Maduru Oya National Park is scenic for its ruins in a natural setting!
Maduru Oya is south of Polonnaruwa and west of Batticaloa and covers an area of over 58,000 hectares.
The park is unique as it combines dry-zone vegetation and tropical evergreen forest along with large patches of open plains previously used for cultivation. It was designated as a national park in 1983 and deemed to protect the catchment area of five reservoirs.
There are two entrances to the park, one from Aralaganwilla and the other from Mahiyanganaya side. A group of Veddas (the indigenous people of Sri Lanka) who have always used the reserve as a hunting ground for centuries live within the park boundary. Today, hunting has been banned in order to preserve the fauna.
Maduru Oya is also of cultural importance as there a many important ruins, some of them dating back to the 3rd Century BC. Most of these ruins are located in Henanigala, Kudawila , Gurukumbura , Uluketangoda, Werapokuna and several other places. A dam dating back to the 4th Century BC was discovered here.
What can you expect to spot?
Easily: Elephant, Water Buffalo, Grey Langur, Monitor, Painted Stork and Grey Pelican.
If you use your senses: Slender Loris and White-bellied Sea Eagle.
If you are lucky: Leopard, Jackal and Cobra.