The island features an area of about 130 sq. km (50 sq. miles), which is mainly covered with palm trees, white sand, vegetation, fishing boats, and wild donkeys. Mannar Island, culturally, is a very fascinating place, where the island is lined with baobab trees, which are native to the African continent and is known to be grown by the Arab merchants.
The island also hosts various colonial structures that were constructed by the British, Dutch, and Portuguese. Fishing in Mannar Island is one of the most important activities on this island. The years between 1914 and 1964, the island featured a ferry and train link from mainland India to Colombia through Talaimannar and Dhanushkodi. But, this link stopped working post the damages caused by the cyclone that hit in1964. And in 2015, the Palk Strait Bridge was built to link mainland India to Mannar.
Along with this, there is also geographical evidence that the bridge acted as a connection between India and Sri Lanka through the land connection. There are a few attractions that are nestled in the area such as Adam’s Bridge, Mannar Temple, and more.
Things to do in Mannar Island
1.Our Lady of Madhu Church:
The renowned landmark in Mannar, Our Lady of Madhu Church is flocked by tourists from all over the country and the world. The church, featuring a Roman Catholic Marian shrine has a history of over 400 years. A pilgrimage and worship center in Mannar Island, this place is known to have an exceptional atmosphere that adds to the beauty.2.Baobab Tree:
A protected tree in the country, native to Australia, Africa, and Madagascar, Baobab Tree is known for its antiquity and rarity factor. According to a recent study, out of 40 Baobab trees in Sri Lanka, 34 of them are found mainly in the Mannar region. 3.Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya:
A unique tourist attraction site in the region, Thanthirimale Rajamaha Viharaya is Buddhists worship and a pilgrimage center, which attracts devotees and tourists from all around the globe. This site, along with showcasing historic and religious importance, it also boasts multiple things to do.4. The Doric at Arippu:
Renowned as the Doric, the bungalow was used as a home by the first Governor of Ceylon who was a Brit. This site is situated amidst natural vistas. The Doric now is visited by visitors who come here to admire the ruins of the monument which is truly scintillating. 5. Dutch Fort:
Dutch fort, also called as the Mannar Fort, was constructed by the Portuguese in 1560. And to improve the monument a bit more, the Dutch renovated the monument in 1696. The fort features architectural brilliance and multiple historic elements for visitors to admire. 6. Lighthouse:
Established in 1915, Mannar Island Lighthouse is a 19 meter-high poorly-maintained tower that was affected during the wars, which took place in the recent past. Once Sri Lanka got its peace back, the lighthouse was then repaired. 7. Keeri Beach:
Situated just 5 kilometers outside of Mannar in Sri Lanka, Keeri Beach is a serene place with long stretches of sand and features a palmyra forest, known to be home to a lot of monkeys. The surrounding location is filled with domestic animals and wildlife that grab the attention of nature enthusiasts.8. Adam’s Bridge:
Renowned as Rama Setu or the Rama’s Bridge, Adam’s Bridge was a former connection between two lands: Sri Lanka and India. Many people believe that Lord Hanuman built this bridge with his monkey army for Lord Rama to go get his kidnapped wife, Sita from the demon king Ravana. It is believed to be situated between Tamil Nadu in India and Pamban Island.