Minneriya National ParkMinneriya National Park,Srilanka
Minneriya National Park is a national park in North Central Province of Sri Lanka. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnatuwa and Trincomalee districts. Along with Kaudulla and Girithale, Minneriya forms one of the 70 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Sri Lanka. The park is situated 182 kilometers (113 mi) from Colombo at Habarana – Polonnaruwa road.
This national park is one of the best places in the country to see wild elephants, which are often present in huge numbers, and wading birds. Dominated by the ancient Minneriya Tank, the park has plenty of scrub, forest and wetlands in its 88.9 sq km to also provide shelter for toque macaques, sambar deer, buffalo, crocodiles and leopards. The 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.
Large numbers of Sri Lankan elephants are attracted to grass fields on the edges of the reservoir during the dry season from May to September. The Minneriya tank contributes to sustain a large herd of elephants. Individuals of elephants gathered here is numbering around 150-200. Some reports account number of elephants to as high as 700. They migrate here from Wasgamuwa National Park and benefited from food and shelter of the park’s forest. Tourists visit Minneriya largely because of elephants, especially in dry season