Wasgamuwa National Park (වස්ගමුව ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය)

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Size37,062 hectares
Main attractionsLarge herds of Elephants, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking deer and Langur, Wild Bow, Crocodiles, Water Buffalo, Peacocks and many migratory birds.

The Wasgamuwa National Park lies within the Polonnaruwa and Matale Districts. Its eastern boundary is defined by the Mahaweli Ganga, the northern and western boundaries are bordered by the Amban Ganga and the southern boundary is formed largely by the Dunuwila Oya.

Immediately northeast lies the 17,350 ha Flood Plains National Park, downstream from Wasgamuwa. To the north is the Minneriya Giritale Nature Reserve (7,529 ha). The name of the park is supposed to be derived from the name “walas gama” meaning ‘bear country’. Wasgamuwa was initially a sanctuary but after the villagers that lived within Wasgamuwa were resettled in the Mahaweli areas, it was declared a national park.

There is historical evidence that this area had been inhabited by man during the ancient Sinhala kingdoms before the times of Christ. The Giant Canal of Kalinga (Kalinga Yodha Ela) was built in the reign of King Parakramabahu in the 12th century while the remains of Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Wasgamuwa and Dasthota tanks bear witness to the past prosperity of the area. Kalinga island (Kalinga Duwa) too is an interesting place to visit. Kadurupitiya, Dagoda, Baduruwayaya Buddha Statue, Malagamuwa stone pillars and other ruins also bear witness to the past glory of the area.

Yudanganapitiya where the armies camped during the battle of kings Durugemunu and Elara is yet another place of historical importance within the Wasgamuwa National Park.

The main attraction in the park is the Elephants. Though the Mahaweli River runs along one of the boundaries of the park, many elephants move to Minneriya National Park. during the drought season. Therefore the best place to see elephants during the dry season is the Minneriya National Park where you can see herds up to 200 elephants.

Twenty-three (23) species of mammals in Sri Lanka have been reported from this park. The most important of them is the wild elephant the population of which is approximately 150. In addition, one could see the wild buffaloes grazing in the grassland while spotted Deer roaming in the open areas. Occasions where one comes across a Leopard or a sloth bear are not rare. There are also water Monitors and crocodiles roaming very often in the water holes within the park. Of the 428 species of birds reported to be found in Sri Lanka, 143 species are found in this park.

Entrance Ticket Cost for Wasgamuwa National Park

Description (Fees Applicable for Category 2 Parks)Price
Local – AdultsLKR 60
Local – Children (6-12 years)LKR 30
Local – StudentLKR 20
Local – Children (below 6 years)FOC
Local – Group Fee (per vehicle)LKR 400
Foreign – AdultsUSD 12
Foreign – Children (6-12 years)USD 6
Foreign SAARC Countries – AdultsUSD 10
Foreign SAARC Countries – Children (6-12 years)USD 5
Foreign – Children (below 6 years)FOC
Foreign – Group Fee (per vehicle)USD 10
Taxes on total cost15%
Entrance Fee per vehicleLKR 300
Ticket Price Schedule as gazetted in 2022

For example, for 2 foreigners with 1 child between 6 and 12 will have the cost of

DescriptionCost
2 adultsUSD 24.00
1 childUSD 6.00
Group FeeUSD 10.00
Total USD 40.00
Tax (15%)USD 6.00
TotalUSD 46.00
The above costs are for entry tickets for persons. A ticket for the vehicle, as given above, has to be purchased separately

Payments can be made in USD or equivalent LKR by foreigners. You can call 1919 (government information center) for the latest ticket prices. If you are hiring a private safari Jeep, the prices vary from LKR 11,000 to LKR 15,000 for half a day (4 hours) based on the park. For a full day, it’s double the cost of a half day.

Accommodation

This National park is open to visitors from 6.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Reservation of Circuit Bungalows or campsites for resident visitors is done by the Head office of the Department of Wildlife Conservation. (Only three campsites could be reserved at the park Warden’s office) . There are three bungalows within the park (Kadurupitiya, Mahaweli and Wawul Ebe) and two bungalows outside the park ( Gale Bungalow and Angammedille) . There are five campsites ( Mahaweli Ganga I and II, Medapitiya, Ulpath Hatha and Wawul Ebe) for nature lovers to study the natural environment. Accommodation is also available at guesthouses and hotels in Polonnaruwa, Giritale and Habarana and at economical rest-houses in Mahiyangana and Pallegama.

Also See

Map of  Wasgamuwa National Park and Other Places of Interest

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.

Travel Directions to Wasgamuwa National Park

Turn off at Hasalaka on the Kandy-Mahiyangana Road and proceed via Wilgamuwa up to Wasgamuwa. Visitors from the Matale and Polonnaruwa areas can reach Wasgamuwa via Laggala and Wilgamuwa. The Wilgamuwa Japan Bridge provides easy access to visitors coming from the Mahaweli system-C.

Route from Colombo to Wasgamuwa National Park Entrnace Route from Polonnaruwa to Wasgamuwa National Park Entrnace
Though : Kandy – Hasalaka – Hettipola
distance :235 km
Travel time : 6 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Manampitiya – Dimbulagala – Dehiattakandiya – Hettipola
distance :95 km
Travel time : 2 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map

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