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Minneriya National Park

A national park since 12th August 1997, the National Park protects the catchment of Minneriya Tank and also the wild inhabitants of the nearby. The tank was built by King Mahasen in 3rd century AD. It serves as the feeding ground for the elephants, specially during the dry summer season. During this congregation, one can witness elephants from the forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts. Apart from elephants, the park is a habitat for Sloth deer, purple-faced langur and toque macaque; alongwith sambar deer and Sri Lankan axis deer. The national park comprises of wetlands, low-canopy montane forests, intermediate high-canopy secondary forests, abandoned chena or shifting cultivation, grasslands, rocky outcrops and scrublands.

Minneriya tank is surrounded by Terminalia arjuna, sacred fig (Ficus religiosa), Piliostigma racemosum and Manilkara hexandra and Neem (Azadirachta indica). Other dominant species are Calotropis gigantea Randia dumetorum and crotons. Department of Forest Conservation has planted eucalyptus and teak alongwith grass species like Bambusa bambos, Panicum maximum and Imperata cylindrical.

The national park has 24 species of mammals, 9 types of amphibians, 160 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 75 species of butterflies and 26 species of fishes.

Things to Do in Minneriya

Minneriya Safari Tours
One of the most popular activities among Sri Lanka travelers, Jeep Safari is mostly customized as half and full day during the morning and evening hours. Nature lovers will come across Elephants gathering, endemic monkeys, sambar deer, axis deer. Bird population like lesser adjutant, painted stork and spot-billed pelican can be sighted.  

Challenge Your Stamina at Pidurangala
Climbing this massive rock formation is believed to be tougher than the one in Sigiriya. Only a fit and adventurous climber can conquer it. Wish to try?

Find the Ornithologist in You
Go for a bird watching tour in the Minneriya reservoir which is a habitat of water birds like Lesser Adjutant, Painted Stork, and Spot-billed Pelican. Both dormitory and migrant birds are found here. Sometimes even Little Cormorants and Indian Shag visit here.

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