Mannar is a district rich in culture and history with a number of important sites such as the Mannar Fort, Doric Bungalow – the residence of the first British Governor of Ceylon, New Talaimannar Lighthouse and Ancient Mathota Harbour Complex – one of the most significant and famous ports in ancient Sri Lanka.
Apart from heritage, Mannar is also a picturesque location abundant in flora and fauna. Popular natural attractions in Mannar include the Baobab Tree – one of the largest trees in the country based on circumference, Madhu Road National Park, Mannar Bird Sanctuary – a popular sanctuary for the migrating waterfowl and Adam’s Bridge Marine National Park – a location with evidence of a land connection between Sri Lanka and India which dates back to the Ramayana.
Mannar has a number of famed religious sites such as the Thiruketheeswaram Kovil – a temple believed to have a link with the Ramayana, Shrine of Our Lady Madhu – one of the most sacred and important pilgrim sites for Catholics in Sri Lanka, St. Sebastian’s Cathedral – the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Mannar and Mathota Raja Maha Viharaya – a historically significant and ancient Buddhist temple.
With a diversified range of natural and historical places to see, Mannar should be a part of the itinerary during a visit to Sri Lanka.