Minneriya National Park is located in the North Central Province and is closer to Minneriya tank. You can access the park from Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee districts.

You will witness large numbers of elephants roaming in the grass fields on the edges of the reservoir specially during the dry season. It is counted more than 200 elephants gathered here and sometimes the figures go up as high as 700. They migrate here from Wasgamuwa National Park and benefit from food and shelter of the park’s forest.

The park is an important habitat for the two endemic monkeys of Sri Lanka namely purple-faced langur and toque macaque. You also can spot Sri Lankan sambar deer and Sri Lankan axis deer. If you are lucky, you will come across leopard and sloth bear which inhabit in Minneriya. The park is a dormitory for many resident as well as migrant bird species. Great white pelican, ruddy turnstone and grey heron are the other water birds are plenty to be seen. Also seen are the endemic birds such as junglefowl, Sri Lanka hanging parrot, brown-capped babbler, Sri Lanka grey hornbill, black-crested bulbul and crimson-fronted barbet. Painted-lip lizard, Salt water crocodile, Indian python, Asian water monitor and Bengal monitor are the reptiles live in the park.

Actions: Enjoy a full day visit to Dambulla Caves and admire the murals and statues. If you are taking lotus flowers, the monkeys will try to grab them. Don’t try to feed the monkeys as they live in gang and attack sometimes. Also visit the Iron wood forest, or Na Uyana Aranya, which is located very close. The other attractions include a visit to the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, Hot air Balloon ride and Dambulla vegetable market.

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