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The Portuguese Fort

The Portuguese Fort just outside the town looks out over the bay. Today it is just a ruin, and occupied by donkeys and local families. Take time to wander the ramparts and notice the double moat that surrounds the Fort. You can appreciate its previous stature by finding interesting inscriptions on grave stones and some fine stone detail amongst the weeds.

The Doric Bungalow

Doric was the house of the first British Governor in Sri Lanka, Fredrick North.  Located 20km away from Mannar, The house was designed by the Governor and was built in 1804 so that he could personally revive and supervise the pearl fisheries.

Giant’s tank

Giant’s tank is contained within a huge Bund and during the wet season becomes a vast lake covered in lotus. It’s a popular fishing spot and just 15 mins south of Mannar.

Baobab Tree

The Baobab Tree, it is said was brought to Mannar by traders from Zanzibar. Its inscription will give you the local history.  

Madhu Church

The Madhu Church has great significance for all Sri Lankans. The four religions in Sri Lanka can all lay claim to the site at some point in history. It was a sanctuary during the war and housed those from all religions.


Biking is so easy within the Mannar regions. The flatness of the landscape makes easy riding and a perfect way to view the surroundings. You can cycle to Talaimannar and the beach with ease. Please ask our Manager if you wish to use the bicycles.

Bird sanctuary

Mannar is almost one huge bird sanctuary, protected by the wild life department. Mannar is an important resting point  for migrating birds ( October to March), making it a must for Bird Watchers.  The bird species that drop into Mannar are many and varied. It is also one of the last places in Sri Lanka where you can see flamingos.


Please check with the guest house manager.

Adams Bridge

You cannot visit Mannar without a boat trip to the Adams Bridge, the closest point to India from Sri Lanka. It is a mere 36kms across to the Rameshwran. In between there are 16 sand banks, 8 of which belong to Sri Lanka and 8 to India. The Sri Lankan Navy operate almost daily (weather permitting) boat trips to the sand banks. After an easy 45 minute trip following the Mannar coastline and about 10kms out to sea you will see the banks just above the water line. You land on one of the banks and the surreal landscape is very special. Hundreds of gulls are resting on the banks as you approach and then taking off as you get close! Not to be missed.

Wilpattu Wildlife Sanctuary

Wilpattu Wildlife Sanctuary is Sri Lanka’s largest wild life park and home to elephants , bears, leopards, and a myriad of birds. It’s an easy day trip from Palmyrah House. Check with your guest house  Manager.


This Northern city is a must and just 2 ½ hours from Mannar. It has a rich heritage and slowly beginning to recover after over 30 years of conflict.  There is much work to be done but the city is buzzing and daily life is busy. Visit the Jaffna Library, the university, temples  and see some of the hidden beaches tucked away along the coastline.

Anaradhapura & Polonnarurwa

The ancient Kingdoms are  just 1 .5 hours from Mannar. See ancient temples and Buddha statues of great importance.