The Gulf region of Sri Lanka, or Mannar, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the northern province. Therefore, we will give brief information about the things to do in Mannar. But before that, let’s see some information about Mannar
Mannar can be considered a grant district of the Northern Province which has an area of about 1990 square kilometers, was an area under terrorist rule during the war in Sri Lanka so tourists did not go there during that time. but nowadays tourists are more attracted to the north. The shortest sea route from Sri Lanka to India is through this area Accordingly, the distance from Mannar to India is only 32 km.
16 Best Things To Do In Mannar
Gulf of Mannar
Also known as the Gulf region of Sri Lanka is the Gulf of Mannar area. The word “Gulf” is used to describe a sea area with several specific topographies. A sea bay surrounded by two large territories protruding into the sea or a large sea border belonging to one country, several countries, or a coastline is called a “Gulf” region.
Thus, the area belonging to the sea area where Adam’s Bridge borders India and Sri Lanka can be called a gulf region. Because of this, the region has been named the Gulf region of Sri Lanka.
One of the best things to do in Mannar for tourists is to visit Kudiramale Point. It is a beautiful coastal point located in Wilpatthu National Park and belongs to the Mannar district. It is a plateau-like point protruding into the sea and there are many legends woven around it.
Its geological location is also unique and some of the tourists who come to Wilpattuwa do not forget to visit the wonder of Kudiramalai Point.
The soil around the area is red due to the mixing of metals. And for that, there must be soil coming out from a volcanic eruption or a meteorite collision. Looking at it like this, it is assumed that the soil is red because a meteor has fallen in this area. Visit here while you are traveling in this beautiful island nation
A boat trip to Adam’s Bridge can be a highly recommended thing to do in Mannar.
It is a bridge-like structure made of sand gathered around a natural limestone reef. According to a legend, this is the remains of a bridge built by Prince Rama to come to Sri Lanka from Tamilnadu to rescue his wife Seetha from King Ravana who kidnapped her to Sri Lanka.
Another legend is that this is a bridge built by Adam to go from India to reach Adam’s peak in Nuwaraeliya
Mannar Dutch Fort
Mannar known was as a trading city between local sellers and Arabs before being invaded by the Portuguese in 1550. The fort in Mannar city is also considered to have been built by the Portuguese. But today this fort is known as the Dutch fort. Nowadays it is also open for tourists and one of the best things to do in Mannar that tourists can find.
It is said that the viewing booth-like part above the ground level, which can be seen from the outside of one end of the wall, is also the place where the convicts were publicly executed. The Dutch who came after the Portuguese built a church, administration hall, court hall, graveyard, etc. here, and even the British who controlled Mannar Fort after the Dutch protected them without destroying them.
Before the Europeans interfered in the trade of the East, the Arabs dominated trade around the world. The baobab tree stands as a silent testimony to that past trade. The baobab tree with a large trunk growing in African soil is only seen in a few places in Sri Lanka. It is near the islands of Delf and Mannar.
It is believed that Arab traders brought this tree from Africa and planted it here. Camels used by Arab merchants for trade were also in Mannar at that time, but today there are no camels, instead, there are donkeys that they brought to transport goods. The baobab tree is also known as the ‘devil’s tree’ or the elephant tree. This baobab tree is about 800 years old. About 10.5 meters in height and 21.10 meters in circumference. It is said that there are about 40 baobab plants in Sri Lanka.
The baobab tree is also known as baobab bob, boboa, bottle tree, upside-down tree, and monkey bread tree.
The Doric At Arippu
The Doric bungalow at Arippu which was once the home of the first British governor of Ceylon, Governor Frederick North, is another one of the stunner-worthy things in Mannar. it is located about 40 kilometers south of the island of Mannar,
Today, the Doric bungalow has been declared a protected archaeological monument. Due to its exposure to coastal weather conditions, the building has fallen into disrepair.
Another thing to do in Mannar is visit Thanthirimale Temple, located in the Anuradhapura district, about 80 km from Mannar. The most beautiful sight in Thanthirimale is the Samadhi and reclining Buddha statues carved out of the huge rocks of Thanthirimale Vihara. The samadhi Buddha statue set up near the bo tree shows characteristics of the late Anuradhapura period. The eight feet tall statue looks unfinished and the two rows of unfinished Buddha statues on either side of the main statue confirm that the statue was built before the end of the Anuradhapura era.
Mannar Island is the largest island in Sri Lanka with an area of 50 square kilometers. The island is a tourist attraction largely due to what it can do there. On one side, the island is connected to Adam’s Island, and on the other side, it is connected to the granted land of Sri Lanka through a highway.
Ketheeswaram Kovilai is an ancient Hindu temple that is very popular among Sri Lankan politicians. Its history is considered to be more than 1400 years old. Many politicians and businessmen of Sri Lanka often visit this Kovil where they seek God’s blessings. Because of this, the majority of politicians who go to the north visit here.
This Kovil is a place built for Lord Shiva, and it is also a Kovil in Sri Lanka since before 600 BC. It is also the greatest Kovil of the Sri Lankan Tamil people.
Mannar Bird Sanctuary
Most famous for tourists visiting Mannar the Mannar Bird Sanctuary is a blessing in disguise for nature and wildlife lovers to watch a variety of migratory and native birds. It is a popular bird sanctuary and natural reservoir in Mannar and is the best place to see various species of birds, mammals, and other animals. Spread over an area of more than 4,800 hectares, the Mannar Bird Sanctuary is home to many migratory birds. This place was declared a sanctuary by the Department of Wildlife Conservation in 2008. More than 20,000 birds are hospitalized here during the migration season.
The sanctuary has been declared a Ramsar wetlands Site under The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance. Among the main birds seen here are Deccan avifaunal species, Crab Plover, long-tailed Shrike, Black Drongo, and Indian Courser.
The fishing village experience
Another thing that Mannar is famous for is fisheries. Thus, Mannar occupies a leading position in the production of dried fish. So during your visit to Sri Lanka, walking a fisheries village will bring you one of the best experiences. There you can experience the daily life of Sri Lankan fishermen, their fishing gear and dry fish production, etc.
Offering a breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean, Kerry Beach is the perfect place to swim and relax. This is an ideal location for travelers looking for a secluded beach. The blue water and the palm tree forest beyond the calm shores lead to a moment of calm and relaxation at the beach.
Shrine Of Our Lady Of Madhu
The Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu is one of the most famous Catholic churches visited by tourists regardless of religion. The church has a history of more than 400 years and it is located in a thick forest. Madhu event is a very famous festival among Catholic people and around five hundred thousand Catholic people participate in this. In 2015, the Pope visited Sri Lanka and participated in the divine service of the Madhu Church.
Talaimannar Sand Dunes
There are no deserts or such places in Sri Lanka. This country does not have such an environment because it is a small island and the sea around the island. But the sand hills of Thalaimannar have created such an environment to some extent. Although not a complete desert, you can experience several features of a sub-desert here.
Yodha Wewa Lake Sanctuary
The Yodha Wewa Sanctuary is a 10,700-acre nature sanctuary located about 20 km southeast of Mannar Island. Also, in 1954 it was officially designated a sanctuary. Many tourists visiting Mannar visit this sanctuary and the area around the lake has become their main place.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Is Mannar a safe destination for tourists?
- Yes, Mannar is generally considered safe for tourists. However, it’s advisable to follow local guidelines and be cautious, as you would in any unfamiliar place.
2. When is the best time to visit Mannar?
- The best time to visit Mannar is during the dry season, from May to September, when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are enjoyable.
3. Are there accommodation options in Mannar for various budgets?
- Yes, Mannar offers a range of accommodation options, from budget guesthouses to more upscale hotels and resorts, catering to different budgets.
4. Can I hire a guide to explore Mannar’s attractions?
- Yes, local guides are available in Mannar and can enhance your experience by providing insights into the history and culture of the region.
5. How do I get to Mannar from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka?
- The most common way to reach Mannar from Colombo is by road, and the journey takes approximately 5-6 hours. You can also consider taking a scenic train ride to nearby towns and then proceeding to Mannar by road.