National Park Fact Sheet

Mannar Island  is linked to the main island of Sri Lanka by a causeway. Mainly covered with vegetation and sand, this is one of the most important areas located in the north of the country for the migrating waterfowl. This important habitat was protected and declared as a sanctuary in 2008.

Reminiscent of an African landscape with Baobab Trees dotting the landscape that are believed to have been introduced centuries ago by Arab traders Mannar is a beautiful & fascinating area with rich birdlife. The area is arid with seasonal water bodies, marshes, lakes, mudflats, thorny scrub, salt marshes, swamps, mangroves, coastal lagoons and sea grass beds.

Mannar also boasts of amazing beaches in towards the Tali-Mannar area. The  crystal clear blue water with white sandy beach with no one expect a few Heuglin’s Gulls to keep you company. Witness the Adam's Bridge or Rama Sethu; limestone shoals that once connected India and Sri Lanka. Today, the bridge is popular for kitesurfing.

Vankalai Sanctuary is a triangular area of land in Mannar with its borders being Vankalai, Puliyanthivu Island and Tiruketiswaram. Declared as a RAMSAR wetland in 2010, the sanctuary attracts more than 20,000 water birds during the annual winter migration. Mannar truly is the Holy Grail for birders (bird watchers), and for newbies like me it is a treasure chest of untold riches waiting to be explored.

Park Open : Open Throughout the year

Best Season : November - March

Main Attraction : Water birds

Avifauna : Indian Spot-Billed Duck, Eurasian Wigeon, Avocet, Common Teal,Northern Shoveller, Pintail, Gargeny, Greater Flamingo, Crab Plover,Oystercatcher, Red Knot, Great Knot, Ruff, Indian Grey Partridge, Lesser Crested Tern, Great Crested Tern, Caspian Tern, and many more.

Shortest Route : Fly to Colombo & drive to Mannar Island

Nearby :   Wilpattu (85 km)

Province :  Northern

Area : 130 sq. km

Altitude: 20 - 60 m

Vegetation : River marshes and grasslands

Major City: Jaffna (136 km)

Airport : Jaffna (136  km)

Railway Station : 

Colombo : 334 km


Best Time to visit
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 Night 2 Days Available on request
Route Map