Location: Central and North Central provinces | Sri Lanka
Nearest City: Matale
Nearest Airport: Bandaranayake Airport | Sri Lanka
Coordinates: 7°43′N 80°56′E
Area: 39322 ha
Established: 1984 – National Park, 1938 – Nature Reserve
Governing Body: Department of Wildlife Conservation
Country: Sri Lanka | Asia
Most Popular: Elephants | Birds
Located in the Matale and Polonnaruwa districts of Sri Lanka, Wasgamuwa National Park is a wildlife sanctuary. During the Mahaweli Development Project, it was proclaimed as a National Park in 1984 to safeguard and provide a safe haven for the displaced wild animals. After being designated a nature reserve in 1938, it became a rigorous nature reserve in the early 1970s. Large herds of Sri Lankan elephants can be seen in the protected area of Wasgamuwa. It’s also one of Sri Lanka’s “Important Bird Areas.” The term “Walas Gamuwa” is the origin of the name of the Wasgamuwa. “Walasa” means “sloth bear” in Sinhala, and “Gamuwa” refers to a piece of wood. From Colombo, it’s a drive of 225 kilometers to get to the park.
Wasgamuwa National Park is located in the Matale and Polonnaruwa districts of Sri Lanka. Large herds of Sri Lankan elephants can be seen in the protected area. The park was designated a nature reserve in 1938, and became a national park in 1984.
History & Historic Irrigation
It is still possible to see the remnants of the irrigation tanks and canals constructed by Parkramabhu I in the national park. Water was irrigated from the Minipe anicut’s left bank canal to Parakrama Samudra by the Amban Ganga, which had previously passed through Wasgamuwa.
The site of the battle between Elara and Dutthagamani has been identified as Yudangana Pitiya. Kandauru Pitiya is the name given to a grassland where Dutthagamani’s army was reported to have camped before the fight. The remnants of King Mahanaga’s Chulangani chaitya can be found in the national park. Ruwanwelisaya’s circumference, 966 feet (294 meters), is smaller. The chaitya’s bricks have yielded a bowl used by Sri Vikrama Rajasinha and a number of bronze figurines, which are presently housed in the Yudangana vihara.
“The site of the battle between Elara and Dutthagamani has been identified as Yudangana Pitiya. The remnants of King Mahanaga’s Chulangani chaitya can be found in the national park. Ruwanwelisaya’s circumference, 966 feet (294 meters), is smaller”
In Sri Lanka, the Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the most diverse of the country’s protected areas. The park is home to more than 150 different kinds of flowers. It’s worth noting that Cryptocoryne walkeri and Munronia pumila have a commercial value. A wide variety of wildlife can be found in reservoirs and riverine woodlands. Layers of the forest can be found throughout the landscape. Trees that dominate the emergent layer include Chloroxylon swietenia, Manilkara hexandra, Elaeodendron glaucum, Pterospermum canescens, Diospyros ebenum, Holoptelea intergrifolia, Pleurostylia opposita, Vitex altissima, Drypetes sepiaria, and Berrya cordifolia Polyalthia korinti, Diplodiscus verrucosus, Limonia acidissima, Cassia roxburghii, and Strobilanthes stenoden are also prevalent in other strata. “Oru Bendi Siyambalawa” (Sinhala meaning Canoes-Moored-Tamarind), a 1,700-year-old tamarind tree, was found in the park.
“Wasgamuwa National Park is one of the most diverse of Sri Lanka’s protected areas. A 1,700-year-old tamarind tree was found in the park. A wide variety of wildlife can be found in reservoirs and riverine woodlands.”
There are 23 different types of mammals to be found in Wasgamuwa National Park. 150 Sri Lankan elephants live in the park. The Mahaweli river area is home to the marsh elephant (Elephas maximus vil-aliya). Purple-faced langur and toque macaque, two of the park’s primate residents, are Sri Lankan endemics. In contrast to the more frequent water buffalo and Sri Lankan axis deer, the Sri Lanka leopard and sloth bear are elusive. Another indigenous mammal is the little golden palm civet.
A total of 143 bird species have been documented in the park. There are a total of eight of these. This national park is home to an endemic red-faced malkoha. Another indigenous bird found in the park is the Sri Lanka junglefowl. The reservoirs and streams of the national park are home to a variety of wildlife, including the lesser adjutant, yellow-fronted barbet, and Sri Lanka spurfowl. The park’s other water species include peafowl, painted stork, black-headed ibis, and Eurasian spoonbill. The Sri Lankan frogmouth can be found at this location. Near the Mahaweli river, a chestnut-winged cuckoo can be found.
There are eight amphibians in the park, and Fejervarya pulla is one of them. Five of the park’s 17 reptile species are indigenous. The park’s waterways are home to crocodiles like the water monitor and the mugger crocodile. There are three endangered reptile species: Lankascincus spp., Calotes ceylonensis, and Otocryptis wiegmanni, and Chrysopelea taprobanica. Endemic Some of the park’s 17 different fish species include the Garra ceylonensis and combtail. Eight of the park’s 50 butterflies are indigenous.
“Wasgamuwa National Park is home to 150 Sri Lankan elephants and eight endemic malkoha. Five of the park’s 17 reptile species are indigenous. The park’s waterways are home to crocodiles like the water monitor and mugger crocodile.”
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