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Wasgamuwa National Park

Polonnaruwa, Ancient Central, Sri Lanka.
Location : Polonnaruwa
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Overview
Wasgamuwa national park spreads over 36, 948 hectare land which lies within central and north- central provinces. It was originally designated as a strict nature reserve in 1938 and subsequently as a national park in 1984. The initial intention of establishing this park was to make a refuge for the displaced wild animals during the Mahaweli Development Project in 1984. Wasgamuwa is considered to be the last catchment area of Mahaveli River as well.
Since the park is located in the dry zone of the island, it has rather hot climate and the rainfall is highly seasonal. Rain is received during the north-eastern monsoon, from October to January and annual precipitation ranges between 1650-2100 mm.  Park consists of riverine forest, dry mixed evergreen forest, grasslands and wetlands. Riverine forests almost dominate the land as the park is enclosed by Mahaweli and Amban Rivers. Some tributaries of Mahaveli River such as Wasgamu Oya and Karavanan Oya generate at the highest elevation of the National Park called Sudu Kanda (White Mountain).

The vegetation of the park consists of Palu (Manilkara hexandra), Weera (Drypetes sepiaria), Satin (Chloroxylon swietenia), Wa (Cassia roxburghii), Gal Siyambala (Dialium ovoideum) and Ebony (Diospyros ebenum).  Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna), Mee (Madhuca longifoloa) and Thimbiri (Diospyros malabarica) found in fair numbers in riverine forests. Grasslands mainly consist of Imperata cylindrica. The 1,700 year old tamarind tree is another attraction of the place. It is known as "Oru Bendi Siyambalawa" (Canoes-moored-Tamarind).
Wasgamuwa Park is home of the 23 mammal species including elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambhur, spotted and barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo ,Torque Macaque, Purple face leaf monkey and nocturnal slender Loris. It is reported that 150 elephants inhabit the park. Out of 143 bird species that are found here, 8 are recognized as endemic to Sri Lanka. Lesser Adjutant, Wooly necked stork, open bill, painted stork, Racket tailed Drongo, Yellow fronted barbet, Sri Lanka Junglefowl and Spurfowl are among those species. Moreover 8 species of amphibians, 17 reptile species, 17 fish species and 50 butterfly species occur in this place.

In addition, Wasgamuwa is adorned with historical importance too. Ruins of Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Dasthota irrigation tanks and Kalinga Yoda Ela (giant canal) which were built by Parākramabāhu 1 remain in the national park.  They imply that this land was occupied by man during early times. Kalinga Island (Kalinga Doowa) which lies in the park, is a site worthy to be paid a visit. Kadurupitiya, Dagoda, Baduruwayaya Buddha Statue, Malagamuwa stone pillars and other ruins emphasize the ancient glory of this vicinity.    
Yudanganapitiya where the armies camped during the battle of kings Durugemunu and Elara is another place of historical value within the Wasgamawa National park.

 There are three bungalows within the park and two bungalows outside the park. Seven campsites which are available within the park would offer a remarkable opportunity for you to explore the natural environment.
 

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