Kunchikulama Hanging Bridge : En Route to Mannar (මන්නාරම කුංචිකුලම එල්ලෙන පාලම / සංගිලි පාලම)

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Close to the turn-off to the Madu Church, lies an old hanging bridge across the Malwathu Oya in the area of Kunchikulama.  The bridge is over 100 meters long and held by two strong cables with steel sheets laid across. Such bridges are called Hanging Bridges or Suspension Bridges. In Sinhala they are called Sangili Palama or Ellena Palama.

This tourist attraction can be reached by taking the road to the left 1.5 km before the road to Madu Church when travelling from Medawachchiya. There is a small billboard just before this road showing the directions to the hanging bridge.

Traveling 800 meters on this road you will come across an ancient disused Steel Arch Bridge built across Yoda Ela.  Yodha Ela is a 13 km long canal built by King Dhatusena (459-477)  which diverts water from Malwathu Oya and feeds Yoda Wewa.

A new six-bay concrete arch bridge over the Yoda Ela was built in 2013. You can get a good view of the five arch flow control granite bridge from here. Once you pass it, you will see the flow control bridge and the Steel Arch Bridge at right angles.  Then you will cross over a small Sapaththu Palama (Causeway) over the stream which carries excess water back to Malwathu Oya. Another 600 meters passing this bridge will bring you to the Hanging Bridge.

A new concrete bridge as well as a Sapaththu Palama has been built across Malwathu Oya below the hanging bridge making it redundant. The floor of the bridge is laid with steel sheets on short wooden beams. Some of the wood seems to have rotten away and some places can be sloped towards the river. Therefore walking across should be at own peril.

Also See

Map of Kunchikulam Hanging Bridge

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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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Travel Directions to Kunchikulam Hanging Bridge

Route from Medawachchiya to Kunchikulam Hanging Bridge
Through : Mannar Road
Distance :47 km
Travel time : 45 – 60 mins
Time to spend : 30  mins
Driving directions : see on google map

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