009, after demining along the highway was completed and damage done to the surface during the conflict repaired, the A9 Highway was reopened for troop movement for the first time since 1984. After an official function at Elephant Pass, the first buses carrying Sri Lanka Army personnel departed the Jaffna Peninsula at 9.04am. The military expected to reopen the road for civilians in April, which did happen. [3]

Asian Highways

Part of the A9 forms a section of the Asian Highways route AH43. AH43 is unsigned while on the A9. [6]

See also

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Battle of Kilinochchi 2008–09

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<i>Yal Devi</i>

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  1. Road Development Authority, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-04-28. Retrieved 2016-04-27. Class A & Class B Roads
  2. "Smooth sailing on A9 highway". The Daily News. 2002-02-16. Archived from the original on 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  3. 1 2 "A-9 opens". The Daily News. 2009-03-03. Archived from the original on 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2009-03-02.
  4. A9 REGAINED [ permanent dead link ], Daily Mirror
  5. LTTE's most fortified Northern garrison at EPS falls Archived January 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine ., Ministry of Defence
  6. http://www.unescap.org/ttdw/common/TIS/AH/files/wgm4/Countries/Status/SriLanka.pdf%5Bpermanent+dead+link%5D Status Paper on Asian Highway Sri Lanka


Coordinates: 7°17′52″N80°38′14″E / 7.297726°N 80.637267°E / 7.297726; 80.637267