Mannar is a District in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. It was colonized by the Portugese, Dutch and finally by the English when the entire island of Ceylon came under British control in 1815. Sri Lanka (formerly called “Ceylon”) was granted independence from the British in 1948 and Mannar became one of the 25 Districts of Sri Lanka.
Mannar has dry weather from May to September and a cooler climate from October to March, when the migrant birds land in their hundreds in the lagoons and water ways found mainly around the Mannar island.
The population of Mannar consists mostly of Tamils with few Muslims and Sinhalese. There are few distinctive areas which makes Mannar stand out from the rest of Sri Lanka. i.e. the ecosystem and bird life, the Mannar bridge, (the longest in Sri Lanka linking the rest of Mannar with Mannar island and extending the roadway up to Talaimannar the closet point to southern India through the mythological Adam’s Bridge) and the Mannar Fort.
(Mannar Fort was built by Portuguese in 1560. The Fort fell to the Dutch in 1658, and they rebuilt the fort in 1696. In 1795 the British occupied the Fort following the surrender by the Dutch. It is a square shaped fort with four bastions and is located next to the new bridge that connects the mainland with the Mannar Island – from Wikipedia)
The photos depict some of the migrant and resident birds along with images captured in and around Mannar.
Copyright Photos – Ajithaa Edirimane