Arippu fort

Arippu Fort
Mannar, Sri Lanka
Arippu Fort
Coordinates 8°47′33″N 79°55′47″E / 8.792592°N 79.929653°E / 8.792592; 79.929653
Type Defence fort
Site information
Condition Ruins
Site history
Built by Portuguese
Materials Brick

Arippu Fort (Sinhalese: අරිප්පු බලකොටුව; Tamil: அரிப்புக் கோட்டை, also known as Allirani fort;[1] Tamil: அல்லிராணிக் கோட்டை) was built by the Portuguese and was handed over to the Dutch in 1658.[2] The small bastion fort is located in Arippu, which is 16 km (9.9 mi) away from Mannar Island. The fort is nearly square in shape, with two bastions.

Robert Knox, English sea captain and famous British prisoner of the Kandyan King Rajasinghe II, and his companion escaped after nineteen years of captivity and reached the Arippu Fort in 1679.[3]

The first British Governor of Ceylon, Frederick North, constructed his official summer residence at the beach front, now known as The Doric and converted the fort into accommodation for the officers, who operated the pearl fisheries in the area. The fort building was subsequently converted to a guest house but was abandoned when the civil war spread to the area.


A legend says Tamil Queen, Alli Arasani[4] (அல்லிராணி) was ruled Mannar region. It believes that her fortress was located where the ruins of fort can be seen today.[5] Further, the legend says that Kudiramalai area was her palace,[6] and Queen Alli ruled where Kuveni subsequently ruled.[7]


  1. "Allirani Fort". Ministry of Public Administration & Home Affairs. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  2. "Arippu Fort". Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  3. "An ancient village, a ruin by the sea and stories of pearls from Taprobane". Retrieved 9 November 2014.
  4. Kulendiren, Pon (2012). Hinduism a Scientific Religion: & Some Temples in Sri Lanka. iUniverse. p. 212. ISBN 1-4759-3673-7.
  5. "Maha Vishnu's Temple Maha Kumbabheshekam". Daily News (Sri Lanka). Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  6. "The jewel of the deep". Sunday Times (Sri Lanka). Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  7. "The Sinhalese of Ceylon and The Aryan Theory". Retrieved 18 July 2015.
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