Maduru Oya National Park
Maduruoya well known for its elephant habitat. Other than elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambhur, spotted and barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo are also found here. Torque Macaque, Purple face leaf monkey and nocturnal slender Loris is also found in the park. Lesser Adjutant, Wooly necked stork, open bill, painted stork, Racket tailed Drongo, Yellow fronted barbet, Sri Lanka Junglefowl & Spurfowl are among the over 100 species of birds found within the park.
Ruins at Henanigala, Kudawila, Gurukumbura, Uluketangoda, Werapokuna and several other places include ancient Buddhist shrines, temples, dagobas, statues, devales and hermitages from different eras in Sri Lankan history. An ancient sluice dating prior to the 6th century BC was discovered recently on the old breached earthen bund of the Maduru Oya. Early Brahmin inscriptions dating from the 3rd century BC are found at Kandegamakanda. Vestiges of the Veddhas, an aboriginal tribe believed to be descended from King Vijaya and the Yaksha (demon) princess Kuveni, are to be traced in the traditional lifestyles of a few families in Dambana.
How to get there
Another route from Colombo (165 miles/265 km) is via Kurunegala, Dambulla, Habarana, Polonnaruwa and Manampitiya. Main access from the north is from Manampitiya (16 miles/25 Km) located on the Polonnaruwa-Batticaloa highway.
There are two circuit bungalows and one dormitory at the park office in front of Maduru Oya reservoir. Ulhitiya campsite is available for nature lovers. There is a well-arranged wildlife museum at the park entrance.
February 20, 2007