Mannar

From Jatland Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mannar (Tamil: மன்னார், Sinhalese: මන්නාරම), formerly spelled Manar, is a big town, and it's the main town of Mannar District, Northern Province, Sri Lanka. It was called Mahatittha in Mahavansa.

Location

It is located on Mannar Island overlooking the Gulf of Mannar. It is home to the historic Ketheeswaram temple.

History

Mannar is known for its baobab trees and for its fort, built by the Portuguese in 1560 and taken by the Dutch in 1658 and rebuilt; its ramparts and bastions are intact, though the interior is largely destroyed.

Formerly the town was renowned as a center of pearl fishing, mentioned in the 2nd-century CE Periplus of the Erythraean Sea.[1]

Visually, the modern town is dominated by its Hindu temples, mosques and churches.[2] The Catholic Church has a diocese headquartered in the town.

By rail the town is connected to the rest of Sri Lanka by the Mannar Line.

External links

References

  1. Noted in Edwin William Streeter, Pearls and Pearling Life 1886:24.
  2. Edward Aves, Sri Lanka (Footprint Travel Guides, 2003: ISBN 1-903471-78-8), p. 337.