Velanai Island(Tamil: வேலணை), also known as Leiden in Dutch, is a small island off the coast of Jaffna Peninsula in the North of Sri Lanka. There are number of villages within the island such as Allaipiddy, Mankumpan, Velanai, Saravanai, Puliyankoodal, Suruvil, Naranthanai and Karampan.
The majority of the people are Hindus along with a minority of Christians. There are number of Hindu Temples along with few Church. The village is also served by a dozen schools. Sir Vaithilingam Duraiswamy a well known member of parliament during the British colonial period and his son Yogendra Duraiswamy a Hindu activist and well known diplomat were born in Velanai.
The name Velanai is believed to have been derived from the name of the Tamil god Velan(Tamil: வேலன் (Murugan(Tamil: முருகன்)). Because god Murugan worship is so popular among all the peoples in Velanai.
Velani is located at 9°24′N79°32′E / 9.40°N 79.54°E / 9.40; 79.54. It is surrounded by the Palk Strait and at a distance of 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south-west of Jaffna town. Though most of Velani district is a level plain and also has maximum elevation of 15 metres (49 ft) above mean sea level. The total area of this island is nearly 36 km2.
^"AdministrativeMap"(PDF). United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Sri Lanka. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Sri Lanka. 28 May 2007. Retrieved 13 Aug 2007.