The Department of Archaeology has launched a project to develop the Delft Island situated off the Jaffna Peninsula in the North of the country as a tourist attraction that is enriched with valuable archaeological heritage and conserve the significant sites and the development plan also will include provision of facilities of the tourists.
The Department of Archaeology is implementing the programme on a request made by Defence and Urban Development Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Under the programme, the locations that would be conserved include the Dutch Fort, Dutch Pigeon Nest, the Light House, the horse breeding center, a building used for keeping the horses, the irrigation complex, ancient Hindu Kovils, Buddhist archaeological complex, the boundary wall made out of corals and the area where wild horses still roam today.
Delft Island is a major tourist attraction in Jaffna district and the wild horses of Delft are believed to have come from a breeding stock maintained from the time of Portuguese occupation of the island. It has been identified that there are more than 500 wild horses in the lime stone rich island.
The horses in hundreds roam freely over the flat, limestone-rich windswept plains of Delft. However, during the dry season, the Navy detachment in the island provides water to the horses.