Can You See Sri Lanka From India?

Whenever I’m traveling around the world, I am always curious to know what lies beyond the horizon. On several occasions, such quests yield a thrilling reward, an opportunity to see a country from another. 

Such is the case when you View South Korea from Japan, both countries located in East Asia. 

On the southern side of the Asian continent, we have Sri Lanka and India. Compared to other countries, the boundary between these two countries is relatively narrow.

So, can you see Sri Lanka from India? You cannot see Sri Lanka from India. The sea border that separates the two countries is 15 miles (24km) long. You would have to be at least 150ft (46m) from the ground to see that far. There are no tall buildings or high landforms on the Indian side of the border to view Sri Lanka.

If you still want to check out what is beyond the horizon on the Sri Lankan side, bring along a telescope or binoculars. Compared to a telescope, Binoculars are easy to carry in your Backpack or Sling Bag. Also, the double view on binoculars allows you to have a better field of view.

This article explains why you cannot see Sri Lanka from India or vice versa. Since the two countries are located close to each other, I have also covered the closest locations between India and Sri Lanka.

How Far Is Sri Lanka From India

Sri Lanka is 15 miles (24km) from India. This is the shortest distance between Dhanushkodi town and Talaimannar. Dhanushkodi is on the edge of Pamban Island in India, while Talaimannar is on the edge of Mannar Island in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka and India belong to the Asian continent. They share a sea border that is shorter than most other borders globally. The two countries also share a chain of limestone shoals that run along the sea path that separates them. The shoals go by the name Adam’s Bridge or Rama bridge-more about the bridge later.

Did you know that it is possible to swim from Talaimannar to Danushkod or the other way round? Several people like this Ten-Year-Old Boy from Tamil Nadu, India have done it.

Why Can’t You See Sri Lanka From India?

There is no place in India where you can see Sri Lanka. In Dhanushkodi town, the part of India closest to Sri Lanka, there are no tall buildings from which you can view Sri Lanka 15 miles (24km) away. 

So, why do you need a tall building or high ground to see Sri Lanka? On flat ground, the average human being can only see 3 miles (5km) away. This is according to Healthline. As you go higher, the horizon tends to move further. This allows you to see objects that are further away.

Using the Distance to Horizon Calculator, you need to be about 150 feet (46m) high for you to see as far as 15 miles (24km) away.

On the brighter side, Danushkodi may be destroyed and uninhabitable. Still, the ghost town is an intriguing attraction for visitors all over the world. It provides breathtaking views of the sea, along with other activities. 

I have shared more details on the Indian town closest to Sri Lanka below.

Dhanushkodi Town 


The Indian town Dhanushkodi is located at the tip of Pamban Island. Pamban Island, also known as Rameswaram Island, is separate from India’s mainland. The two connect via a strip of sea.

The extreme point of Dhanushkodi town is called Arichal Munai. At this point, the Bay of Bengal merges with the Indian Ocean.

Fun FactThe position of Arichal Munai changes from time to time due to changes in sea tides. More of the land goes underwater at high tide, which brings Arichal Munai closer to India. At low tide, the land is exposed, so Arichal Munai takes you closer to Sri Lanka.

There is a 5.9 miles (9.5km) road network that leads to Arichal Munai. This road is 3 miles (5km) from Mukuntharayar to Dhanushkodi and 2.8 miles (4.5 km) from Dhanushkodi town to Arichamunai.

Dhanushkodi town used to be popular with numerous tourists daily. Unfortunately, a cyclone hit and destroyed most of it in 1964.

Dhanushkodi was abandoned and uninhabited after this calamity. A few fishermen still live in the town, though. Also, Danushkodi is again gaining popularity as a tourist destination.

Don’t let the sorry state of the town dampen your mood; there are plenty of activities to engage in; they include:

  • Watching seagulls, flamingoes, and other birds that migrate to Danushkodi in October and November
  • Watch the captivating blue sea
  • Play and swim at the beach
  • Ride a bike on the shores
  • See the ruins of the town
  • See the part of India closest to Sri Lanka

Besides the road, there are no other means of transport. A railway network that connected this island to India’s mainland was destroyed during the cyclone calamity.

Like I already mentioned, there are no tall buildings or mountains where you can see Sri Lanka from India. However, with a reliable Digital Camera, there’s much more to focus on and capture in Danushkodi town if you decide to visit this exciting part of India. 

When Is the Best Time to Visit Danushkodi?


The winter season between October and February is the best time to visit Pamban Island. Pamban Island experiences a tropical Savannah climate, which makes Danushkodi warm all year round. In winter, the weather is cooler and breezy, with almost no humidity. 

The average annual temperature in Danushkodi is 91F (33C). In winter, the temperature ranges between 77F (25C) and 86F (30C), making it a relatively cooler time of the year to visit.

The summer, which runs from April to June, is hot with temperatures of up to 89F (32C) and over. The season comes with only a little rain and humidity. If you don’t mind the heat, it is a great time to move about the town and enjoy some good views.

From July to September, the Danushkodi experiences the monsoon season. During the season, rains are frequent and mild storms are common. Since Dhanushkodi town is prone to cyclones, it is not advisable to visit during this period.

Currently, there are no restrictions on visiting time. Still, the town and the beach are relatively deserted during the night, so night visits are not encouraged.

Now that you can’t see Sri Lanka from India, would you have a better chance of seeing India from Sri Lanka? Let’s find out:

Can You See India From Sri Lanka?

It is not possible to see India from Sri Lanka. Talaimannar beach on the Indian side of the border is relatively flat. It has no tall buildings or cliffs to help you see India, 15 miles (24km) away. Human eyes cannot see that far on a flat surface. 

Mannar Island is connected to Sri Lanka’s mainland via a causeway. According to the New York Times, part of Mannar was also destroyed by the 1964 cyclone.

Some of the damage was a railway line that connected this island to Dhanushkodi Island in India.

The best attractions in Talaimannar are the Talaimannar Pier and the Talaimannar Lighthouse. However, the highlight of Talaimannar is the natural tourist attraction that Sri Lanka shares with India, Adam’s Bridge.

Sri Lanka as a country also has much to offer. Here are 20 Amazing Things to Do in Sri Lanka.

Adam’s Bridge; India’s Natural Connection to Sri Lanka

As I mentioned earlier, Adam’s bridge comprises a series of limestone shoals. They cover the distance between these two countries. This is no ordinary bridge, though; there’s water between the sandbars, making it impossible to walk across.

The bridge is said to have been above the water and passable until the 15th century. Parts of the bridge were then destroyed and eroded by storms.

Several traditional myths try to explain the existence of the bridge. The most interesting myth is where Lord Rama, with the help of Lord Hanuman (Hinduism deities), created the bridge from India to Lanka. Their goal was to rescue Rama’s wife, Sita, from Ravana (the 10-headed king of demons) who ruled Lanka.

Do you want a glimpse of how magical the bridge is? The video below will give you a pretty good idea.

If you find the video interesting, you can read more about the Rama Bridge in the book, A Walk to Glory.

Final Thoughts

If your goal is to see Sri Lanka from India or see India from Sri Lanka, you won’t get lucky from either country. Nevertheless, I still find it thrilling to stand on the edge of one country, knowing that another one is several miles over the horizon, won’t you agree? 

Also, both India and Sri Lanka have so much to offer! Check out The Most Interesting Facts about India.

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