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Wasgamuwa National Park - sunday Observer Paper Cutting

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Author Topic: Wasgamuwa National Park - sunday Observer Paper Cutting  (Read 206 times)
indunil
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« on: October 17, 2010, 07:28:31 am »

Bordering the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa is the Wasgamuwa National Park, a vast sanctuary that stretches to a remarkable 36,948 hectares. Wasgamuwa was affirmed to be a strict nature reserve in 1938 but it was altered and declared a national park in 1984. The park is situated within the central and northern central provinces and is primarily an elephant habitat. Rainfall by the northeast monsoon (December to February) and inter-monsoonal rains can vary from about 1750mm in a dry zone to about 2250mm in an intermediate zone. The annual temperature is about 27 degrees Celsius.

The park consists of riverina forest, dry mixed evergreen forest, grasslands and wetlands giving a suitable environment for elephants and other animals to seek refuge on a hot day.

The park is virtually surrounded by the Mahaweli and Amban rivers making the riverine forest a fairly large area.

Famous for its elephants, the Wasgamuwa offers a wealth of wildlife and is frequented by environmentalists and nature travellers in a bid to understand more about Sri Lanka’s wildlife. Besides the magnificient elephant, animals such as the leopard, sloth bear, sambur, spotted and barking deer, wild boar and wild buffalo are also found here.

Torque Macaque, Purple face leaf monkey and nocturnal slender Loris have also been reported to be seen in the park.

The Lesser Adjutant, Wooly necked stork, open bill, painted stork, Racket tailed Drongo, Yellow fronted barbet, Sri Lanka Junglefowl and Spurfowl are among the 150 species of birds found within the park.

There is historical evidence that this area had been inhabited by man during the ancient Sinhala kingdoms. The giant canal of Kalinga (Kalinga Yodha Ela) built during the reign of King Parakramabahu in the 12th century is located here while the remains of Malagamuwa, Wilmitiya, Wasgamuwa and Dasthota tanks bear witness to the past prosperity of the area. The 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. Wasgamuwa can be reached through Matale and Hettipola or from Dehiattakandiya travelling from Polonnaruwa or from Mahiyangana. The Wasgamuwa National Park has some very strict nature conservation measures in place.
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