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Author Topic: Horagolla National Park  (Read 1413 times)
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« on: September 10, 2013, 05:18:48 am »

Horagolla is a well known place in Sri Lanka due to it being the ancestral home of the famous Bandaranaike family, which produced three Sri Lankan Prime Ministers. The Horagolla Estate was once a vast extent of land which in 1973 former Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike donated 33 acres under the land Acquisition Act to the State.

The rich Bio-diversity of the donated land led to the Wildlife Department to converting it into a sanctuary which on July 28, 2004 was named as the Horagolla National Park

The area is called Horagolla due to the abundance of Hora trees found in the vicinity. If you travel about one kilometre from Nittambuwa to Veyangoda, you will arrive at the Pinnagolla junction. About 600 m on the left turn at the junction is the entrance to the park. This is the smallest National park in Sri Lanka. It is situated about 40 km from Colombo.

A magnificent lake by the entrance unfolds before your eyes. Its spectacular scenery, such as the green forest cover and pristine water area treat for the eyes. The temperature at Horagolla which belongs to the low-country wet zone, ranges between 27 to 29 C and the South West monsoon brings the rain. The roads inside the park are attractively paved with stones and numbered with arrows to enable visitors to find their way with ease. The full length of this path runs through the forest about one and a half kilometres
The tall trees are well covered overhead with their thick spread of leaves providing a canopy and the desired effect of darkness in the forest. At every cross road in the interior, stone benches provide seating accommodation for tired visitors.

The mammals include the Fishing cat, Sri Lankan Spotted Chevrotain, Golden Jackal and Grizzled giant squirrel which have been recognized as perment residents in the Horagolla National Park. Visitors are advised to keep to the path in this revere. Silence and patience is a must. Otherwise you will not be able to see the animals.

This park is very rich with flora and fauna which include Hora (Dipterocavpus zeylanicus), Kekuna (Canrium zeylanicus), Godapara (Dillenia rrtusa), Kithul (Caryota urens), Nedun (Pericopsis mooniana), Atamba (Mangifera zeylanica), Ruk Attana, Ankenda, Milla (Vitex pinnata) and moonamal. Invasive species such as Indian del are also common.

A giant Puss Wela (Liana rheedii) which is more than 250 years old also can be seen. Among the vine creepers are Korasawel, Garadia wel, Suduwel and Bambara wel found in this park. Also Wenivel, which is in the herbal category and Watessa plant that covers most of the wet ground

About 64 bird species are found in the park. The most common of them are the Parakeet, Black-crested bul bul, Barbet asian koel and Asian brown flycatcher.

The Sri Lankan grey Hornbill, Sri Lankan Hanging parrot and Layard's parakeet can also be spotted. The park also records various kinds of butterflies such as Ceylon bird wing, Blue mormon, rare clipper.

As in most sanctuaries, Horagolla is a haven for reptiles. Russell's viper, Green wipe snake, Pythons, Cobra, Cat snake and Kangaroo Lizard (pinum kattussa same name) are also found at Horagolla National park

Adjoining the Horagolla wewa is a beautiful summer hut built for visitors to rest at the end of their walk through the forest. In the same location is an Animal museum and centre which treats injured animals. At breeding centre is a pair of Stunted Deer (Olu Muwa).

This National park at Horagolla is a place where people can enjoy the beauty of nature. It is indeed a place of value for students of the flora and fauna. No special permission is required for an ordinary visit other than for research of scientific experiment.

The Horagolla National Park is truly worth a visit by both young and old and is certain to etch in-erasable memories
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