Udawalawe National Park


Udawalawe National Park is one of the leading and most significant national parks in Sri Lanka. This is an important protected area home to considerable flora and fauna, and also it is a virtual environment for Sri Lankan elephants and water birds. This national park lies on the boundary of Uva and Sabaragamuwa provinces. The park is 165 kilometres [103mi] away from the capital city Colombo. Udawalawe national park was declared on 30th June 1972 at a ceremony presided over by the ministry of shipping and tourism. [government Gazette Notification No:14]. This park was done at the end of the Udawalawe Reservoir Project. The primary objective of designating it as a national park is to protect the catchment areas and create a refuge for wild elephants. A second reservoir, Maw Ara tank, was constructed between 1991 & 1998 in the national park.
The whole range of the Udawalawe National Park is 30,821 hectares [119 sq mi], including the water reservoir, which covers 3405 hectares at total capacity. The Udawalawe national park is connecting to Lunugamwehera National Park in the Southeast. The Udawalawe Thanamalwila road defines the Southern boundary of the national park. To the South of the road is the sewanagala sugar plantation. Before the Udawalawe national park designation, the people used this area for shifting cultivation [Chena farming]. After being designated as a National Park, people moved to places. Today Udawalawe National Park has been one of the significant and popular tourist destinations, and the third common visited national park in Sri Lanka.


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