Minneriya National Park is another famous tourist destination in Sri Lanka. The place is widely popular due to its largest elephant gathering. It belongs to the Polonnaruwa District of North Central Province. Minneriya National Park is the home to many wild animals. This covers 8889.4 ha.

Location

Minneriya National Park is situated 182km away from Colombo city. It needs almost 4 hours to reach the capital. The distance from Kandy is about 105km. It will take around 3 hours to reach this from there. Google Maps will help you find the location. Dambulla, Sigiriya, and Polonnaruwa are some of the most visited tourist destinations on the island. Those locations are not far from this national park. Therefore, many of them don’t miss this place to visit.

History

Minneriya Tank, or what the locals call “Minneriya Wewa,” is an ancient construction. It was made by King Mahasen in the 3rd century AD. The purpose of the tank was to supply essential water for paddy cultivation. The surrounding forest was the main water source for the tank. Apart from that, the Amban River and Elahera Canal bring water to the Minneriya Tank.

The tank and its surrounding forest were declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. It was further declared as a national park in 1997/08/12. The aim of the declaration was to protect the tank and wildlife of the area.

Climate

The Minneriya National Park and surrounding area receive an average annual rainfall of 1000–1500 mm. The average annual temperature is around 25–30 °C. The North-Eastern Monsoon is the main rainfall source and it is active from October until February. There is a clear dry season from May to September.

Wildlife

Minneriya National Park is home to 24 mammal species, 1600 bird species, 9 amphibian species, 25 reptile species, 26 fish species, and 75 butterfly species.

Some of the birds that you can watch here are the Sri Lankan Junglefowl, Sri Lankan Hanging Parrot, and brown-capped babbier. It is a paradise for both resident and migrant birds. Along with them, you can identify the Sri Lankan Leopard, Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Sri Lankan Sambar Deer, Buffalo and two types of endemic monkeys.

Elephants

Minneriya is best known for its largest elephant gatherings. Group of 150 – 300 wild elephants can identify together in the dry seasons. Elephants in Matale, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee disticts migrate to Minneriya National Park in the dry season. They gather around the Minneriya Tank because of the food and water. Therefore, May to September time period consider as the best time to visit this sanctuary.

There are many Safari service providers around this national park. So, you can pick one of them to plan your wildlife tour. As well as you, there are many hotels and lodges for tourists in Dambulla, Sigiriya, Habarana and Girithale areas. This is the National Park that you should visit if you love Sri Lankan Elephants and widlife.

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Day Tour at Polonnaruwa Ancient City

( Cover Image Credit: Stephen Blaxhall )

Are you up to seeing one of the most beautiful and rich cities in Sri Lanka? Are you up to a great day with history? This is the ideal Day-tour for you. Sri Lanka has a strong history of kingdoms and is very rich in culture. This island has so much to see for its locals as well as its tourists. People who come in to this country never get disappointed by the beauty, culture and history of this place.

This tour is designed to give you a historical momentum of one of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities, Polonnaruwa. We will provide a guide for you who is able in communicating with you in English. We ensure that the guides are thorough with local knowledge and historic information. If you require language specific guides, it can be arranged through a special request as well. The tour is conducted during the day because it is a cultural tour and a lot of visitations to ancient ruins is included.

The royal City of Polonnaruwa

It is declared as the second ancient city in Sri Lanka after Anuradhapura. Polonnaruwa is one of the kingdoms in Sri Lankan history, and was ruled and reigned by many kings at the time. The main difference between these two kingdoms is that, unlike Anuradhapura kingdom, Polonnaruwa had a lot of influence from Hinduism and was even ruled by some Tamil kings. This cultural city has a lot of Hindu kovils, apart from the Buddhist temples. It is also a city that has been famous for agriculture.

Must-see places in Polonnaruwa

One of the significant places in Polonnaruwa is the ancient ruins of the Royal Palace of King Parakramabahu. Even though you can only see ruins, they are an evidence of great architecture and design. Another main attraction is ‘Gal Viharaya’ which consists of many beautiful images and statues of Buddha. It is a symbol of excellence in carving. Apart from that, there are temples, stupas, and dagobas that are quite significant in the city such as Lankathilaka temple, Rankot Vehera, Thuparama gedige, and Potgul Viharaya.

Ruins in Polonnaruwa are so much more that what described above. Apart from those temples and stupas, the city also has many Hindu temples and kovils due to influence of Hinduism. There are several Temples dedicated to god Shiva and god Vishnu in Polonnaruwa, all considered as historical ruins.

Beautiful Sri Lanka, beautiful Polonnaruwa

This tour is considered very informative and educational. During this Day-tour, you will learn about the many influences Polonnaruwa had as a kingdom, the names of kings that ruled, and the agricultural influence. It is an ideal Day-tour for everyone that loves experiencing new cultures and discovering histories. Sri Lanka in general has a very rich history in terms of kingdoms, agriculture, and civilization.

Come and join the tour to enjoy this magnificent ancient kingdom with great history. Our guides will guide you throughout the tour to give you the most exhilarating tour experience. Don’t forget to bring your smart phones and cameras to capture these mighty sights.

 

Polonnaruwa Day Tour with Mahaweli Tours & Holidays

Possible Starting / Pick-up Locations :
Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Sigiriya, Pasikudha, Trincomalee, Nilaegombo (You can let us know your exact location for us to check and confirm the possibility)

Duration : It takes around 03 hours to complete the visit of the Polonnaruwa ancient city. You can walk or we can arrange some bicycles if you prefer some cycling.

Tour Type : A private tour. Vehicle and the Guide / Chauffer guide are dedicated to you / your group. Safari tour will be done by an off road vehicle and traveling to the starting point and back will be done by Comfortable Car / Van / Mini coach.

 

(Polonnaruwa Image Credit: PT Palace from Pinterest