Minneriya National Park
Province : North Central Province Area : 90 sq. km Altitude: 100 - 885 m Vegetation : Tropical dry mixed evergreenrsh
The Elephant Gathering is the key attraction of this park. In the dry season, from about June thru September every year, the receding banks of the Minneriya Lake create one of the most unique scenes you will ever see. A mass exodus of elephants create the World famous ‘Minneriya Elephant Gathering‘.
The elephants come from areas beyond the reservoir and at times herds with numbers as large as 300 – 400 can be seen. The animals here socialize, bathe and even find mates. It is a unique phenomenon of nature and can only be witnessed in this park. It was recently listed as the Top no. 6 in the Lonely Planets’ guide to wildlife spectacles of the world.
According to authorities the Elephant Gathering at Minneriya is the largest grouping of Elephants at one time in Asia. Minneriya is the 2nd most visited park in the Country.
At the center of the park is the Minneriya tank (reservoir) that was built in the 3rd century by King Mahasen. The source of water for this lake is the Amban Ganga river. Water from the Minneriya tank feeds both the Kantalai and Kaudulla tanks. The Minneriya Devale (temple) was built in commemoration of King Mahasen, who is considered a deity by the local population.
Main Attraction : Elephants, Purple faced langur, Toque macaque & bird-life
Minneriya National park's faunal species include 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies.
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Major Anuradhapura (82 km), Colombo (190 Km / 4 hrs)
Airport : Colombo (190 Km / 4 hrs)
Park Opening / Closing
Park Open : Open Throughout the year
Shortest Route :
Fly to Colombo and drive to Minneriya.
Nearby National Parks / Wildlife sanctuaries:
Kaudulla (18 km), Flood plains (31 km), Maduru Oya (72 km), Wasgamuwa (91 km)
Best Time to visit and climate:
The best time for this trip is April - September. The famous elephant gathering occurs during July - September.
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