What to do and see in Mannar, Sri Lanka: The Best Places and Tips

December 12, 2017 Matilde Konrad

Discover the best top things to do in Mannar, Sri Lanka including Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, The Doric at Arippu, Mannar Island, Thanthirimale, Baobab Tree, Mannar Fort, Yodha Wewa, Adam’s Bridge, Thiruketheeswaram Kovil.

1. Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu

Madhu, Mannar district, Northern province, Sri Lanka, Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
45%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 52 reviews

Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu

Reviewed By Shobhana D

Though this shrine is venerated by the catholic community, its known to attract believers of other religious faiths too

2. The Doric at Arippu

Arippu, Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
30%
Good
58%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 39 reviews

The Doric at Arippu

Reviewed By Gayan P - Colombo, Sri Lanka

These are the ruins of a former British Governor's residence. Very approachable.Walking idstance from the road. Walk round the back and see the chunks that have fallen into the sea.
Be careful near the building as the structure is unstable. If you climb the stairs know that it's hollow underneath.

3. Mannar Island

Mannar, Sri Lanka
Excellent
31%
Good
37%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
3%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 77 reviews

Mannar Island

Reviewed By FazlyColombo - Colombo

Mannar is an Island off the Mainland Sri Lanka. However district of Mannar covers parts the Mainland.
Key sites you may be interested include
1. Silavaturai, Arippu, Coastal wetlands and archaeological sites
2. Vankalai Bird Sanctuary and beach
3. Silavaturai, Aripput and Vankalai coral reefs, undiscovered live corals
4. Talaimannar Pier, Adam Bridge, several archeological sites and Pesalai fishery harbour
5. Mannar Port and Mantai port
6. Madhu Church, religious sites
7. Vidattaltivu lagoon and extensive coastal habitat with mangroves
Climate & Geography
Avg Temperature
December - Feb 26C
April - June above 29C (Avoid going during this time)
Rest of the year - 28C
History
Talaimannar is 18 miles away from India and during good times was a centre of trade and sea routes. Baobab tress and donkeys are a reminder of this even to this date, that traders from Arabia frequented this place. The fact that dutch chose to build a fort also goes to prove its bygone hub status.
Kuweni, as the legend has it is from Thambapanni which is in Mannar district of Wilpattu reserve though not in the island. Adam's bridge or Hanuman's bridge also is there though there are no formal tours.
Modi went to Talai Mannar to initiate a train service back in 2015 is still showing its strategic value to be connecting point to the Asian Railway Network.
Wild Life
Mannar sees migratory birds during seasons, especially flamingoes. Wild donkeys and poneys too can be seen.
Coral reafs are also available. Again no formal tours
In past, mannar was famous for natural pearls; though it is not commercially done now at large scale.
Go to keeri beach
Economy
Economy is mainly based on fishing and agriculture.
Food
If you are in mannar, eat sea food. Prawns and cuttle fish are out of the world, but you need to get them fresh and cook. Only one proper resturant imo (Palmyrah). THough small shops also serve tasty curry.
I am told cargills has opened in mannar town; please check. If not, take plenty of water bottles.
Travel
No 95 petrol is available in the island, Last station apparently is in Madu.
Use TukTuk but discuss the rates prior to travelling. If difficult get help of a resident.
THere are air conditioned buses between mannar and Colombo. Leaves Mannar opposite Sri Lanka telecom.

4. Thanthirimale

Mannar, Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
58%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 28 reviews

Thanthirimale

Reviewed By Nadheera D - Ryde, Australia

This is a temple less visited by tourist but of great significance to Sri Lankans. The rock area is supposed to be 250 acres and there are rock inscriptions (sadly, now quite faded) from pre - historic times. It an amazing temple complex which has once housed meditating caves and a library. Large lake/pond is also within the premises. It is a bit of a climb and best visited before it gets too hot as the rock gets hot and makes it very hard to walk around this large complex.
The reclining Buddha is the best I've seen in Sri Lanka still retaining the details in spite of being open to nature.

5. Baobab Tree

Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
25%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
31%
Poor
4%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 47 reviews

Baobab Tree

Reviewed By indirakah - Colombo, Sri Lanka

It is very interesting to see such a giant of a tree and it's great this tree could be seen in Sri Lanka, when it's home is in the African Continent. It also gives a good idea of the interventions travellers made to bio diversity.

6. Mannar Fort

Mannar Town, Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
17%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
37%
Poor
2%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 40 reviews

Mannar Fort

Reviewed By parakrama_k - Battaramulla, Sri Lanka

Its a historical place in Mannar and, a must go location for the history lovers. Walking among the remains of the old fort gives one a taste of history. A pleasant evening walk with good views. I don't know why the authorities failed to display some information on the historical value of the location.

7. Yodha Wewa

Mannar, Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
16%
Good
41%
Satisfactory
38%
Poor
5%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 18 reviews

Yodha Wewa

Reviewed By PRABHU60 - Colombo, Sri Lanka

Giants tank or Yodha Wewa is a large expanse of Fresh water where the locals fish for fresh water fish. The water flows through several canals to the agricultural lands cultivating mainly Paddy in large scale.
A variety of bird life is seen in the adjoining Giants Tank sanctuary where you would have to go on foot ...

8. Adam’s Bridge

Mannar, Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
36%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
12%
Terrible
12%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 39 reviews

Adam’s Bridge

Reviewed By antonselvakumard - Jaffna

This 50Km sandy starch between Thalaimannar (Sri Lanka) and Rameswaram (India) is:
The Legend….
The link of History, Hinduism etc..
The hot spot of the Indian Ocean…
The Hatchery of Birds………..
Except….
a long boat ride under the hot sun.
The Thalaimannar Lighthouse is on the shore and as usual public and tourist can not access it.. But, you may enjoy fishing activities on the shore.

9. Thiruketheeswaram Kovil

Mannar Town, Mannar 41000, Sri Lanka
Excellent
5%
Good
35%
Satisfactory
50%
Poor
0%
Terrible
10%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 20 reviews

Thiruketheeswaram Kovil

Reviewed By Soma S - London, United Kingdom

This is a very ancient temple dedicated to the Hindu go, Siva. it may be the oldest religious site in the island, since there is a reference that it was present when Vijaya, the founder of the Sinhalese race arrived in the island. Religious rituals are believed to have been held almost unbroken for more than 2500 years.
The area is almost barren and sandy, and most of the .ocal population are Hindu devotees and officials associated with the temple.

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