Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park is situated approximately 180 Km from the Commercial city of Colombo. It is 104 Km from the scared city of Kandy. The national park is located in the North Central province and the closest city is Polonnaruwa. Closet town is Habarana, just ten minutes’ drive.

The national park covers an area of 8889.4 ha.

In August 1997, the area was designated as a National park, but originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. The tank (Minneriya tank) has a historical importance; it is built by the King Mahasen in third century AD.


Minneriya rainwater reservoir is the crucial point of the national park. Minneriya National park is part of the elephant corridor which joins up with the Kaudulla National Park and Wasgamuwa National park. Due to this reason Minneriya National park gives a great opportunity to watch herds of wild elephants throughout the year. May to October is reckoned to be the greatest time to visit Minneriya National park to view the wild elephant gathering.

Main Attraction of the park

Wild elephant gathering at the tank is the focal attraction of the Minneriya National park. During the dry season the area is a feeding ground for the wild elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee districts. Elephants gathered on the edges of the reservoir during the dry season can amount around 150 – 200. A jeep safari is the most appropriate method for site seeing at Minneriya National Park.

Minneriya National Park
Minneriya National Park

Climate at the National Park

The national park is located in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Therefore it receives an average annual rainfall of 1500 – 2000 mm. Temperature range from 20.6 C and 34.5 C respectively. Elehara canal and the Amban river are the main resources of water for the tank. The wet season is from October to January, where North Eastern monsoon prevail.


The national park is considered to have 24 species of Mammals, 160 species of Birds, 9 species of Amphibians, 25 species of Reptiles, 26 species of Fish and 75 species of Butterflies.

National park is an important habitat for purple-faced langur and torque macaque, which are endemic monkey species of Sri Lanka.

Minneriya is a dormitory for many local and migrant birds. Great white-pelican, ruddy turnstone and grey heron can be seen. Also endemic bird species such as Sri Lanka jungle fowl, Sri Lanka hanging parrot, brown-capped babbler, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, black-crested bulbul and crimson-fronted barbet were reported. 11 number of threatened birds species were also reported from the national park.

There are 8 species of endemic reptiles and all are considered as threatened. Saltwater crocodile, Indian python, Asian water monitor, Painted-lip lizard and Bengal monitor are the reptile species found at the park.

Sri Lanka

North Central province


August 12, 1997

Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park is one of the best national parks to spot Elephants in Sri Lanka. It is located in the district of Polonnaruwa in North Central Province. And it is about 190 km from the commercial city of Colombo. Also it is nearly 120 Km from the sacred city of Kandy. 

The national park can be reached by Colombo – Trincomalee main road. Its entrance is positioned 22 Km North of Habarana.

Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park is the best park to go on a safari to watch Elephants. Safari jeeps are available throughout the day, but the most preferred time is the evening. Evening is less busy and elephants can be spotted. A tour can be completed within 4 to 5 hours.

National park is a dry green forest which spread over an area of nearly 6700 hectares. Park includes Relapanawa reservoir, Olumadu Wewa reservoir, Puliyan Kalla Wewa reservoir, Minneriya – Kanthale Yoda Ela canal and Aluth Oya stream. Since all these situated closely to each other, park get submerged in water for several months in the year.

Climate of the Park

The national parks annual average rainfall amounts between 1500 mm – 2000 mm. North-Eastern monsoon is the main source of rain. During the period of April – October a dry weather condition prevails at the park. The average annual temperate fluctuates between 20 C – 35 C.

A herd of elephants
Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla National Park © TripAdvisor

Wildlife at the park

Main attraction of the Kaudulla National Park is the herd of Elephants. At times the herd comprises 200+ Elephants. September and October are the best times to visit and enjoy the sight of large herd of Elephant. As per the sources in 2008, 211 of elephants were counted at the national park. Other than that 23 species of Mammals, such as Sambar Deer, Sri Lankan Axis deer, Chervrotain, Wild boar and Sloth bear can be seen. The peak time to visit the park is between June to September.

The national park is also a great place for bird watching. Also numerous species of reptiles can be spotted as well. As per the information there are 160 species of birds, such as Spot-billed Pelican, Lesser Adjutant, Asian Spoonbill, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork and Openbill Stork are common sights.


Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains National Park

The Horton Plains National Park is a beautiful highland plateau located in central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is a protected area with an elevation of 2100 – 2300m above sea level which is 6900 – 7500 feet. In 2006, along with Knuckles Conservation Forest was declared as a World Heritage site. National Park is accessible via Ginigathena or via A5 road which connects Peradeniya with Chenkalay in the east via Gampola and Nuwara Eliya. This was declared as a National Park in 1988 and it is one of the popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka.

Weather at National Park

It receives an annual rainfall of greater than 2000 millimeters (79 in). Amount of sunlight received by the plants is limits by the frequent cloud cover. Annual temperature is 13 C (55 F), but the temperature differs noticeably during the course of the day. It reaches as high as 27 C during the day time and drops as low as 5 C at night. Although rain falls throughout the year, a dry season can be seen from January to March. During the South-West monsoon season, the wind speed can be very high. Horton Plains is considered as one of the most important watershed in the Island.

Horton plains are the headwaters for few important rivers such as Mahaweli, Kelani and Walawe. It also feeds Belihul Oya, Agra Oya, Kiriketi Oya, Uma Oya and Bogawanthalawa Oya. Slow moving streams, waterfalls and swamps are few wetland habitats can be seen in the park.

Tourist Attractions

Horton Plains National park has become a popular tourist destination due to World’s End being the utmost popular. It is a 700 m vertical drop, which gives a marvelous view of the valley below.

Bird watching is another popular routine for a tourist. National Park consists of 21 endemic bird species such as Sri Lanka Superfowl, Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Yellow-fronted barbet, Orange-billed babler, Sri Lanka bush warbler and Sri Lanka Whistling thrush. Also four species namely the Sri Lanka Magpie, Dull-blue flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye and Sri Lanka Wood pigeon can only be seen at the National park. There also are a variety of migrant birds such as Crested serpent eagle, Mountain hawk and Black-winged kite.

               Most frequently seen mammal is the Sambar deer, a population of 2000 is estimated.

Sri Lankan Monkey

Horton Plains National Park is a beautiful and picturesque place in Sri Lanka, where a tourist needs to visit when in the island of Sri Lanka. Others include Toque macaques, Purple faced langur, Kelaart’s long-clawed shrews, Sri Lankan leopard, Wild boar, striped necked mongoose and Spotted chevrotain. And one of the world’s most endangered primate, the Red slender loris can be seen here.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 by the late Hon. Minister Kalugalle and currently managed by the Department of National Zoological Gardens Sri Lanka. Presently it is a home for 93 elephants.

Elephant at Pinnawala
Getting ready for their daily bath at "Ma Oya" river

Main idea behind the facility is to attract local and foreign visitors and the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Thousands of visitors visit the orphanage daily to see how the elephants live under the kind care of their mahouts.

Main idea behind the facility is to attract local and foreign visitors and the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Thousands of visitors visit the orphanage daily to see how the elephants live under the kind care of their mahouts.

The main residential care area is on the east side of Rambukkana Road. It also has some restaurants and refreshment stands, and management buildings including sleeping sheds and veterinary facilities. The elephant bathing and viewing area along the “Ma Oya” River is directly opposite on the west side of the highway.

People who visit the Elephant Orphanage can view the care and daily routine of the elephants, such as bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants, and bathing in the “Ma Oya” River.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Elephant pack ready for a bathing at the river

Most of the elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are healthy. Once they attained adulthood will be retained within the facility because they have become dependent on food. A few disabled elephants are given residential care.

An Evening View of Kandy Lake

Kandy Lake

The Kandy Lake (Kiri-muhuda)

A beautiful lake can be seen in front of the Temple of the Tooth Relic which is called “Kandy Lake”. It was a stretch of paddy fields called “Tigolwela” in the past. King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe built the lake converting the paddy fields. Since there was a beautiful pond named as “Kiri-muhuda” (a sea of milk) in the middle of the Tigolwela, the lake too had been named as “Kiri-muhuda”.

The extent of the lake is 6544 sq. meters. (70,400 sq. ft.) The circumference is 3.21 km. Highest depth is 18.5 m (60 ft.) The parapet wall, giving the appearance of a cloud, is popularly called “Walakulu Bemma” and measures 633.82 m. It is a beautiful lake which greatly enhances the scenic appeal of the city.

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Kotmale Dam

Kotmale Dam

kotmale dam

The Kotmale dam is one of the five main head-work projects done under the Mahaweli Ganga Scheme. this is the most upstream of all.

Kotmale dam is the first with an upstream concrete membrane. The power station is the first Sri Lankan underground station. The dam was ceremoniously declared open in 1985.

There are three spillways and the type of it is called Radial gated, chute type spillway. Catchment area is 544 sq Km. The type of the dam is known as Rock fill with concrete membrane.

Kotmale Dam
World's highest statue of walking Buddha

Ranawana Temple

Ranawana Temple

Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya

Ranawana temple is located approximately 900 m off Kandy-Colombo (A1) road. You need to turn from Nanuoya near the Highway Museum Complex. The temple is one of the beautiful temples in Sri Lanka and you must not miss a visit when visiting the sacred city of Kandy. It has many life incidents of Lord Buddha and are built using maximum natural resources.

Temple is also known as “Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya”. Entrance of the temple has a model of the north entrance of the “Sanchi Stupa” of India. Spending few hours at this temple will help you to keep out all of your busy life and will help you to make your mind free. Your visit to the temple will be a memorable one and can collect lot of memories.

Ranawana Purana Rajamaha Viharaya

Jetwing Lighthouse will be closed in the months of May and June Next year

In Jetwing quest to offer legendary service standards and unforgettable experiences to their valued guests, they believe that it is of paramount importance to continuously upgrade their services and amenities.

It is therefore with great pleasure they announce the commencement of the renovation project of Jetwing Lighthouse, which includes the 63 rooms and suites designed by Sri Lanka’s seminal architect Geoffrey Bawa. The property will be closed in the months of May and June Next year (2019) and will be ready to accept guests once again in July. Jetwing Lighthouse Club (22 rooms and suites, and Nihal’s Restaurant) and the banquet hall at Jetwing Lighthouse will continue to operate during this period.

They apologize for any inconveniences this can cause and sincerely appreciate your patience and support.

National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum

National Railway Museum is the national railway museum of Sri Lanka, located in Kadugannawa. The railway museum is owned by Sri Lanka Railways.

The museum was opened on 27 December 2014 in order to commemorate the 150th anniversary of railway service in Sri Lanka. Previously, the museum was located in Colombo.[2] The old museum has been opened in May 2009.

The museum has old engines, locomotives, rail cars, trolleys, carriages, machineries, and equipment’s that used since the beginning of Sri Lanka Railway.

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