Minneriya

Minneriya is situated 182 km (113 mi) off Colombo, Sri Lanka. Minneriya area was designated as a national park since 1997 and is positioned in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.

Minneriya is situated 182 km (113 mi) off Colombo, Sri Lanka. Minneriya area was designated as a national park since 1997 and is positioned in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It was originally declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1938. It was declared as a protected area in order to protect the catchment of Minneriya tank and the wildlife of the surrounding area. The tank is of historical importance, having been built by King Mahasen in third century AD who is also revered by the locals as "Minneriya Deviyo". The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa, and Trincomalee districts.

During the dry season, large numbers of Sri Lankan elephants are attracted to grass fields on the edges of the reservoir. The Minneriya tank contributes to sustain a large herd of elephants. They migrate to this park from Wasgamuwa National Park and benefited from food and shelter of the park's forest.

Tourists Attractions in Minneriya

  • Elephant Safari

The Minneriya National Park is mostly famed for the large numbers of Sri Lankan Elephants that gather here in the dry season - there have even been herds as large as 400 Elephants reported. The gathering of elephants in the Minneriya National Park is the largest seasonally recurring concentration of wild elephants found in the world.

More spectacular than possibly any other wildlife event in Sri Lanka is what is known as the ‘Gathering’. During the dry season (July to September) when water supplies start to diminish, more and more animals congregate around the Minneriya reservoir where the grasses are rich and fertile. For several months of this drought season, different herds of wild elephants gather at the reservoir. They come from areas beyond Minneriya, and at any one time, it is possible to witness up to 300 to 400 elephants. They are not migrating, they are simply ‘gathering’, to socialize, bathe, drink, feed and possibly mate.

Minneriya on map

Sri Lanka Tourism Activities around Minneriya