Bridge across the crocodile-infested Nilwala River
Crossing a river
When in 1753 Johan Wolffgang Heydt visited Matara Fort, he described the bridge as ‘an unusual float on the water’. In 1868 a temporary bridge was built under the British Governor's authority. Improving the connection with Galle and in 1907 Matara got a permanent bridge over the Nil-Ganga for a budget of Rs. 76,882/-.
Now the Mahanama Bridge is a main connector and landmark of Matara Town. From the bridge, you can see where the Indian Ocean and the crocodile-infested waters of the Nilwala River meet. The bridge is a busy point, with beggars, cobblers, umbrella makers and small peddlers fighting for space to sell their wares. It is even a known suicide point.