Part of Mannar District
The Island is probably the driest, most barren area in Sri Lanka. The landscape features many baobab trees, probably introduced from Africa by Arab trader’s centuries ago.
Mannar, the major town on the island, is at the southern end, joined the mainland by a 3 km causeway. It's not interesting apart from its picturesque Portuguese/Dutch fort. Talaimannar, near the western end, is about 3 km from the pier that was the arrival and departure point of the ferry for India that operated until 1984.
A little farther west, an abandoned lighthouse at South Point marks the start of Adam's Bridge, the chain of reefs, sandbanks and islets that almost connects Sri Lanka to India.
In the epic Ramayana, the bridge was the series of stepping stones that Hanuman used to follow Ravana, the demon king of Lanka, in his bid to rescue Sita.