Minneriya National Park– Largest Asian Elephant Gathering Place in The World

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  4. Minneriya National Park– Largest Asian Elephant Gathering Place in The World

Minneriya National Park is a wildlife sanctuary where the magnificent man made Minneriya reservoir locates with its ancient pride. The park situates in the North Central province, center of the Cultural Triangle in Sri Lanka. The recently renovated ancient Minneriya Rainwater Reservoir irrigates a considerable area of the district of Polonnaruwa. It is the core of the Minneriya National Park. The famous Gathering of the wild elephant herds can be viewed from May to October which is the best period to visit Minneriya National Park. The gathering is documented as the largest known meeting place of Asian Elephants in the world.Minneriya mainly consists of tropical dryzone evergreen forest. Shrubs are in abundance in the abandoned ‘chena’ lands, grasslands and wetlands. The national park is an ideal home for variety of faunal species consists of 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies and 24 species of mammals according to the records. Out of the species; leopards, sloth bear, spotted and sambar deer, wild buffalo, wild boar, three species of mongoose, porcupine, Indian pangolin, grey langers and purple-faced leaf monkey are prominent. Nine species of amphibians have been found in the park, among them, red-lipped lizard, water and land monitor lizards and mugger crocodiles are unique in Sri Lanka. There is also a large population of elephants in the park, which sometimes converge in plenty (up to 300) around Minneriya Tank.

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