Flood Plains National Park , between Polonnaruwa and Manampitiya, is a great ecological site
Flood Plains National Park was declared a national park on the 7th August 1984 under the Mahaveli River development project the same date as the neighbouring Wasgomuwa National Park and covers an area of around 17,350 hectares. The park is in fact a strip flanking the river Mahaweli Ganga River between the cities of Polonnaruwa and Manampitiya. This park serves as a migration corridor for wildlife between the Somawathiya Chaitiya Sanctuary in the north and Wasgamuwa National Park in the south. The corridor is particularly important for the elephant herds in the area and plays a vital role as grazing grounds for a range of fauna thanks to the rich alluvial soil on the banks of the Mahaweli Ganga.
Flood Plains consists of a variety of ecological zones such as river channels, seasonally flooded grasslands, marshes and swamp forests. To top this, the park has about 38 “villus” (swampy lakes) within its limits. The vegetation in the park is hence abundant in species. Flood Plains National Park provides a refuge for a wide variety of fauna as well.
Please note that it is not rare for the authorities to close the park to visitors to protect the habitat of both endemic and migratory species.
What can you expect to spot?
Easily: Asian Elephant, Indian Muntjac, Spotted Deer, Water Buffalo, Lesser Adjutant, Marsh Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Painted Stork, Cattle Egret, Indian Darter, e Marsh crocodile and Estuarine Crocodile.
If you use your senses: Sambhur, Wild Boar, Rusty-spotted Cat, Jackal, Water snakes, Indian Black Turtle and Osprey.
If you are lucky: Fishing Cat and Jungle Cat.