Kaudulla National Park

Image

Kaudulla National Park is a national park on the island of Sri Lanka located 197 kilometres (122 mi) away from the largest city, Colombo. It was designated a national park on April 1, 2002 becoming the 15th such area on the island. In the 2004–2005 season more than 10,000 people visited the National Park, generating an income of Rs.100,000 from entrance fees. Along with Minneriya and Girithale BirdLife International have identified Kaudulla as an Important Bird Area.

Historically Kaudulla was one of the 16 irrigation tanks built by King Mahasen. Following a period of abandonment it was reconstructed in 1959. It now attracts and supports a variety of plant and animal life, including large mammals, fish and reptiles..

Kaudulla National Park was opened in 2002 providing the elephants more expanses in the wilderness, in the process connecting to the elephant corridor between Minneriya and Wasgomuwa national parks to the south. Kaudulla also connects Somawathiya National Park to the east. The centerpiece of the park, Kaudulla reservoir draws herds of elephants during the dry season. September and October are the best times to visit Kaudulla to enjoy the sight of large herd of elephant. 211 beasts were counted in Kaudulla in 2008.Habarana road too lies in the midst of the elephant domains. Vehicles travelling in the evening to/from Kaudulla National Park often come across these beasts, who are now well used to human interference.

Apart from the elephants, Kaudulla National Park is home to 23 species of mammals including Sambar Deer, Sri Lankan Axis Deer, Chevrotain, Wild boar, Leopard, and Sloth Bear are other mammals. Very rarely one could spot leopard and sloth bears. The best period of time to visit this park is during the months of June to September.Tourists find a ride in Paddle-boats on the lake an excellent opportunity to enjoy bird watching.