Prehistoric Minihagalkanda in Yala (ප්‍රාග් ඓතිහාසික යාළ මිනිහාගල්කන්ද)

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Yala National Park was initially started as a Game Sanctuary by the British in 1894 and was established as the Yala National Park in 1938. Yala covers more than 100,000 hectares of wildlife with Kirinda to the west, Kataragama to the North, Panama to the east and the Indian Ocean to the south.

The coastal belt of Yala stretches for 45 kilometres and with Kumana included is 66 kilometres long. You could look out over miles of rolling sand dunes where the wind blows piles and pushes the sand so that they are ceaselessly moving, drifting and constantly changing. Some of the dunes are about 40 feet high with a beach-jungle vegetation of knotted, twisted wind-blown trees and shrubs 10 feet high.

The coastal strip, too, was populated around the first century B.C. but now the sands of time have engulfed and buried the past. What remains to be seen are potsherd, broken bricks, tiles, a few stone pillars at Pillinnawa Modera and the ancient earth wells on the edge of the Pothana lagoon.

Less than two miles along the coast from Pillinnawa Modera, towards Pothana, is a ridge that rises steeply above the shore. At the base of the cliff are rocks eroded into the shape of a man, which gives the cliff its name Minihagalkanda (miniha-gal-kanda).

Erosion in scooping out these huge bowls has sculptured shapes indescribably beautiful and revealed colours that no pen can describe. The steep walls rising in places over 100 feet high, display layer upon eroded layer of many-hued soils interspersed with rocks of quartz, jasper, chert, limestone and gneiss.

Morley Davis, in 1923, dated fossilised marine shells collected here to the Miocene age (23.03 to 5.3 million years ago). Thirty-six years later Deraniyagala was to discover the first echinoderms and vertebrates. He also found stone age implements on the eroded vertical slopes. He also discovered Stone Age weapons and conjectured that primitive hunters camped here in search of animals that came to drink off its mineral springs.

List of Archaeological Sites inside Yala and Kumana National Parks


  1. Handbook for the Ceylon traveller: A Studio Times Publication (1974). Colombo, Sri Lanka: Studio Times, p.167

Also See

Map of Prehistoric Minihagalkanda in Yala

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Travel Directions to Prehistoric Minihagalkanda in Yala

The park can be reached through Southern Highway. It is 275 kilometres away (the shortest path through Ratnapura avoiding the Highway but travel time is longer) from Colombo.

Route from Colombo to Yala National Park  (Ruhuna) EntranceRoute from Kataragama to Yala National Park  (Ruhuna) Entrance
Through : Southern Highway – Mattala – Tissamaharama – Kirinda
Distance : 275 km
Travel time : 4.30 hours
Driving directions : see on Google map
Through Tissamaharama – Kirinda
Distance : 40 km
Travel time : 45 minutes.
Driving directions : see on Google map


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