Hidden in the bush jungles somewhat in the middle of Mannar island lies ruins of an ancient building known as Kappa Kovil Ruins. However, these ruins seem to be of an old Portuguese Church.
The architectural features of this building resemble those of a church. The dilapidated building belongs to the Portuguese Period. There is no roof in the building and the thickness of a wall is about 2m. Specially prepared bricks have been used and the length, width and height of a brick are 1 foot, 8 inches and 2 inches respectively.
The building has been constructed using lime and there are moldings on the top parts of the wall of the building. Arched doorways are seen in the building and the signs of a staircase to the southeastern wall suggest that there was an upper floor. Two parts can be distinguished in this building, i.e. a room and a long hall. The room is 11m x 10 m in size and the hall is 32m in length and 10m in width. The hall has collapsed and only the foundation and a part of a wall are seen.
A well belonging to the church is seen at a distance of 50m to the north of the building. Its diameter is 3m.
This site was gazetted as a protected archaeological monument in August 2013 as follows “The Old Portuguese Church or the ruins of Kappa Kovil in Periyakarasal village in the Grama Niladhari Division of Periyakarasal (GND No. 59) in Mannar Divisional Secretary’s Division in Mannar District, North Province”
To reach the site, proceed 12 km along Mannar-Talaimannar Road (A 34), turn left at Periya Karisal Junction and continue along Periya Karisal Road up to the Periya Karisal Mixed School. The ruins are found behind this school.
- The Green Movement of Sri Lanka (no date) Guide to Archaeological Values for Tourism in Mannar District. The Green Movement of Sri Lanka.
- Balasuriya, J. (2013) ‘The Antiquities Ordinance (Chapter 188) Notice Under Section 16’, The Gazette of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka (Extraordinary). No. 1823/73, 16 August, pp. 7A-7A.
Map of the Kappa Kovil (Portuguese Church) Ruins in Mannar
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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Traveling Directions to Kappa Kovil (Portuguese Church) Ruins in Mannar
|Route from Colombo to Kappa Kovil (Portuguese Church) Ruins in Mannar
|On : Katunayake Air Port Highway – Puttalam – Oyamaduwa – Thanthirimale – Mannar
Distance : 325 km
Travel time : 7 hours
Driving Directions : see on google map