Everything You Need to Know About Kitesurfing in Mannar
Mannar, located in the north west of Sri Lanka, is geographically closer to India than the commercial capital of Colombo. The town is wrapped in history and legend, but recently Mannar’s main attraction has become its blue waters. The calm waters of the lagoon – as well as the ocean (during the season) – are perfect for kitesurfing, and the activity has become rather popular here.
The Kitesurfing Season
The best time to visit the west and south coast of the island is between December and March, but for kitesurfing weather, the months slightly differ. In Mannar, there are two kitesurfing seasons, one for the summer months (May to October) and one for the winter months (January to March). During these months the water and the wind are heavenly; flat waters and strong winds make for the ideal kitesurfing experience.
Kitesurfing Location & Lessons
Mannar is placed on a thin strip of golden beach and is wedged between the Indian Ocean and the gorgeous Mannar Lagoon. Unlike Kalpitiya, which is another kitesurfing destination in Sri Lanka, the waters here are not as crowded, not only making it a much more enjoyable experience, but also less overwhelming if you are kiting for the first time. Another bonus of kitesurfing in Mannar is that there are a number of kiting schools found scattered around the area, and they will provide the necessary guidance and equipment.
The best spot for kitesurfing is actually a little further out from Mannar town and in a suburb called Talaimannar, particularly Adam’s Bridge. This location is heavily associated with the Hindu epic Ramayana and it is said to be a bridge built by Rama’s army to help Lord Hanuman save Sita from the demon king Ravana. This is an excellent kiting sport for beginners as there are many protective sandbanks and the water is very flat and shallow.
For more experienced surfers, kitesurfing camps offer tours where you can kite from Mannar to Kalpitiya, which is a tough but amazing journey. However, if you are not interested in such extreme kiting, Mannar still offers a variety of places you can kite, from the lagoon to the ocean and even around mangroves!
Things to Do in Mannar
Apart from kitesurfing, the quaint town of Mannar has a lot to offer, from historical sites to nature reserves here’s what you can do in and around Mannar to take a break from the sea.
- Explore Mannar’s Palmyra forest by the beach
- A day trip to Wilpattu National Park
- A day trip to Anuradhapura and Sigiriya
- Visit Thanthirimale, an ancient Buddhist temple
How to Get to Mannar
One of the main reasons why Mannar is not on many people’s travel itineraries is because of its distance from Colombo which is 256km long! However, if you leave the commercial capital early in the morning you can miss the traffic and get to Mannar relatively quickly! Here are some of the modes of transportation to choose from.
- By Car
This is certainly the most convenient way of travelling around Sri Lanka. You can hire a private car with a driver who will take you to Mannar.
- By Bus
Travelling by bus is another easy and affordable way to get around the island. Buses run at least once a day between major cities, and Mannar is an important stop so you will definitely be able to hop on a bus from Colombo or Negombo.
- By Train
Another cheap and easy mode of travel, trains run twice a day from Colombo to Talaimannar.
Adventure and excitement await; visit Mannar for your own almost private kitesurfing experience.