THE ANCIENT MINISTER’S ABODE "MANTHIRI MANAI"
Visiting address: The Ancient Minister’s Abode "Manthiri Manai" stands majestically on the Point Pedro Road, Nallur in Jaffna and it is about 2.7 Km from Jaffna bus stand.
The structure known as the "Manthiri Manai" is a heritage site and surviving section of the Royal Palace complex and the land on which the "Manthiri Manai" stands is called "Cankili Thoppu". The “Manthiri Manai” existed in the North-West section of the Rajadhani.
In 1519, Cankili Raja (I) Cekaracacekaran usurped the throne of Jaffna and he offered to be the Arasan only in name and let Ilavarasan Paranirupasinghan Mudali run the Kingdom as the Chief Minister. But Paranirupasinghan Mudali had no choice, he accepted the position and served as the Chief Minister. The Manthiri Manai (Minister’s Abode) was formerly the "Official Residence" of the "Chief Minister Paranirupasinghan Mudali" son of Cinkai Pararacacekaran (1478-1519) and Valliammai Arasakesari.
In "Mathiri Manai" there is an ornamental gateway leading to the Ancient Abode and the main entrance is through a large arched porch. The existing two storey Abode structure is very unique, has a beautiful architecture and the interior structure has elaborate wooden carvings embedded with intricate designs. On the outside of the Abode there is a well and a concrete wash basin. Through the back of the Abode an entrance to a cellar in which there is a flight of stairs leading down to another room, itself linked to a third room by more stairs. The Abode has secret underground tunnels, which have been abandoned and were buried.
The Manthiri Manai is a blend of European and Dravidian architectural styles. The front part of the Manthiri Manai was later modified during the Dutch colonial period.