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  1. Mannar
    ©BT Images The limestone shoals of Adam’s Bridge
  2. Mannar
    ©BT Images Leopards of Wilpattu National Park
  3. Mannar
    ©BT Images Doric House

A Mannar Adventure

Discover the splendors of the western belt of the island

Written by
Darrshini Parthipan

In the North, along the western belt of the island and amidst the vivid natural beauty of Mannar, there are hideem wonders to witness and experience.

Cruising through shurbland and paddy fields, one can immediately understand why Mannar is called the "Rice Bowl" of Sri Lanka. Syop by the Giant Tank, an ancient engineering marvel that has for centuries sustained this fertile landscape and helped farmers reap their harvests.

A century ago, the pearl banks in the waters off Mannar drew the attention of colonisers. Enticed by this prominent economic value, the Portuguese, Dutch and British left their footprints in Arippu. These ancient vestiges include the Doric House- the residence of the first British Governor of Ceylon, Fredrick North and the Arippu Fort.

Visit the Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya linked to the port where Arhat Mahinda landed. The sacred Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu is the abode of a miraculous statue where devotees from all faiths journey to from far and wide for worship. The historic Thiruketheswaram Kovil is one of the island's five sacred Ishwarams dedicated to God Shiva.

Journey along the causeway to Mannar Island; an isle of legend, fishing and bird watching. Be enthralled by a sprawling Baobab tree of the Mannar fort, planted by Arab traders. Witness the Adam's Bridge or Rama Sethu; limestone shoals that once connected India and Sri Lanka. Today, the bridge is popular for kitesurfing. Also, on the isle is the famed Adam's Tomb; an Islamic place of worship, believed to entomb Adam and Eve and the boat on which they are said to have arrived on to Talaimannar.

Further southwards is the notbale Wilpattu National Park. Catch a glimpse of leopards, elephants, slothy bears, wild deer and birds that make this sanctuary their home. Along the coast of the park is Kudirmalai or Thambapanni point; once a port that traded with the Romans and even the Biblical monarch, King Soloman. These coppary sands are believed to be the landing place of Prince Vijaya and his followers. Walk through the near by forestry and discover the palace of Princess Kuweni, who he married to ascend the Lankan throne. Trek, hike, drive and explore Mannar for am adventure of a lifetime. 

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