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Minneriya Giritale National Park (8890 ha) with magnificent ancient Minneriya man-made reservoir (3000 ha) stealing the limelight, is located in close proximity to three more wild life parks of Sri Lanka Holidays: Kaudulla National Park to the north, Wasgomuwa national Park to the south and Flood Plains National Park to the north-east. Furthermore Minneriya Giritale National Park is situated within the famed Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka that features no less than five UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Culture): Anuradhapura to the north-west, Polonnaruwa to the south-east, Sigiriya to the south-west, Golden Dambulla Rock Cave Temple to the south-west and Kandy to the further south of Dambulla.

Reaching Minneriya-Giritale National Park
Minneriya–Giriatale National Park has a very convenient gateway: Habarana. Habarana, an important transportation hub of the cultural triangle is the intersection of A6 main road of Colombo-Ambepussa-Habarana-Trincomalee and A13, A11 main road that runs from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa via Habarana and Minneriya. Minneriya National Park, located 182 km away from Colombo, though in the utter wilderness, can be reached by railway too. Minneriya railway station, which is close to the entrance of the park, is on line that runs from Colombo to Trincomalee via Polonnauwa. Minneriya railway station is between the railway station of Gal Oya Junction (close to Kaudulla National Park) and Hingurakgoda railway station. This Gal Oya Junction in Polonnaruwa district mentioned herein oughtn’t be confused with famous Gal Oya National Park in Ampara district)

Entrance to the Minneriya-Giritale National Park
Entrance to the Minneriya-Giritale National Park cannot get any better: it is where the A11 main road touch the railway line.
Vegeation at Minneriya Giritale National Park
The park has wide range of habitat types, from dry tropical forest to wetlands, grassland and terrain earlier used for slash-and-burn (chena) cultivation.
Best time to Visit Minneriya Giritale National Park
Sri Lanka Holidays wild life parks afford the sight of herds of wild elephants and other mammals throughout the year. However during the period of May to October (dry season of north central and eastern plains) Sri Lanka Holidays tourists are afforded the grand spectacle of a vast gathering of wild elephant. The gathering of elephants should not be mistaken for migration of elephants from the nearby wild life parks. The gathering is a phenomenon unique to Minneriya Giritale National Park. Kaudulla National Park has its own ancient irrigation reservoir called Kaudulla reservoir; Giritale sanctuary is located on the banks of Giritale reservoir; Wasgomuwa National Park is sandwiched between River Mahaweli ganga, the largest river of Sri Lanka and River Amban Ganga; Flood Plains National Park has Mahaweli ganga dividing it into two halves all the way to Somathiya Chatiya National Park to further north-east. In spite of the water bodies in and around the other national parks, elephants therein have found that the open grassland on the banks of the vast ancient Minneriya irrigation reservoir is the merry land to run riot during the dry season: drink and bath; feast and play; jostle and hustle to the content of their jumbo hearts. 



Minneriya Birdlife
Minneriya National Park is home to no less than 160 species of birds. A visit to the bund of the enormous Minnerya irrigation reservoir is bound to be great joy to the bird enthusiasts, birders and ornithologists. King fishers and flycatchers, of many different sizes and degrees of brilliancy keep vigil over the shores of the lake. In the backdrop of contrasting vegetation and habitats of the Minneriya Wildlife Park, an enormous array of birds could be sighted. Among the migrating birds are Common sandpiper, Woodsand piper, Kentish Plovers. Malabar-pied Hornbills, Rufus Woodpecker the globally endangered Lesser Adjutant are among the forest birds. Add to these are of course the endemics to Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Crimson-fronted Barber, Sri Lanka Grey Horn bill, Sri Lanka Green Pigeon, Sri Lanka Jungle Fowl, Brown-capped Babbler, Emerald Dove, Green Imperial Pigeon.

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