lundi 28 juillet 2014

NW-30-Mannar island

Latitude and longitude: 9.061088° ;  79.808407°
(modified by RB from Wikipedia)

Surface: 126.46 km2
Distance from mainland: 360m

Interest for tourism: +++
Interest for Polymotu project: 0
Other conservation interest: unknown

Mannar is the large island closest to India. It gives the way to Adam's Bridge, a chain of limestone shoals, between Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, off the southeastern coast of Tamil Nadu, India, and Mannar. Between 1914 and 1964, there was a train and ferry link from mainland India via Dhanushkodi and Talaimannar to Colombo, but this was not resumed after the disastrous damages caused by a cyclone in 1964.
The island is quite dry; fishing is economically important. Its main settlements are Mannar and Erukkulampiddi on its eastern coast and Pesalai on its northern coast, all connected by the A14 road which leads across the bridge to mainland Sri Lanka.

Sinhala name: Mannaram doopatha
Other names: unknown

We visited Mannar island on the 20th of July 2014. The West South coast is under military control. We went to the beach at approximatively   (9.050362°; 79.786839°) and when arriving to the beach, a soldier immediately came and told us that it was permitted to walk along the beach but not to bath and swim. We walked about 300m on West side and we started to bath anyway, but very rapidly another soldier went from the East and told us again it was forbidden to bath. So the coast is well guarded, with a soldier for approximatively 500 m of beach.

A possible reason is that people told us that it is possible to go from Sri Lanka to India by... swimming! Their are on Adam Bridge many small islands where it is possible to rest. They says that it is even possible to go from some islands to others only by walking in the sea, as it is not deep....