Manalkadu Sand Dunes


This is a fantastic stretch of dunes that towers up to 16 meters at specific points. Many ruins are buried in these dunes, one of them being an ancient catholic church from the Dutch era, dedicated to St. Anthony’s. The walls of the church can be observed when the dunes move from time to time.

More details

The Location and Description of Manalkadu

Situated in a picturesque location, Manalkadu offers a tranquil escape for nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike. The village derives its name from the Tamil language, where "Manalkadu" translates to the sand bush, a fitting tribute to the dunes that grace the area. These majestic sand formations tower up to 16 meters, creating a breathtaking sight against the horizon.

Adding to the charm of Manalkadu, the villagers have diligently cultivated a Casuarina thicket to protect the forest belt further inland. This ecological effort not only preserves the natural beauty of the dunes but also provides a serene environment for visitors to immerse themselves in.

The Ruins of St. Anthony's Church

The rich history of Manalkadu comes to life through the ruins of St. Anthony's Church. Constructed during the Dutch rule in the 17th century, this architectural marvel has witnessed the passage of time. However, some historical records claim that the British built the church in the late 19th century. Although the debate persists, the prevailing belief leans toward its Dutch origins.

What sets St. Anthony's Church apart is its unique construction material—coral stone—a rarity in Sri Lanka. The walls, partially built with this precious stone, add to the allure of the church. Standing as a testament to the craftsmanship of a bygone era, the ruins continue to fascinate visitors with their architectural beauty.

Shifting Sand Dunes and Changing Ruins

The dynamic nature of the dunes at Manalkadu lends an air of mystery to the site. As the dunes shift and evolve, so do the ruins buried within them. As a result, the level of sand covering the church ruins is in constant flux, presenting a captivating spectacle for those who visit. During these moments of transition, the exposed walls of the church emerge, offering a glimpse into the past and the intricate details of the construction.

The ebb and flow of the dunes create an ever-changing landscape reminiscent of a living, breathing entity. Visitors are drawn to this natural phenomenon, marvelling at the shifting sands that reveal fragments of history and unravel the story of St. Anthony's Church.

Cultural and Historical Significance

The ruins of St. Anthony's Church carry great cultural and historical significance in the region. These remnants are a tangible link to the Dutch era, evoking a sense of nostalgia for a long time. As a result, locals hold the church in high regard, cherishing its history and associated memories.

Preservation efforts by the community underscore the value placed on these ruins. The locals recognize the symbolism and importance of St. Anthony's Church, ensuring that it remains a cherished landmark amidst the changing sands of Manalkadu. This dedication to heritage showcases the enduring spirit of the village and its commitment to preserving its cultural roots.

Experiencing Manalkadu Sand Dunes

For those seeking a captivating experience, exploring Manalkadu Sand Dunes is an absolute delight. Visitors have access to designated areas that allow them to witness the beauty of the dunes up close. The shifting landscape offers a unique opportunity to simultaneously engage with history and nature.

While at Manalkadu, visitors can indulge in various activities and explore nearby attractions. The region boasts a diverse range of wildlife, providing nature enthusiasts with ample opportunities for observation and photography. Additionally, the surrounding areas offer scenic beauty, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the stunning landscapes.



Submit a Review

Send reply to a review

Hotel Booking



Send listing report

You already reported this listing

This is private and won't be shared with the owner.


Girl in a jacket



Sign in

Send Message

My favorites

Application Form

Claim Business