Typical Weather: Warm & Sunny
Distance from Colombo: 325 km
The Mannar Island is probably the driest, most barren area in Sri Lanka. The landscape features many baobab trees, introduced from Africa by Arab traders’ centuries ago.
Mannar, the major town on the Mannar Island, is at the southern end, joined to the mainland by a 3 km causeway. There’s nothing much to explore apart from its picturesque Portuguese/Dutch Fort and the beach area. Talaimannar, which is near the western end, is about 3 km from the pier that was the arrival and departure point of the ferry for India that operated until 1984. A little further west, an abandoned lighthouse at the South Point marks the start of Adam’s Bridge, the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka to India. In the epic Ramayana, the bridge was known as the series of stepping stones that Hanuman used to follow Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, in his bid to rescue Sita.