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Minneriya National Park

Location

Situated 12 miles (20Km)northwest of Polonnaruwa,Minneriya National Park is in the Polonnaruwa district and North Central province. The Park’s boundaries on the north ,west and east are outlined by roads: the Habarana – Polonnaruwa highway, Sigiriya – Moragaswewa and Katukeliyawa-Diyabeduma roads respectively.The core of this National park is in an inhabited area within one of the country’s most diverse natural systems, with intermediate forest, bamboo stands, patinas and talawas. Nowhere else does such diversity seem to occur within a single protected area,

particularly in such an intact state. The tank supports a variety of waterfowl, besides being of immense social-economic value.

Access

The distance from via the Habarana-Pollonaruwa Road is 113 miles(182Km).The park office and entrance are located at Ambagaswewa, where one obtains a permit and guide. The closest town, polonnaruwa, is 15 miles(24Km)distant.

The park covers an area of 8,889 ha.

Cultural Heritage

Minneriya Tank was built in the 3rd Century AD by king Mahasen, who was deified after his death as Minneri Deviyo, A small temple erected in his memory stands within the park.

Visitor and Visitor Facilities

The park’s location within Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle(Anuradhapura-Polonnaruwa-Kandy)makes it ideal for combined nature and cultural excursions. Opened for tourism in 1998 ,the park has no internal accommodation facilities ,though excellent hotel rooms are available in sigiriya ,Habarana,Polonnaruwa and Girithale.