Maduru Oya National Park – මාදුරු ඔය ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය

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Elephants @ Udawalawe National Park
The Thunpath Rena
Size58,849 hectares hectares
Main attractionLarge herds of Elephants, Deer, Wild boar, Bear, Birds and Fish

Maduru Oya National Park is located in the Dry zone and is 314 km away from Colombo It is situated by Kuda Sigiriya a great eco location yet to be explored by travelers to Sri Lanka.

The park was established as a catchment area for the five reservoirs under the Mahaweli  project and provides habitats for wildlife, inclusive of elephants. It was declared a national park in 1983 under the Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance.

Ancient Maduru Oya Sluice dating back to 1st century BC
Ancient Maduru Oya Sluice dating back to 1st century BC

Maduruoya well known for its elephant habitat. Other than elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambur, 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.

All dry zone vegetation is found in abundance at Maduru Oya Park. Weera, palu, buruta, kaluwara welang, beli, ehela, kumbuk, milla, kone and woodapple are some of them. However it is sad to see the sections of the jungle that were raped by chena cultivators who destroyed all the big trees and turned them into open plains, now filled with illuk, grass and various kinds of shrubs and cactus groves.

On the way to Maduru Oya National Park - road between Aralaganwila and Maduru Oya
On the way to Maduru Oya National Park – road between Aralaganwila and Maduru Oya

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

Maduruoya can be reached through Matale and Hettipola or from Dehiattakandiya coming from Polonnaruwa or from Mahiyangana. Maduruoya is closer to Wasgamuwa National park.

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.

Also See

Map of  Maduru Oya National Park

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