Minneriya National Park

Minneriya National Park, which is 182 kilometres from Colombo, is located in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. Habarana and Minneriya are the two major towns that are most nearby Minneriya National Park.  

Minneriya National Park is spread over a land area of ​​8,890 hectares. The restored ancient Minneriya tank, which supplies water to a considerable area of ​​the nearest town, Polonnaru district, is the centerpiece of the Minneriya National Park. 

It was declared as a sanctuary in 1938 to protect the animals living there due to adverse human activities. But as the forest clearing did not stop, this area was declared as a national park on August 12, 1997 for long-term protection and in 1998 eco-tourism activities were started there.

From the mountains that range from 60 meters to 500 meters above sea level and can be seen throughout the park are forests, thick forests and grasslands. The annual rainfall in Minneriya area is between 1500-2000 mm and the average temperature range is between 21 to 35 degrees centigrade. The Minneriya National Park has a dry season from April to October, with the northeast monsoon from October to January being the wet season. The soil is mainly reddish brown and silt. 


Minneriya Reservoir

Sri Lanka was once an agriculturally self-sufficient nation. The majority of Sri Lanka’s largest reservoirs were constructed between the middle of the Anuradhapura kingdom and the era of the Polonnaruwa kingdom, when reservoir construction technology was at its pinnacle.

Because of this, King Mahasen’s construction of the Minneri Reservoir in the Polonnaruwa District continues to hold a special place. King Mahasen constructed the Minneriya Reservoir, a sizable lake in Polonnaruwa, in 286 AD by spanning the Minneriya River. The 249 square kilometres that make up this reservoir’s catchment area are covered by a dam that is 13 metres high and 2 kilometres long. The centrepiece of Minneriya National Park is the historic Minneriya Lake. 

The main water supply to the Minneriya Reservoir within the Minneriya National Park is the Mahaweli water flowing through the Yodha Canal. The water flowing from Batu Oya, Erige Oya, Talkote Oya, Kiri Oya, Madayampala Oya joins the catchment area of ​​Minneriya Reservoir and very little is added to the reservoir.

Minneriya National Park is home to a significant elephant gathering.

Due to the grasses and plants growing in the lakes edge, a variety of wild animals from the nearby forest come in search of their food and water even though the water level of the Minneri Reservoir rapidly drops with the arrival of the dry season. Elephant herds from various areas, such as Wasgamuwa, Maduru Oya, Somawathiya, etc., are frequently seen in the evenings near the reservoir during the months of August and September, along with the increase of the severe dry season.

The largest numbers of Asian elephants in the world can be found in Minneriya National Park. Within a few square kilometres of the Minneriya Tank, herds of up to 350 elephants can be seen at the park during this time. Up to 700 elephants may exist, according to some reports. Elephants are a major draw for visitors to Minneriya National Park, especially during the dry season. Minneriya National Park is a park that offers the chance to see elephant herds all year long and also helps to maintain sizable elephant herds. It is a part of the elephant corridor that connects with Kaudulla and Wasgamuwa Park.

Minneriya National Park's ecosystems

This park’s plant community is an example of a dry mixed evergreen forest. Low-canopy montane forests, moderate-canopy secondary forests, thorn scrub forests, deserted paddy fields, grasslands, wetlands, and tropical dry mixed evergreen forests are among the different types of vegetation and habitat. Additionally, the Forestry Department has planted teak and eucalyptus plantations in the Ambagaswewa and Kahativemulla regions.

Plants like palu, buruta, milla, kalumadiriya, halmilla, weera, etc. are widely distributed in this area’s plant community. Grasses found in the dry zone forests, such as thorn fever, wild sedge, pohon, etc., as well as species like Kukurumana, Cappettia, and Vara, can also be seen in the Hein and Dhu forests. 

The national park’s diverse vegetation ensures that the animals living there will never lack for food, shade, or shelter.

Wildlife in Minneriya National Park

In Minneriya Park, there are 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies. 

List of main animals in Minneriya National Park

Sinhala name

Tamil name

English name



காட்டு யானைகள்

Asian elephant




Purple faced langur




Toque Macaque






තිත් මුවා

புள்ளி மான்கள்

Spotted deer








Sloth bear 




Little Cormorant


කලපු කොකා

சாம்பல் நாரை

Grey heron


ලතු වැකියා

மஞ்சல் மூக்கு நாரை

Painted stork 


මහ සුදු පැස්තුඩුවා

பெரிய வெள்ளை நாரை

GreatWhite Pelican


වළි කුකුළා


Sri lanka junglefowl 


ගිරා මලිත්තා

இலங்கை தொங்கும் கிளி

Sri Lanka Hanging parrot 


ලංකා මුදුන් බොර දෙමලිච්චා

பழுப்புத் தலை​ச் சிலம்பன்

brown-Capped Babler 


අළු කෑදැත්තා

இலங்கை சாம்பல் இருவாய்ச்சி

Sri lanka Grey Hornbill


ඔලුව රතු කොට්ටෝරුවා

கிரிம்ஸன் ப்ரென்டட் குக்குறுவான்

Crimson-Fronted Barbet


හිස කළු කොණ්ඩයා

செந்தொண்டை​ச் சின்னான்

Black- Crested bulbul



இந்தியன் ரோலர்

Indian roller


තොල විසිතුරු කටුස්සා

சிவப்பு உதட்டுப் பல்லி

Red lipped lizard






හැල කිඹුලන්

சதுப்பு  நில முதலை

Mugger crocodile



மலை​ப் பாம்பு





Land monitor lizard



நீர் உடும்பு

Asian water monitor


Birds in Minneriya National Park

Large water birds like lagoon cranes and painted storks have a crucial habitat in the Minneriya reservoir. Great White Pelican, spot-billed pelican, and painted stork. Many resident and migratory bird species reside in Minneriya. 2000 Little Cormorants in flocks have been observed. The other water birds in this area include the great white pelican, ruddy turnstone, and grey heron. The Sri Lanka Junglefowl, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Brown-Capped Babler, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Crimson-Fronted Barbet, Black-Crested Bulbul, and others are examples of endemic birds. The quantity of endangered bird species identified in Minneriya National Park

Animals in Minneriya National Park

In Minneriya National Park, herbivores like wild elephants, purple faced langurs, Toque Macaques, buffalo, sambar, and spotted deer, as well as carnivores like leopards and sloth bears, abound.

Reptiles and Amphibians in Minneriya National Park

The Red-lipped lizard, Skink, Mugger Crocodile, Python, Land Monitor Lizard, and Asian Water Monitor are some of the reptile species that call the park home. The Minneriya reservoir is home to numerous species of freshwater fish. Additionally, a variety of butterfly species can be found here.

Rambawila bunglow in Minneriya National Park


Breathtaking view of Minneriya tank, forest and mountains


Breathtaking view of Minneriya tank, forest and mountains


Rambawila Tourist House has been built for the convenience of tourists and its booking is done from the head office of the Wildlife Conservation Department in Colombo.

Attractive Places in Minneriya Park

Animal watch Tower - Rambawila


Breathtaking view of Minneriya tank, forest and mountains

The watch tower provides wonderful view overlooking the huge minneriya tank. Abundant wild life freely roams. You can climbup to watch tower & see the wide area of tank & forest.



Breathtaking view of Minneriya tank, forest and mountains

One of the far end side of minneriya national park and edge of minneriya tank from katukeliyawa village side. You can climb up the under constructive 3 storey hotel to see the minneriya reservoir  & forest view. (The construction was stopped) 

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