Lady Manning Bridge (Old Kallady Bridge), Batticaloa

The historic Lady Manning Bridge was built by the British in 1923 and remains as a symbol of British colonial rule in Sri Lanka. In honor of the wife of the British Governor William Manning, it was named Lady Manning Bridge, however, it is generally known as the Old Kallady Bridge by the locals. This is the oldest and longest (276 meters) iron bridge in Sri Lanka and was the gateway connecting Batticaloa with the southern places of the district until the new Bridge was constructed. On an average, 10,000 vehicles cross the narrow, single lane bridge daily.

The famous “singing fish” legend is associated with this bridge. In 1954, two American priests recorded fish singing under the bridge and the recording was broadcast on Radio Ceylon in the 1960s. The faint, but distinct musical sound resembling a plucked guitar was often heard in the waters surrounding Old Kallady Bridge, especially during nights of full moons. The mysterious music is attributed to a noise emanating from some form of a marine life found in the lagoon.

With the opening of the New Kallady Bridge, the old bridge is now free for cycling, walking, fishing and magnificent nature viewing. You can have a wonderful scenic view in the evening hours! 

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Latitude: 7.717264 Longitude: 81.703724 Elevation: 18 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Simon Jones

Hours Open

The Bridge can be accessed at any time.

Time Period Represented

18th centuary

Seasons Open

Round the year

Visitor Fees

Free of charge.

Accessibility Notes

The Lady Manning Bridge is located around 2 km from the Batticaloa Town along the Batticaloa-Kalmunai Main Road and takes around 5-10 minutes travel time from the town. The road is in very good condition and can be reached by all kinds of vehicles. 

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets can be allowed at your own risk.

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