Arippu Dutch Fort
Origins of the Fort
Located approximately 20 kilometres south of the Mannar Fort on Mannar Island, the Arippu Dutch Fort is a small square-shaped bastion fort. Originally built by the Portuguese at Arippu, the fort was eventually fortified by the Dutch during their occupation of the island in the mid-17th century. The fort was also known as the Allirani Fort due to legends of the Tamil queen, Alli Raani, who once reigned over Mannar. Her fortress is said to have been located where the ruins of Arippu Fort now stand.
During the British occupation of the island, the Arippu Fort was converted into accommodation for officers working under Frederick North, the first British Governor of Ceylon. North built his official summer residence, the Doric, at the beachfront that was adjacent to this fort. The British officers who occupied the fort were mainly used to oversee the pearl fisheries that operated in the area, as the industry was an extremely lucrative one at the time before its resources were eventually depleted due to overfishing. Afterwards, the fort was converted into a guest house, but this was abandoned once the decade-long civil war engulfed the country.
Season to Visit
The district of Mannar is best visited between the months of July and September, or between December and February, where the weather is fairly pleasant. During the summer period between April and June, temperatures in the area skyrocket to nearly unbearable levels, and so it is recommended to avoid visiting during that time.