Story of Thambu Illam

“Illam” in Tamil means home and “Thambu” is our family name.

The house built by “Thambu Master” has been passing down through generations since the 1900’s. We at Thambu Illam welcome you to aged-old inheritance converted as a luxury heritage hotel in Jaffna.

Whether you are a first-time visitor or coming back to cherish childhood memories, relax in this quaint sanctuary located in the heart of the city that is encompassed by verdant greens and surrounded by virgin beaches.

A Rich Heritage in the Heart of Jaffna

“Illam” in Tamil means home and “Thambu’ is our family name. Originally the land was owned by Thoppu Thaiyalmuthu, the great grandmother of the current custodians. The land was passed to her daughters Amiritavalli and Sundaravalli in the 1900’s. Sundaravalli married “Thambu Master” who build the house that stands there today and they chose to raise their family here in this very home.

“Thambu Master” taught Maths and Latin at Jaffna Hindu College and in this house. “Thambu Master” and Sundaravalli had 11 children all of whom were born in this very same house. Their descendants live as far as Australia, Canada, Seychelles, United Kingdom and United States of America. Thambu family has been resilient and through the centuries having survived two world wars and a civil war.

The restorations of the family home started in 2012. The aim of the restoration was to keep the essence of our ancestral home while making it a place of luxury and comfort, where our guest could unwind, relax and enjoy the Jaffna Hospitality.

In 2018, the family decided to officially open the doors of their former home and welcome friends from across the globe. Jaffna hospitality is like none other. The aromatic smells of ground spices emitting from the traditional Jaffna dishes will make one stay even longer. Set off on an Eastern culinary experience from traditional dishes such as Jaffna Crab Curry, String Hoppers, Thosai accompanied by a variety of sambals and curries.

A great place to unwind, relax and soak up some culture.