Somawathi National Park (සෝමාවතී ජාතික වනෝද්‍යානය)

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Size37,645.5 hectares
Main attractionsLarge herds of Elephants, Deer, Wild boar, Bear, Birds and Fish

The Somawathi National Park is one of the four national parks set aside under the Mahaweli River development project. The other three national parks are Maduru Oya, Wasgamuwa and Flood Plains. The park spans the Eastern and North Central provinces in the deltoid plain of the Mahaweli River.

Somawathi Sanctuary was declared a National Park on 2nd September 1986. The Park spans across 2 districts, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee.

It affords protection to a unique habitat, i.e. riverine villus and flood plains, as well as to a large concentration of elephants in the country, in conjunction with the adjacent Flood Plains National Park.

Although the area has been heavily exploited, regeneration will be rapid once human activity is phased out because of the abundance of moisture and high carrying capacity of the villus. Both parks are vital for migratory and resident waterfowl.

Somawathi National Park was under threat due to the government providing large land blocks belonging to the National Park for private large-scale banana cultivation for Dole Lanka, a subsidiary of the multinational Dole Plc. However, due to the pressure from various nature protection organisations, the operations were shut down in 2011.

The park is most popular for the Somawathi Stupa which houses the left tooth relic of Buddha.

Somawathi National Park Ticket Prices (Entrance Fees)

Currently, there is no fee levied to enter Somawathi National Park. You can call 1919 (government information centre) for the latest updates on prices. 

References

  • Wikramagamage, C., 2004. Heritage of Rajarata: Major natural, cultural, and historic sites. Colombo. Central Bank of Sri Lanka. pp.95-97.

Also See

Map of  Travel Directions to Somawathi 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 Somawathi National Park

Sungawila is the last town and border village you come across on the route to Somawathi. After this town, you come to the entrance of Somawathi National Park.

The park can be reached from Polonnaruwa or Minneriya. Coming from Minneriya, you have to pass the Higurakgoda town to reach Sungawila. From Polonnaruwa, you need to turn at the Hospital Junction (between Polonnaruwa and Kaduruwela towns). The distance to the stupa from both these towns (Minneriya and Polonnaruwa) is about 40 kilometres.

Route from Colombo to Somawathi National ParkRoute from Polonnaruwa to Somawathi National Park
Though : Ja Ela – Kurunegala – Dambulla – Habarana – Minneriya – Hingurakgoda – Sungavila
Distance :250 km
Travel time : 5-6 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Though : Sungavila
Distance :40 km
Travel time : 1.5 hours
Driving directions : see on google map

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