Arippu Fort in Mannar (මන්නාරමේ අරිප්පු බලකොටුව)

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Arripu Fort is a small two-bastion fort built by the Portuguese just before the causeway at Arippu. This fort was handed over to the Dutch in 1658 after the fall of Mannar. This fort again changed hands to the British.

Mannar Seas has always been an important area for all rulers of Sri Lanka since ancient times known for its abundance of high-quality pearls. Fedrick North, the first British Governor to then Ceylon Built his official residency at the Beach Front now known as the Doric, and converted this fort to a  bungalow for the officers who managed the pearl fisheries in the area.

Later this bungalow was converted to a Rest House but abandoned due to the LTTE terrorist war which spilled into this area too.

Incidentally, it was to this fort that Robert Knox, the famous prisoner of the Kandyan King, escaped to after 19½  years in captivity. The Dutch, who were in control of this part of the country at the time made arrangements to send him back to England. On his return to England, he published his work ‘An Historical Relation of Ceylon’ in 1681.

This book was later translated into Dutch, German and French, and came to be internationally recognised as a book dealing with the Kandyan kingdom, its inhabitants and his experience concerning the socio-economic history of the island. The book was inspired to a certain extent as one of the best-known works of English fiction ‘Robinson Crusoe’ written by Daniel Defoe.

Dutch Fort of Arippu drawn in 1672 from the National Archives of Netherlands
The Dutch Fort of Arippu drawn in 1672 from the National Archives of the Netherlands

Also See

Map of  Arippu Fort

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)

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 Arippu Fort

Route from Colombo to The Arippu Fort Route from Anuradhapura Town to The Arippu Fort
Though : Puttlam – Eluwankulama
Distance : 235 km
Travel time : 6+ hours
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Medawachchiya – Seelawathura
Distance : 110 km
Travel time : 3 hours
Driving directions : see on google map


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