Mannar Fort – මන්නාරම් බලකොටුව

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Walking along the walls of the Mannar Fort

Walking along the walls of the Mannar Fort

Built on the island of Mannar by the Portuguese in 1560, Mannar Fort surrendered to the Dutch on 22 February 1658 and was rebuilt by the Dutch in 1696. On 5 October 1795 the Dutch surrendered to the British.

This fort was inaccessible to the public for decades due the LTTE Terrorist activities in the area. Once the LTTE was destroyed in 2009 this area was opened to the public transport. Now the area surrounding the fort is used by the police department. But public are not restricted from visiting the fort.

The Mannar Fort has four bastions and it’s still in good condition although the buildings inside the fort have not been properly maintained. You can roam around the fort with no restrictions. Access to the top of the ramparts is on the left after entering the fort. From here you can walk all around the fort getting a birds eye view of the ruined buildings inside.

On two ends of the building square, you will see two rooms with no door or windows. The top has been covered by a now broken slab on large iron bars. The only access to these rooms are some tiny steel steps mounted on one side of the wall. These two rooms might have been prison cells at one time.

In addition you can see what looks like a church among the buildings. Two watch towers still stand tall on 2 edges.  One is almost broken away form the fort and may drop in to the ocean very soon.

Also See

Map of  Mannar Fort

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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.

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Driving Directions to Mannar Fort

Route from Colombo to Mannar Fort

Though : Putlam – Anuradhapura – Madawachchiya
distance : 340 km
Travel time : 6 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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