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The Angamedilla National Park


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Author Topic: The Angamedilla National Park  (Read 5537 times)
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« on: September 10, 2013, 05:15:28 am »

We left on an expedition to the Angamedilla National Park from Giritale and couple of hours later reached Diggalpitiya and then crossed Radavige Oya, a branch of Ambanganga for a break.

On the other side of the road, I noticed a statue of God Ganesh's under a big tree and watched as a passer-by hung small leaves and worshipped the statue. This traditional observance is usually done by villagers as protection from animals and other things. We too hung leaf branches before continuing our journey.

Abundance of greenery was a sign that the entrance to park was closed. A wayside notice board in Sinhala which however was upside down, indicated that there were road blocks every 100 metres.

Angamedilla Park Warden Sunil Shantha with his assistant was at the park office to welcome us.
Angamedilla is the latest in the list of National Parks in Sri Lanka declared by the Wildlife Department on July 6, 2006.

It falls under the Dry Zone evergreen forest and board the catchment area of the Parakrama Samudraya. The temperature ranges between C 20-34 degrees in dry period while the annual rainfall is between 1,200 - 2,000 mm received from North East Monsoon which starts from September to February.

The Angamedilla National Park is spread over an extent of 8,729 hectares of land bordering the Parakrama Samudraya in North, Yoda Ela in the East, Ambanganga in the South and Radavige Oya in the West.

This national park is situated 225 km from Colombo and is approachable via Dambulla, Kandalama and Bakamuna. Another route is from Giritale via Elahera, Diyabeduma, Attanakadawela and Diggalpitiya from where you can turn to the right and travel for 3km to come to the entrance.

King Parakramabahu is stated to have built the stone anicut in Angamedilla to divert water from Ambanganga through the Yoda Ela to Parakrama Samudraya, which is opposite to the main entrance. After walking under a canopy of trees into the forest campsite (200m from the stone anicut), we proceeded to the safari with Sunil Shantha driving and doing the guiding.

We passed a holiday bungalow in Angamedilla. This area not only provides facilities of holiday bungalows for visitors but also two camp site to choose from.

The start of our safari was the Elephant holding ground although the Wildlife Department had spent good amount of money for the construction to be completed three years ago, it is yet to open. The slight drizzle turned into rain as we left in the jeep, into the forest

A herd of a wild-boar scampered into the thicket on hearing the noise of our vehicle. But a pair of jungle fowl carried on regardless.

The Sri Lankan elephant, sambar deer, Indian muntjac, axis deer, Wildboar, Grizzled giant squirrel and Porcupines inhabit this green forest along with the Red slender loris, Tufted gray longur and purple faced longur. The reptiles recorded here are Vipers, Cobra, Gold and Black tree snake and pythons. Among the birds are Pita Rat Kerala (Red backed woodpecker), Red Faced Mal Koha (Watha Rathu Mal Koha), Nil Peda Biguharaya (Blue tailbee-eater), Indian Peafowl, Sri Lanka gray hornbill, Red wattled lapwing, Ceylon paradise-fly catcher, Refous-winged bushlark and Brahmini kite.

We crossed a few streams and Samanala (butterfly) bridge and continued through thick tree scrubs, grassland and muddy spots.

The most common of flora and fauna seen in abundance were Weera, Kohoba, Kaluwara, Milla, Velan, Dhaba and Kumbuk along the river bank.

The rain affected our tour and our jeep got struck twice in the mud but ultimately we reached Mahaiyawa Wewa at the other end. We were surprised by the magnificent environment at Mahaiyawa Wewa. Its gave a spectacular scene of the 470 feet hig Sudu Kanda in the background of the reserve.

Sudu de Thuduwa (Black headed ibis), Karawel Koka (Perple Heron), Diyakawa (Great Comarent), Kahameti Koka, Sudu Medi Koka, (Intermediate Egret) and Lathwekiya (Painted Strokes) were seen in most places. We used the same track on our return to the park office with an experience unforgetable

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