The Hanging Bridge of Kunchukulam. Mannar Sri Lanka
It has not been easy staying indoors and being deprived of travel. Lockdowns, locked in, quarantine, and safety protocols have taken a toll on most travel during 2020, though I’ve had the good fortune of racking up the miles, locally.
One of my last trips in 2020 is to Mannar. Ideally it should have been Myanmar but I had to settle for Mannar. I am returning after one year and looking for different experiences.
On the main Madawachchiya- Mannar road, just in front of the turnoff to the revered Madhu Church is a small road that leads to the Kunchukulam Hanging Bridge.
But first I pass a concrete five-arch bridge. Built in 2013, this is a flow control bridge which possibly carries the excess water back to the main tributary.
A further 500 meters ahead is the Kunchukulam Hanging Bridge. Built in 1935, this (approximately) 100-meters long suspension bridge hangs over the Yodda Ela.
This Yodha Ela was built by King Dhatusena who ruled this country from 455 to 473 AD. During his rule, he made 18 irrigation tanks, the large irrigation canal known as Yodha Ela, which I am standing over, and the imposing Avukana Buddha statue.
Although the sign warns me that the “bridge is under repairing” I see lots of people crossing over and I take my chance.
Two steel cables holds the bridge up and I gingerly make my way across the sheets that are laid across. The river below is calm and the levels are low, but I’ve been told that during heavy rains, the water level rises above the bridge.
The next time you drive on to Mannar, take this turn off and check out this location. Don’t miss out on an opportunity and it’s worth the experience.
Good To Know
The 800-meter road up to the bridge is motorable.
Be mindful of children. Adult supervision is required.
Entrance is free.
Do not litter.