Mannar which is previously spelled as Manar is a large town and is the main town of Mannar District, Northern Province, Sri Lanka. Mannar is located on Mannar Island overlooking the Gulf of Mannar and is home to the historic Ketheeswaram temple. Mannar is popularly known for its baobab trees and for its fort, which was built by the Portuguese in 1560 and was later taken over by the Dutch in 1658 and rebuilt. The ramparts and bastions are still intact, though the interior is largely destroyed. This town was formerly renowned as a centre of pearl fishing and presently dominated by its Hindu temples, mosques and churches.