Wasgamuwa National Park ෴ වස්ගමුව ජාතික වනෝද්යානය
Wasgamuwa National Park (Wasgomuwa) is located in the districts of Matale and Polonnaruwa at a distance of 225 km away from Colombo. The nearest large town is Polonnaruwa, 10 km from the northern boundary.
Reaching Wasgamuwa National Park (Wasgomuwa)
The entrance to Wasgamuwa National Park is at Handungamuwa. The park can be conveniently reached from several tourist attractions.
From Kandy: Kandy, Hasalaka and Hettipola.Approximately 50km northeast of Kandy.Turn off at Hasalaka on the Kandy-Mahiyangana road and proceed via Wilgamuwa upto Wasgamuwa. Visitors from Matale and Polonnaruwa areas can reach Wasgomuwa via Laggala and Wilgamuwa. The Wilgamuwa Japan Bridge provides the easy access to visitors coming from the Mahaweli system-C. From Dambulla and Polonnaruwa ancient cities, through Bakamuna, Elahera and Laggala – Pallegama
Wasgamuwa National Park (Wasgomuwa) spanning over 36,900 hectares is bordered by River Mahaweli Ganga and River Amban Ganga in east and west. The altitude varies from over 500m at the Sudu kanda hill to just 76m along the Mahaweli Ganga. The combination of a number of small reservoirs and Sudu kanda mountain range affords fine trekking opportunities for keen hikers.
Tropical dry mixed evergreen forest predominates, characterized by tall trees: Weera (Drypetes sepiaria), Palu (Manikkara hexandra), Wa (Cassia roxburghii) Ehala (C. Fistula), Buruta (Satin), Chloroxylon Swietenia, Velang (Pterospermum canescens), the endemic Galsiyambala (Dialium ovoideum), Milla (Vitaex Pinanata) and Kaluwara (ebony) (Diospyros Ebenum).
Wasgamuwa National Park’s (Wasgomuwa) climatic conditions are that of the dry zone. Rain fall is mainly with the northeast monsoon (Maha) in October-February. Inter-monsoon rains occur in March-May. Annual rainfall increases from about 1,750 mm in the north to 2,250 mm in the south. Mean annual temperature is around 27 centigrade.
Wildlife at Wasgamuwa National Park
The center of the attraction is herds of elephants up to 150. The best time to enjoy the sight of large herds is during November to May. In the rest of the year the elephants tend to migrate to nearby Minneriya and Kaudulla national Parks.
Other wildlife includes Purple faced langur monkeys, wild boar, sambar and spotted deer, buffalo and rarely sighted leopards and sloth bears.Among the reptiles are water monitor, mugger crocodile, estuarine crocodile and python (Python Molurus).
Birdlife at Wasgamuwa National Park
Of the 143 species of birds reported at Wasgamuwa National Park (Wasgomuwa) are endemic Red-faced malkoha and Ceylon jungle fowl are common sight in the park. Among the bird populations are Sri Lanka Trogon, racquet tailed drongo, endemic yellow fronted barbet, endemic Sri Lanka spurfowl, white necked stork and lesser adjutant stork.
Ruins of ancient Buddhist temple at Buduruwayaya
Remains of a number of small rainwater reservoirs and ruins of temples reveal that the region of Wasgamuwa National Park (Wasgomuwa), was once home to prosperous villages. The ruins estimated to be about 1800 years old features a reclining Buddha statue at Buduruwayaya. Ruins of a palace with stone pillars are found in an island in a canal known as Kalinga Yoda Ela built by King Parakrambahu the great in the twelfth century.
Accomodation within the Wasgamuwa National Park
Within Wasgamuwa National Park (Wasgomuwa) are three wildlife bungalows at Kadurupitiya, Mahaweli and Wawul Ebe. And outside of the park are two villas: Gale Bugalow and Angammedille. Within the park are five campsites: Mahaweli Ganga 1 & 2, Medapitiya, Ulpath Hatha and Wawul Ebe.
Other National Parks
Yala National Park, Udawalawe National Park, Minneriya National Park, Wilpattu National Park, Wasgamuwa National Park, Kumana National Park, Bundala National Park, Kaudulla National Park, Gal Oya National Park, Kalawewa National Park, Lunugamvehera National Park, Pigeon Island National Park, Hurulu Eco Park, Lahugala Kitulana National Park, Maduru Oya National Park