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Asia > South Asia > Sri Lanka > Northern Province (Sri Lanka) > Mannar

Mannar

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Mannar is a town and district in the Northern province of Sri Lanka.

Understand[edit]

Mannar's name originated from the Tamil words maṉṉ and ār , meaning mud river or 1 clay river. Mannar (Q1280127) on Wikidata Mannar, Sri Lanka on Wikipedia. Since ancient times, Mannar has had a great deal of diversity in people, flora and fauna. With many bodies of water which welcome the presence of incredibly rare waders, Mannar is a great place for a retreat. You can almost be sure to catch a glimpse of the greater flamingoes during the bird migration season (December-April). Besides wildlife, the district also has a fascinating history from the time of the Portuguese and Dutch navigators; many forts still remain viewable, though in ruins.

Civil war[edit]

The Tamil separatist LTTE occupied almost all the northern districts of the country including Mannar for almost two decades. During this time, Mannar's diversity started dropping and the Tamils were the only occupants in the district. As an example of the devastation and loss of life visited on the area during that period, in 2014, a mass grave of unidentified victims of war was uncovered adjacent to a Hindu kovil in Mannar. It is important that you pay your homage to the families dealing with loss when you visit the town. Talking about the civil war is OK, but do not disrespect or start quarrels regarding the politics of the war.

Climate[edit]

Mannar
Climate chart (explanation)
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Mannar climatic chart as of 2019
Imperial conversion
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
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Due to its extreme temperature, Mannar has become a winter getaway for tourists from countries with cold weather. The landscape generally describes the weather conditions in the district, although sometimes Mannar drops to an average temperature of 24 °C. Monsoon seasons may affect weather conditions, but they usually bring only light showers. Whilst heavy rainfall is rare, it can occur without a warning due to a change of wind patterns and proximity to the Indian sub-continent.

Map of Mannar

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

A train journey would be enjoyable if you are travelling with a family. Booking a private train is optional but is best when travelling with a large group. A public train includes all the essential facilities. A/C will not be provided, but the shutters would be fully open. When traveling in a train with open shutters, it is important to stay safe. A certain rule is applied given the criteria that a passenger must never lean over from the train windows. If you fall or get injured in another possible way, no one will hold responsibility for the damage. The train might make several stops for refueling and other reasons, this might further delay your arrival at Mannar, but it is important to stay patient.

Train service in Sri Lanka
  • For a train journey you will have to board the train at the 2 Fort railway station. and get your tickets, while pre-booking is also available. The journey will extend up to 8 hours and will cost you US$10 at minimum. After getting off at the 3 Mannar station. you can continue your journey to your hotel by a taxi.

By bus[edit]

Travelling by bus is much comfortable and easy, but just how comfortable depends on the number of passengers and condition of the vehicle. You can always hire a private bus for the journey. The price range may also differ according to the type of bus. Bus services provided by the Ceylon Transport Board normally charge Rs. 20 for a trip, but an intercity bus might charge more. The difference between CTB and intercity buses is that an Intercity bus includes more facilities such as A/C, Wi-fi (only some provide free wi-fi to passengers) and TV. The CTB bus is a much lower cost but less provided type of bus, it does not have air conditioning, but has open shutters which the Intercity bus does not have.

CTB bus
Intercity bus
Mannar location in Sri Lanka
  • You will have to get on a bus at the 4 Colombo Bastian Mawatha Bus Terminal. and continue on an 8-hour journey to Vavuniya. The price may vary according to the trip. After getting off at Vavuniya, you must get on a taxi and continue your journey to Mannar (it is suggested to pre-order a taxi). This would take at least 1½ hours.
  • Mannar to Colombo bus express, +94 11 5 116117. Rs. 610.80 per person.

Drive[edit]

You can always rent a car and drive upto Mannar. It would increase your comfort and trust. A direct trip from Colombo to Mannar would take at least 6 hours (without including stops, etc.)

Renting a vehicle[edit]

When hiring a car, be sure to hire one with a low fuel expenditure. If you are travelling with your family renting an SUV vehicle which runs on 95 Octane is suggested. Renting a small and compact car when traveling alone is the best option. Also, hiring a car with trust and fully functioning safety systems must be taken under your consideration.

By Plane[edit]

Plane travel to Mannar can be done in 2 ways given below with simple detailing. Since there are no direct flights to Mannar This mode of domestic flight is complex, but is easier and much more comfortable. The scheme for plane travel has many subsets such as by train and taxi. This mode of locomotion is ideal for an adventurous person.

By Plane and Train[edit]

The procedure for this journey will start from Diyawanna Oya, it is known by almost everyone in Sri Lanka, so getting there would be a piece of cake. There, you must enter the Diyawanna Oya Sea plane base. After hiring a plane for the tour which would range around the prices of 2000 to 26000 rupees. After getting on the flight, you will get to enjoy about 30 minutes of a pleasant tour which would come to a stop at Katugastota airport. Then you have to proceed to the Kurunegala Railway station by the use of a taxi (the prize for the taxi would be about 2300-3600 rupees in total). After boarding the specific train at the station, you will have to set your self on the seat for about five hours or so (expenses would be no more than a 1000 rupees). After reaching the Talaimannar station, you would simply have to take a taxi to Mannar. After you have completed the trip, it would cost you the about 32000 rupees.

By plane and taxi[edit]

However, there is an alternate method of plane travel. This way might cost thrice the price of the afore mentioned method, but is less complicated. You have to board the plane at the Katunayake airport, or the Bandaranaike international airport, there are 2 main scheduled flights from the planes cinnamon air 9401 and sri lankan airlines 5005 which stays in the port from 10 AM to 10:30 AM. After boarding the plane, you will get to enjoy a good 30 minute flight (both planes serve a promising ride). The ride would cost atleast a 100, 000 rupees(556.79 USD). After getting off at Sigiriya, you have to travel four hours by taxi to mannar (this would cost 15 000 rupees at least.). This trip would cost you about 120000 rupees at most, its four four times more expensive than the afore mentioned method, but it would get you to mannar sooner. .

Get around[edit]

  • Mannar is practically an island. It's too large for an average person to cover by foot, so it is best if you hire a car or another vehicle to get around town. You can always hire a tuk-tuk. When renting a vehicle, you must make sure that the vehicle is suitable for an adventure. If not, you will hardly get to experience the beauty of Mannar. If you are travelling alone, the best possible option is that you rent a bike (motorbike). When exploring the water bodies and plains, you must walk on foot. hiring a guide for the trip will help you identify the places you are willing to see.
  • Mannar cabs, +94 77 4436500 (mobile), . Cab hiring service with availability of airport transfer, a driver is included.
  • 1 CTB bus station, Mannar 41000. Main bus station of Mannar. Services are provided daily. Since this is a public service, it might be a little packed on public holidays or in peak season. condition of the vehicles are unconfirmed. The buses usually charge a very low price, but the rule is that you can't pay higher or lower than the given price. The current price for a trip is ranging around Rs. 20. Public bus services are usually rough, but they help you to get to your destination at a very low price. CTB (Ceylon Transport Board) buses can generally be identified as a a plain maroon ashok Leyland.
  • 2 Mannar- Vehicle repair. Provides in-house vehicle repair services. You can come here for minor repairs and other contingencies. It has adequate repairment tools. The exterior of the Garage is not well maintained, and is very weakly built. You Can park your vehicle inside or in front of the garage (If the repairment is minor.). The garage is positioned facing he main street, where you can identify it as a very old Shack.

Fuel[edit]

Since the economical crisis of Sri Lanka, the fuel price percentage has been rising. The prices are at the below given ranges, as of August 2019. The following prices are charged per liter.

  • Lanka Petrol 92 Octane: Rs. 136.00
  • Lanka Petrol 95 Octane Euro 4: Rs. 163.00
  • Lanka Auto Diesel: Rs. 104.00
  • Lanka Super Diesel 4 Star Euro 4: Rs. 131.00
  • Lanka Kerosene: Rs. 70.00
  • Lanka Industrial Kerosene: Rs. 110.00

Fuel stations are frequent throughout Sri Lanka, but not all can be trusted. It is important that you visit the stations serving under supervision of the government. You should also purchase a few cans of petrol if you are planning to make a long distance trip.

  • 3 Madhu Maatha Filling Station, Thalei Mannar road, madhu. A busy fuel refilling service station branched under the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. Open 24 hours. The basic rules such as not using mobile phones and not smoking cigarettes apply when making a stop at this station. The station also has fuel market where you can purchase fuel cans suitable for you vehicle. The station also has restrooms where you can stop when passing by. The Station is very spacey and well constructed. The surrounding environment is pretty dry and is followed by an extended straight road leading to the Madhu Maatha Forest area. Minor retirements such as tire pressure checking can be done here.
  • 4 Lanka IOC Filling Station, Mannar. A very compact filling station, open 24 hours daily. The station is pretty dusty and lacks facilities, but is adequate to refuel a vehicle. The station only has 2 fuel dispensers and a few cans of petrol stored inside the maintenance shed. You can easily identify this station from the large billboard ( A billboard consisting of Orange and dark blue colors) that can be seen when driving through the Medhawachchiya—Talaimannar highway. The station can be seen facing the highway while all it's surroundings are dusty and littered.

See[edit]

Mannar has many amazing geographical, archaeological and natural factors that are worth to see.

  • 1 Mannar fort. A square -shaped fortress built by the Portuguese and later taken over by the dutch and then the British. The Fortress displays the ancient development of architecture in Sri Lanka. The fortress lies right at the edge of the part of the District that is adjoined with Sri Lanka. The area is well preserved with a collection of fishery villages. Parking space is less, however the entrance is completely free. You can get a promising view of the Mannar bridge from the remains of the fort, and in the evening, it would be a brilliant location for scenic photography. Mannar fort (Q16314732) on Wikidata Mannar fort on Wikipedia
Adams Bridge aerial
  • 2 Baobab tree, Pallimunai Rd. Largest tree in Sri Lanka, over 700 years of age and has a circumference of 19.5 meters. This tree was believed to brought to Sri Lanka by Arabian traders. Even though forty baobab trees have been identified in Sri Lanka (35 in Mannar), this tree is believed to be the largest and oldest out of the few. The location of the baobab tree isn't that special, and there is only so little to see there. The tree is surrounded by a few houses and is in the middle of a small dusty field.
  • 3 Adam's bridge. An amazing geographical feature which is the single remaining evidence that prove Sri Lanka was connected to India by land. The Adam's bridge is a narrow strip of land with the Indian Ocean by its side. The bridge is 48 km in length and it separates the Gulf of Mannar from Palk Strait. Records say that the bridge was fully over the sea before it was destroyed in a cyclone a few hundred years ago. The Adam's bridge appears in Indian legends such as Rama and Islamic legends such as Adam. It is believed in Islam that the Adams bridge was used for the religious significant Adam to continue from India to Adam's peak. Sources say that the bridge may have been constructed by Sri Lankans themselves.
  • 4 Giant's Tank. A large tank known as Yodha vawa by the locals, merged with malwatu oya. It was constructed by King Dhathusena and it later went through several reconstructions throughout time.
  • 5 Kora Kulam. A tank, adjacent scrubland. A bird watching site, recommended by the Ceylon Birds Club. The best time to visit the tank is during the Northern Migrating season. The artificial reservoir is 3 km north-west of Mannar. It is an excellent location for evening photography as well.
  • 6 Vankalai Sanctuary. Another place for bird watching. Frequently visited by Greater flamingoes. If you are into bird watching, the best time to visit would have to be the Northern migrant season. Has an amazing setting for evening and morning photography. Vankalai is an Open area with less trees and more water with a road with a double side view of the water bodies, hence It is an easy place to access through a vehicle.
    Mannar Baobab
  • 7 Thiruketheeswaram Kovil, +94 23 2 050 800. When the Indians arrived at the coastal lines of Sri Lanka in the early centuries, they built many permanent kovils. The Kovil was destroyed many times and reconstructed throughout time. The temple premises are quite expanded and peaceful, although demolition and reconstruction is still happening. It is required that the males take off their shirts/t-shirts when entering, following the removal of footwear. The Temple shows many architectural phenomenons constructed by the Sri Lankan tamils. The ruins are well preserved and well maintained by the hindu devotees and locals. Great paintings and statues can be seen all around the temple, including demolished remains of the older buildings. Ketheeswaram temple on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

The things to do in Mannar may vary upon what you enjoy.

  • Birdwatching. There are a lot of waders, best seen early in the morning. Many rare varieties of birds are present during migrating season. Spotting a bird is very easy at any time of the day, but there are some seasons where you can barely find any life in the surroundings, so as it is a prominent advice, visiting during the period of December-April would be best for wildlife interests. When you arrive in Sri Lanka, it would be obvious that the crow (Crows are raven like birds who are divided into two groups in Sri Lanka as House Crows and Large billed crows, House crows can be identified by the well groomed body and smaller beak, while Large billed crows have a larger beak and fluffy feathers.) is the most commonly found bird in the island. In Mannar, despite the crow's popularity, more waterbirds (waders) can be found. Sometimes, the consensus per time exceeds over 100 000 of the same species.
  • Sightseeing. Locations such as the dutch forts and the largest tree of Sri Lanka are amazing places. You can visit the 'adams bridge' which was the location which is the given evidence of India's land led connection to Sri Lanka.
  • Zoology. Mannar is home to many animals, mainly reptiles and arthropods. You can observe and study many varieties of animals. Bringing a camera to photograph these animals would be a great help.
  • Documenting. with its amazing landscape by the hand, you can document a great video to share with your friends or on social media. Documenting can be done by either a phone or a camera with a built in lens.
  • Photography. As stated above and many times as well, photography is the ideal hobby for a person who visits Mannar. The perfect known time for photography in Mannar is at sunrise or sunset. Bringing a camera with at least a 200mm lens would help you capture a nice photo of the scenery. A camera with a built in lens is also a good choice if the you enjoy capturing portraits. You can also bring along a monopod or a tripod to take photos with your camera steady. If you want to take photos of closeup objects, it is recommended to bring a camera with a macro-lens.
  • Archaeology. Explore the majestic ruins of war during the Dutch and Portuguese era of Sri Lanka. Places like the Dutch fort tend to give you a staggering amount of information about the British and Dutch colony in the 16th and 17th century. You can also observe and get the basic idea of how the ancient Sri Lankans spent their day to day life.

Buy[edit]

Not many major purchases can be done in this district; minor souvenirs, such as keychains, can be bought from shopping stalls near tourist attractions. When buying essential food items, its recommended that you visit the trusted stores in the district such as cargills and keels. Many minor supermarkets are distributed all over the district, not to mention the local stores which sell organic food items. You can also buy food items from food stalls in the weekly market which usually take place on a Sunday. Buying cloths and accessories can be done in textile shops, but be aware of touts who would try to sell items at an unreasonable price without your knowledge.

  • 1 Cargills food city- express, No Road 01 ,Pallimulei (0232 251 792). A trusted store and trademark in Sri Lanka, with groceries and other basic essentials. The branch in Mannar is an express version, Which explains that this supermarket is more of a quick visit kind of place. This will only have the basics like biscuits, drinks and a small pharmaceutical section where you can buy simple medication like Panadol, Loratadine and Bethalin. The supermarket has parking space big enough for at least 3 or 2 vehicles. The express stores in Sri Lanka are very small and compact. Visiting during Sunday would be a bad idea. Simple grains such as rice, dhal and chickpeas can be bought from the store, dairy products are also open. Checking the expiration date of products would help your medical safety.
  • 2 Sakthi Supermarket, B270, Mannar, +94 23 2 222 192. Closes 8PM. The super market in nature is very small compared to others but you can find all the simple household needs from groceries to toiletries. The place is neat, space management is perfect. The shop does not a unique exterior appearance and is hidden among a chain of electronic shops. Parking space is not available due to its proximity to the main street, however, you can park a bicycle or motorbike in the small space. A toilet or a washroom is not included for customers. Indian products are quite common in the store. You can easily identify it from the yellow board,
  • 3 Singer plus, 69 Centre Bazaar Rd, Mannar 41000, +94 23 2 222 013. A trusted electronics store in Mannar. Singer is the official distributor of Samsung electronics in Sri Lanka, you can buy mobile phones, computers and wifi routers from different brand from this store. The maintenance and space management of the store is well cared. The store is long, but the width is not much. The exterior appearance of the store doesn't add much significance, but the interior is perfectly built and has a good inventory.
  • 4 Lanka Sathosa, Grand Bazar, Mannar. Sri Lankan cooperative service. You can purchase grains at a very reasonable price. Maintenance of the store is not well cared but the prices are pretty low, compared to the other supermarkets. The store front provides parking space for motorbikes and three wheelers, you can park a diminutive car in the space, but this depends on how much spaciousness is available at the moment. If you can't seem to park in the store-front, you can lodge your vehicle in surrounding areas (but be sure to station in a non-disruptive way.The Store can be identified by the billboard in the side of the store and the extended banner at the entrance. The building is pale yellow in color and has a wall which is built at a 4-foot height.

Snacks—buying snacks can be done from any shop, a packet of biscuits would cost at a price range of fifty to hundred rupees. Buying Chewing gums and toffees would cost 10 rupees or below per piece. The 2 most trusted trademarks for biscuit distribution is maliban and munchee, further simplified, Munchee biscuits usually contains food additives (MSG) while Maliban has less food additives contained. Both biscuit brands revolve around the same pricing range. There are other biscuit manufacturing companies as well, but they would not be completely trusted by hand.

Detergent, soap, etc.— Such products can be bought from local supermarkets. They are manufactured by many brands, you may choose any you might like. The application methods are given on the packet. Soap is usually packed in a cardboard packet as an individual item, but you can buy several at the same time at a less or more price. The price of a bar of soap or a packet of detergent would vary according to the features and brand.

Eat[edit]

Minor snacks such as 'Wade' (wah-dei) can be bought from local stores. Hotels serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can pick up food items such as biscuits, chocolate from the local supermarkets and local stores at a reasonable price. If you are not much of a big spender, it would be best if you eat your food in a low key hotel which presents homemade food. Such hotels are quite common in Mannar and you can find them easily by simply asking a local.

  • 1 Choice restaurant, Centre Bazaar Rd, +94 23 2 223 261. A restaurant which serves instantly prepared food.The store is small, and clean, it serves Lankan, Indian and Chinese food. It's a nice place for Lunch or dinner, Soft drinks are served. Parking is only available for motorbikes, and that also depends on the amount of space left. You can buy both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals from this restaurant. The place is not very cozy (Because it has plastic chairs) and judging by the climate, its usually hot and the absence of air conditioning makes it harder, this is one of the reasons for Dinner recommendations.Most who visited has reviewed it as a very inexpensive restaurant.
  • 2 AU food center. Closes 10PM. A small breakfast and dinner food hut/restaurant, the building is decorated in a strong red color. The restaurant serves dishes such as fried rice and noodles along with soft drinks. Apart from the main meals, the restaurant is open to buy snacks. Tea can also be served if requested. The restaurant has a menu to educate the customer about the dishes they serve. The road leading to the hut very narrow, so it is recommended to go their by a small vehicle. 076 128 1403.
  • 3 Kuddy Bakery & Cool Spot, +94 77 989 1957. A bakery and, a good option to enjoy breakfast. It is poorly constructed, but is fine to buy snacks and bakery products. The Bakery can be identified by it's uniquely designed Brownish and yellow banner
  • 4 Victory Cream House. A place to purchase biscuits, mints, gum and such.
  • 5 Burger land, +94 77 800 1869. a well maintained restaurant which serves fast food items such as burgers, pizza, fries, and nuggets. Well decorated, serves fruit juices and cool soft drinks. Parking space available in front of the store, but it's limited, bringing a small vehicle would ease it up. The store is enjoyable among a group of friends or family. It's also known to be a favorite restaurant for the tourists who visit mannar. The restaurant is fairly small and should be enlarged fora better service but it's enough for enjoying a meal.

Ice cream can usually be found in local supermarkets. The trusted ice cream companies in Mannar are limited down to 2 options. They are elephant house and magic. You can also buy ice creams from carts which drive past beaches. Ice cream price may vary according to flavors.

The best snack items in this district would be either a packet of biscuits or a packet of chips. They can be bought from almost any store, and they usually have size ranges from small to large, many flavors alongside. Buying a Munchee or Maliban cream cracker would be perfect for the trip, as the packets are durable and adequate for sharing. Be sure to be aware of the safety of the food items. Addition of drugs are popularly done in many South Asian countries nowadays.


Drink[edit]

Staying hydrated is important when travelling in the dry zone. Packed water and soft drink bottles can be bought from any store in the district. You can also purchase 'king coconut juice' from local stores or outdoor food carts. Do not drink tap water. Hotels in mannar do not provide minibars, if you need any beverage you can request it from the manager. The most trusted and common soft drink company of Sri Lanka is elephant house, consuming soft drinks from an unknown trade marks may leave you with stomach pains. Coca Cola, Fanta and Sprite can also be found in local store, cold drinks cost a bit more than unfrozen drinks. Drinking a cold drink when outdoors is proven to be refreshing.

  • 1 Laxaman wine store, Grand Bazar. A very compact alcohol store with strong products (wine might not be in stock).
  • 2 Hotel Flamingo, No 10 1st Cross St, +94 76 944 4254. A casual restaurant and hotel, suitable for children has free wifi. This hotel is situated quite close to attractions like the Baobab tree, Mannar Fort and Adams bridge. The food is a bit expensive at a local rate, but is affordable.

Tea- Sri Lankan tea is quite famous for its taste. It is distributed by many brands, Ceylon tea can be found in almost any restaurant. Tea is most suitable as an evening drink to pleasure amongst a group of people. It can be consumed with either with or without sugar. Tea bags and tea leaves can be purchased from supermarkets and grocery stores, it is recommended to buy a packet of tea bags as it has a more easy method of usage. Tea is a drink which is best served warm, so, when you are traveling, it is necessary to carry a travel flask with you. Even though tea is not recommended as a drink during daytime, it is always enjoyable when thirsty. A packet of tea leaves can be purchased at a price ranging lesser than Rs. 1000 while tea bags would cost about Rs. 300 or so.

Coffee- Coffee used to be a major plantation floral specie during the British Colony. Nowadays, coffee can be purchased from small cafes in Mannar. Otherwise, you can buy coffee powder from local supermarkets. Bringing a supply of packets would also help you to brew a nice hot cup of coffee in Mannar. If you are lodging in a hotel, you just have to request a cup of coffee. The hotel employees will surely be happy to serve it to you in just a few minutes.

Porridge- Porridge is a traditional breakfast drink in Sri Lanka. You can easily purchase them from a breakfast restaurants such as Burger Land. Porridge in sri lanka is brewed in 2 different ways as rice porridge and herbal porridge (perfect english names are not given.). Porridge tends to keep you fit for the day, it would help to increase your endurance, which is important to a traveler.

Sleep[edit]

An overnight stay here is required based on the time taken for the journey to get there. Many hotels in Mannar are low key and most lack facilities such as a fully functional bathroom. The hotels closer to the town are far more improved and personalized.

Façade of Mannar Guest House
  • 1 The Palmyrah house, Thalaimannar Road, Medawachchiya-Talaimannar Highway, +94 11 2 869 960. A luxury hotel with full facilities. Family friendly with a large garden with parking space. They welcome you with a free drink and a tour around the hotel. Rooms have balconies with a swing bench and a perfect view of the hotel garden. Air conditioning is available in all rooms. This hotel provides free wifi, and laundry services, it also has an outdoor pool and an outdoor pond where you can see several waterbirds in the Morning. Compared to the other hotels in Mannar, this hotel serves the most luxury services at a reasonable price ranging at Rs. 17000 per day. The hotel is surrounded by tall grass and a small thin forest. Birds such as collared doves are common. The hotel faces the main street which leads to the Town of Mannar, and along the way, you can see salt plains and marshes which adds a taste to the view.
  • 2 Pearl rest, Mother Teresa St, +94 77 529 2933 (mobile). A very low key and low price family friendly bungalow to spend the night. Has a small garden. Rooms include A/C and full bathroom facilities. It doesn't have a restaurant but has a refreshing bar. The staff is friendly, and helpful. The rest house is surrounded by the homes of the locals and is lead to by a lengthy concrete road. Many coconut trees can be seen along the road. The rest house doesn't seem like a nice place from the outside, but the interior is much better.
  • 3 Mannar- Guest house, Mannar 41000, +94 77 316 8202. A house themed hotel, free wifi included. Suitable for children and an overnight stay. A 3-story building with colorful patterns. Rooms are small with tiled floors and bathroom. Mosquito nets are provided. Presence of Air conditioning is unconfirmed. You have a chance of seeing flamingos if you lodge here. This hotel has a promising view of Mannar. price range - above 3000.
  • 4 Royal rest house, Ayan Theatre Rd, Mannar, +94 23 2 250 516. Quite close to the Mannar-guest house. Includes rooms and parking space. Food can be ordered as wanted. This rest house is most suitable if you are on a business trip.
  • 5 Baobab guest house., +94 23 2 222 306. close to Pearl rest, very low key, rooms include fan and AC. Suitable for an overnight stay. The rest house is constructed in a very traditional way. Rooms are more compact with a bathroom and LED TV .Parking space is available at least for about 2 cars, and the rest house is quite close to the baobab tree. The area is fairly dusty, but the rooms are usually clean and suitable for a pleasant stay.
  • 6 Agape hotel, +94 23 2 251 678. The hotel is well decorated and even though the rooms are a bit tight, you can expect to have a good nights sleep. Compared to most hotels in mannar, this one is much well designed and maintained to keep up with the standards of a home-based hotel. The rooms are splashed white and has a tiled with air-conditioning, fixed above the beds to spread sufficiently. The beds are arranged in an orderly way with small gaps from each other. The hotel also provides a free breakfast, alongside with free wifi. It also is eco-friendly and child friendly, with a great providence of room service. At night, the hotel is lit with lights and sets the guests up to the mood. Its a nice hotel to lodge in as groups.
  • 7 Four tees inn (Lawrence rest), Station Road Thoddaveli, Mannar. A very nice rest house next to the railway lines of Mannar. It has a great parking space with a sandy garden. The inn is broken into four parts as the Rooms, restaurants and the kitchens+maintenance buildings, each designed in a very classic architecture mixed with both Tamil and Sinhalese culture. The building is awfully dark and twisty from the inside, but is warm and sunny in the outside. It has a quite far stretched backyard where you can spot a few forest birds such as flame backs. The rooms are maintained well with two beds and a very small bathroom which is adequate for all uses, but taking a shower in it is not recommended. These are one of the hotels where you should check twice before getting into the beds and bathroom (because of the risk of snakes lodging up in those places). Dinner, Lunch and breakfast are instantly served in the restaurant which is very dim and settling. They usually serve traditional tamil and sinhala meals such as Rice and curry, Puri and Wadei. You can order crabs and seafood under request.Air conditioning is not provided, but mosquito nets are given. Its a nice inn for a person who seeks adventure. If you desire more comfort, the Palmyrah house is recommended.

Stay safe[edit]

Apart from being an ideal place for visiting in Sri Lanka, Mannar is also a risky place to visit. You must never explore wild environments without the guidance of local expertise.

Threats from animals[edit]

If you are lodging in a hotel exposed to the wilderness, be sure to check your room or get it checked for any lethal creatures such as snakes and spiders, and also make sure to double check your shoes/boots before wearing them. One animal that harms people the most in is the donkey, it is advised that you do not go to near, a single strike could leave your jaw bone hanging. Within the last few years, many have died and many have been left with permanent facial injuries.

Threats from others[edit]

Besides the animals, there maybe pick-pocketers in populated areas (e.g. Mannar town), and even some may attempt to steal your belongings if you leave them unattended. Travelling alone during the after hours might also be risky. Some places in Mannar are tempting, but they might leave you in quite a pit. As a given example, you can fall down from slopes, get injured by thorns from poisonous bushes.

Diseases[edit]

Malaria

Malaria is a disease caused by the protozoan known as Plasmodium.This disease was quite common in Sri Lanka, but in the year 2016, Sri Lanka was declared as a country which was able to eradicate malaria successfully and completely. Regardless of the abolition of this malady, there has been a few records of Malaria in 2018. The symptoms of Malaria are quite similar to the symptoms of common fever (Common Cold)

In case of a medical emergency, dial 110. It is important to avert threats from diseases. Even though Sri Lanka is not a country where you can see the presence of many lethal diseases, there are some which can cause death to anyone.

Dengue[edit]

Dengue mosquitoes are quite common in mannar, if they release the toxin into you, you will be infected by the dengue fever. Symptoms for dengue can be listed as follows- nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, fatigue, muscle pain and sudden high fever. If you have any 3 of these symptoms, do not hesitate to visit the nearest hospital to confirm. If diagnosed, the doctor's will give required medical treatments.

  • Ways to Prevent dengue — sleeping with a mosquito net (can be purchased or it will already be provided by the hotel)and applying mosquito repellent are simple tricks to be safe from Dengue. To prevent this, you can always purchase items such as Mosquito repellent coils and sprays, but they may cause harm to you if you inhale any of the congested substances.
  • Leishmaniasis — A disease caused by the vector- sand fly, this would cause a permanent damage to your external appearance.

Connect[edit]

The telephone area code for mannar is 023. While the post codes are 41000-41999. Connecting to the internet can usually be done by Mobile data. Purchasing data cards or otherwise known reload/prepaid cards will enable you to connect to the internet. The cards are usually published by mobitel and dialog, but it is recommended to buy hutch or airtel in those areas. Dialog is also a good option, but a great connection strength is not assured. You can buy these reload cards from any local store.Instructions are usually given behind the card and they may vary according to the company they were distributed from, but the basics are all the same. If you are not clear with the instruction, asking the store owner is the best option.

  • 5 Sri lanka telecom—Mannar branch, Mannar 41000, +94 23 2 222 231. open only on weekdays. For more information regarding connection services you can visit here.

Emergency dials[edit]

  • Police emergency hotline—118/119— For fire brigades and ambulance services, the callers location is automatically traced through the connection line. 119 is also an emergency dial in China, Japan and Taiwan. Calling this number for inappropriate reasons is considered as a crime in Sri Lanka.
  • Ambulance/fire and rescue—110
  • Tourist police—011-2421052
  • Government information service—1919
  • Child protection authority—1929—to report a missing child or to report violence against children.

Cope[edit]

Hospitals and pharmacies[edit]

Mannar has only a few hospitals and pharmacies, but they are enough for treatment. Basic medical items can be bought from pharmacies or from the hospital registry. If you have a simple fever or a headache, it's not the best idea to visit the hospital. Simple medications like a tablet of 'Paracetamol' can be brought and consumed easily (instructions are given in the box; if not, ask your hotel manager for the basic method of consuming the pill), For muscle sprains and body aches, you can apply ointment such as axe oil, siddhalepa and iodex (can be bought from local pharmacies).

  • 5 District general hospital, Thalvupadu - Mannar Rd, Mannar 41000, +94 23 2 222 261. General hospital of Mannar. As many major hospitals, this one is pretty big in size (compared to other hospitals in the district.) The Hospital is quite spacious and welcoming. Its well built, but not a lot of patients visit this location. The building is painted pale yellow and has an extensive architectural style.
  • 6 Hospital Murungan. A hospital which contains adequate facilities for treatment.
  • 7 Hospital church. Very close to the general hospital of Mannar.
  • 8 Rajes Kantha Private Hospital, +94 23 2 223 383. A very compact private hospital facing the main road.
  • 9 New metro pharmacy, Hospital road, Mannar, +94 237 911 312. A small pharmacy, has basic treatment medicine.
  • 10 Ben Pharmacy, Hospital rd, Mannar. Home-based pharmacy.

Go next[edit]

  • Anuradhapura — only 2 hours away from Mannar, Anuradhapura is the most Historical City of Sri Lanka its also known to be a UNESCO world heritage named in the late 1900s for its historic variation, Anuradhapura is mainly famous for its ancient ruins related to the sinhalese and tamil. Anuradhapura is also home to Sri Lanka's oldest tree, also known to be a national treasure and a religious feature of Buddhisum, Not to mention its major irrigation system raised to increase the countries economical status. You can reach the city by travelling via medhawachchiya to the Talaimannar highway.
This city travel guide to Mannar is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
Routes through Mannar