Manthiri Manai Mansion in Jaffna (මන්ත්‍රී මනායි)

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Travelling 1 km on the Point Pedro road from the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil in Jaffna you will come across an old dilapidated mansion on the left side of the road. This abandoned mansion built with a mixture of colonial and Hindu architecture is called the Manthiri Manai in Tamil which translates to Ministers Adobe. Like the Poothathamby Arch which lies about 100 meters before this building, the history of this adobe is lost in time.

Several theories have come up on the history of this mansion. Some believe this mansion was part of the palace of the last regional king of Jaffna, King Sangili.

As the name implies, some believe this to be the home of a minister of King Sangili.

Tamilnet in an article published on 10 October 2009  plays down on any historical significance of this mansion and states that it was only a chaultry built in the early 19th century along with the belfry of the adjacent Chaddai-naathar temple, by a philanthropist of Vannaarpannai of Jaffna.

This could be true since it’s unlikely that any history of such a magnificent mansion could be lost without a trace. Also, it reported that an inscription on the building (structure) has that it was built by one A.S. Tambiyapillly in 1890 (Pushparatnam, 2014).

Currently, this structure has been taken over by the Department of Archeology to renovate and restore this building.


  1. Pushparatnam, p (2014) Tourism and Monuments of Archaeological Heritage in Northern Sri Lanka. Jaffna Sri Lanka: Department of History, University of Jaffna.

Also See

Map of  Manthiri Manai Mansion in Jaffna

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Traveling Directions to Manthiri Manai Mansion in Jaffna

Jaffna can be reached through 2 directions. The first one is over the Elephant Pass which is the normal route to Jaffna. The other entrance is from Pooneryn over the newly built Sangupiddi Bridge. This road connects to Mannar.

Route 01 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Kurunegala)Route 02 from Colombo to Jaffna (Through Puttalam)
Through : Kurunegala – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Travel Time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google map
Through : Puttalam – Anuradhapura – Vavuniya
Distance : 400 km
Travel Time : 7-8 hours
Driving Directions : see on Google maps
Route from Jaffna Fort to Manthiri Manai Mansion in Jaffna
using : Point Padro Road
Distance :4.1 km
Travel time : 10 mins
Driving directions : see on google map


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