Udawalawa Transit

Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home

This is a place where abandoned and stranded jumbo babies are looked after till they are ultimately fit enough to be released back to the wild. This elephant transit home is situated in a land of 200 acres that is bound to Udawalawa reserve and Udawalawa National Park. It is significance in the entire field of wild-life in the world, as it is the foremost and the only elephant transit home of this type established to preserve world elephant affluence. Department of wildlife Conservation maintains this place and was set up on 6th October, 1995 as the pilot project by the Department of Wildlife Conservation under the considerable attempt of Dr. Nandana Athapaththu, the former deputy director of the Department. Signature of Sri Lanka 195 In sake of medical treatments and nourishments in this elephant transit home that was started by taking care of the jumbo baby named “Komali” in 1995, nearly 100 baby elephants have been cured and looked after unto now. The first group among them was released to the forest on 21st March, 1998. Jumbo babies named Gamini, Panduka, Anuradha and Anusha were lucky enough to belong to the first group released. The second group to which baby elephants named Komali, Isuru, Sandamali and Mathali belonged was released on 1st July, 2000. Jumbo babies named Pandu, Jayendra, Mahesh, Neema, Hema, Madara and Thamali, which belonged to the 3rd group were released on 18th January, 2002. When transit home receives a baby jumbo first of all it is given first-aids and treated if it is wounded. Then the baby elephant is fed milk using bottles. An elephant baby in this selter is given several meals of milk per day. The smallest baby jumbos are given milk powder for infants and little grownups are given children’s milk powder. In pursue of the fact, 99 milk powder packets each 400 g, and 6 milk packets each 1 kg, are needed to nourish baby elephants per day. Later on after one year or little more, they are trained for extra nourishments by feeding grass and leaves. Then gradually they were accustomed and given a considerable practice to go in search of water and to self-defense. When the time is ripe for enough them to be send back to their natural habitats, they are released to Udawalawa reserve. There is an opportunity for any nature lover to participate in the conservation of wild elephants that are in the verge of extinction due to various reasons.

Handagiriya Entrance

Udawalawa National Park: Handagiriya Entrance

Udawalawa National Park which falls into two administrative Districts; Ratnapura and Monaragala is established based on the development project of Walave River. This area was asserted as a National Park on 30th July, 1972 with the intention of protecting fauna and catchment of Udawalawa reservoir. Udawalawa National Park is located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city. The 30,821 hectares of eco-tourism tourism destination falls a part of 10,300 hectares into Ratnapura administrative District. The entrance to this National Park can be confronted near the 7th milestone of Thanamalvila road that is accessible by proceeding in the Colombo-Ambilipitiya route and turning left from Thimbolketiya junction. Signature of Sri Lanka 197 This park is especially famous for elephants (Elephas maximus), which are mainly visible in the park in herds feeding in the grasslands. The annual rainfall in the park, which is located in dry zone, is about 1,524 mm, completely depends on the south-east monsoon rain. The average temperature is about 29º degree celsius. Part of the west area of this park belongs to intermediary zone and comparatively gets an excessive rainfall. Several foothills can be observed here and there in this plain grassland. Some of the most prominent features are the Kalthota Escarpment and spectacular Diyavinna fall to the north and in the west the foremost park Ulgala Mountain and Bambaragala, Remanikotha rocky plains. Elephants in number 450-600 exist in the park for now. Tall tree species like satin-wood (Choloxylon swietenia), Trincomalee wood alias Halmilla (Berrya ammonilla), ebony (Diospyros ebenum), Kolon (Adina cordifolia), Ceylon oak (Schleichera trijuga), chaste-tree (Vitex altissima) and KunumFalls (Diospyros ovalifolia) have dominated the park. In the riverine forest at Walave River, Kumbuk (Terminalia arjuna) and the endemic Mandorang (Hopea cordifolia) are predominant. Savanna grasslands are dominated by Mana (Cymbogon confertiflorus) and Iluk (Imperata cylindrical) and the scrub is invaded by clustery vegetation of Damaniya (Grevia tiliaefolia). Besides, invading plants like Gandapana (Mappia ovate) and Kuretiya (Memecylon rostratum) have covered some areas of grassland. As well as elephants among the large mammals, the spotted deer (Carvus axis), samber deer (Carvus unicolor), sand deer, Indian moose deer (Moschus miminna), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) are re-establishing themselves. Other mammals live in the park include jackal (Canis aureus), wandaroo or large monkey, monkey, 198 SABARAGAMUWA golden musang (Paradoxurus zeylanicus), rabbit and polecat (Paradoxurus musanga). About five species of mouse have been reported from the Thom-scrub now predominate. Leopard (Panthera pardus), Toddy cat (Paradoxurus hermaphrodities), small Indian civet cat (Viverricula indica) that belong to cat family and deer also live in this park. About 30 species of serpents and 3 species of mongoose (Herpestes griseus) have been discovered from this national park. Also it is home to numerous species of avifauna. An internal road system including an entrance from Handagiriya area in Balangoda has been established specially with the anticipation of exploring hither to unknown areas of Udawalawa National Park. This project is done on financial provisions and guidance of Ministry of Tourism in Sabaragamuwa Province. There is hardly any facility for tourists to cover the entire park due to the discomfort of travelling in land interrupted by water bearing grounds. The area that is newly open to the public is also a part of Udawalawa National Park. Fossils of Balangoda anthropoid considered to be the foremost joint of the chain of human linage in Sri Lanka have been discovered from the place named BFallsn Bandi Pelessa near Handagiriya in the park. Besides, a lot of antiquities can be sighted here though more than the visible are invisible under the cover of earth. Historical areas of archaeological remains like Pilima Edda Aara (Pilimeddara), Ambethota, Ulgala, Pansal Kulugala, Vidiya Godaella and Vehera Godaella and much more undiscovered areas yet to be discovered can be witnessed in the park. Bio-diversity in this wilderness sanctuary is in a higher level. The entire eco-system which is home to numerous fauna species, foothills, rocky plains, wet lands, dry lands, thorn-scrubs and river-basins, can be happily mentioned as legendary compliment of Mother Nature.


Wavulpane Limestone Cave

Wavulpane Limestone Cave is situated at a valley with acclivities belonging to Buluthota hills in Rakwana range of mountains at north-east of Ambilipitiya town. The only geological structure that has an interior cascade (sub-terraineian waterfall) in the world and the largest and the oldest limestone cave in Sri Lanka is this cave which is located in the village called Wavulpane in Kumburugamuwa Gramaseva Division that belongs to Kolonna Regional Secretarial Division. There are three ways to access this place. Wavulpane Vidyalaya can be reached proceeding on Sanwardhana road that can be found by paddling 10 km turning to Buluthota route from Thunthota junction in Ratnapura Ambilipitiya route or proceeding along os Sanwardhana road that is confronted by passing 14 km on 200 SABARAGAMUWA Ambilipitiya- Sooriyakanda route. There is only a 500 m walk from Wavulpane Vidyalaya to Wavulpana cavern. Instead this cave can also be confronted by proceeding more than 10 km turning from Miriswelpatha junction in Kolambageara village beside RatnapuraAmbilipitiya main route. The environment in the vicinity of this cavern which is located nearly 912 ft. high from sea level, belongs to a government reserve. It is said that a surveyor named S. Frank, who came for regional survey adjustments in 1942, has estimated an area about 29 acres and 20 roods from vicinity of the cavern for a reserve. Even, Dr. Arthur C. Clark who was a worldwide popular scientist has asserted that Wavulpane cave is 500 million years old. The annual rainfall of this area that belongs to an intermediary climatic zone is 4500 mm and annual temperature is 29.5º degree celcius. South-east and south-west monsoon procure the rainfall bounteously. The vicinity of this cave is replete with solid that belongs to Cambrian age. Streamlet called “Halvini Ela” that origin from the right ravage of the tributary of Walave River named “Adolu River” streams through the major limestone cave at Wavulpana. This limestone cavern, which has two parallel gateways, is 7.5 m tall and 5.6 m wide though the interior of the crypt would measure different heights in each location. Stalagmites and stalactites in these grottos elate the observers with wonder and pulchritude. The burgeon stalagmites and hanging stalactites have different girths. The interior of the cavern looks like a felicitous mansion engraved by nature. The hanging large stalactites from apical and dome roof from qua chandelier alias candelabrum. Halvini rivulet streams through dense darkness of the cavern creating small pools among riffles. Signature of Sri Lanka 201 Besides the main limestone cave, there 12 more grottos in this limestone rock, some of them must be climbed using a ladder to reach. A cave that can be considered as a maternity home of bats is located above the right side of the exit. This limestone cave famed as a bats’ colony consists with a small cave named “Malwathu” chamber, which is used to whelp by bats. It is believed that this name referred to the large number of little bats in the grotto. Sometimes snakes, which loiter in the cave to prey these night babies, can be confronted. Besides, this cave is infested with thousands of cockroaches and pests. It is discovered that more than one million bats abide here. This bat population consists with 7 species and nearly 7 lacs of them belong to a carnivorous species that depends only on insects like mosquitoes. The yellowish spring that emanates at the summit of the limestone rock is a significance confronted in the journey. Ancestors have believed that by bathing the amber water of this fount all the skin-deceases can be healed. This fount flows with a capacitance of 261 per second and minerals like calcium, carbonate, iron, hydro side, and magnesium consist in water make it amber. It streams 75 m afar from the spring-head and pours down in to the cavern at the defile creating an intra-fall in the limestone cave. This particular subterranean waterfall is about 15 m. tall. Wavulpana reserve which is located in an intermediary climatic zone is significantly home to flora of both wet and dry zones. Through the estimations done by botanists, about 160 species of flora have been exposed in this reserve. This virgin reserve, which is still an intact eco-system, is also home to two of the most world’s foremost paddy species namely Oraisa Gravlata and Oraisa Igniggiriya. The field of Madu trees (false saga palm or Cycas cricinalis) locally called as “Madu Henyaya”, which spreads in 2 km distance from the limestone cave, must specially be mentioned here as it homes to much more than 4,000 palm trees. At a glance, this significant attractive reminds the Jurassic age lived about 18 billion years back from today. Wavulpana is one of our national heritages. A step beyond, it is also a world heritage. Thus, it is our responsibility to protect this legacy on behalf of prospective succession.


Sankhapala Rajamaha Vihara and Phussadeva Tomb

This historical cave-temple is located in a close distant from RatnapuraAmbilipitiya main road. The chronicle of this sanctuary which is situated in Pallebedda village in Thambagamupaththuwa belonging to Atakalan Korale traces back to Anuradhapura reign. As the chunk of victory locally referred as “Jayasankhaya” of the giant, great Phussadeva has been treasured on top of a colossal rock in here, this temple has been popularized as “Sankhapala”. Phussadeva giant has an inimitable place among ten great giants of unconquered King Dutugamunu who fought self-sacrificingly to rescue Sri Lanka from South Indian antagonistic calamity. Sankhapala is a nom de plume which has a historical weight originated in the period before Christ. King Dutugamunu who cherished motherland and Buddhist 100 SABARAGAMUWA dispensation from inimical incursions has bestowed presents and village-grants to ten giants who have bolstered in uniting the country. Phussadeva has received Pallebedda village grant which spans roughly 12000 acres. Number of caverns discovered from Sankhapala mount by now is 14. Three stone inscriptions lithographed in Brahmi letters can be sighted in three caverns amended cutting drip-ledges. Historical information on giant Phussadeva who lived in 2nd century B.C., is well matched with folklores. Conch vestige of giant Phussadeva has been inscribed in the left side of the inscription mentioned above. It is cited that this sanctuary which is invaded by the wild after Anuradhapura reign has been granted to Ven. Dharmarama thero by the King Rajadhi Rajasinha in Mahanuwara epoch. Ven. Karathota Dharmarama thero has composed the difficult epic called by the name “Baarasa Kavya” and has offered it to King Rajadhi Rajasinha. It is mentioned that Ven. Bambarande Sri Siddhartha thero has done reconstructions in here in regal year 1860. In present this vihara is referred as “Maha vihara”. It is not sure that by whom and when the image-house in the center of Sankhapala vihara has been erected.However Buddha images and epigraphs in the sanctuary are rather parallel with Kandian arts in Mahanuwara ear. These murals have been lithographed in bested rock. Number of remains of a lost history is still reserved in the mountain above the caverns of Sankhapala vihara. Among them, ancient inscriptions and dripledged caves are significantly large in number. Sankhapala sanctuary and its vicinity would be a precious knowledgehub for academicians in thirst of exploring the blurred history with limits of time. Sankhapala has become a touristic sanctuary of both local and foreign travellers.


Maduwanwela Manor House

This building complex entitled as “Maduwanwela Walavuwa” is located in Maduwanwela village that belongs to Kolonna Korale. One can reach the place by proceeding 22.5 km on Sooriyakanda road that starts at Ambilipitiya-Udagama junction in Ratnapura-Katharagama route or by proceeding about the same amount of distant to Ambilipitiya direction on Rakwana-Deniyaya route from Sooriyakanda junction. The entrance of the premises is located just beside Sooriyakanda-Ambilipitiya main route. This gateway is locally called as “Gal Uluwassa” (stone door-frame). The stone doorframe is splendidly blazoned with decorative works. The arch fixed above to conjugate two doorframes is implemented in engraved stones. Signature of Sri Lanka 231 The image of the peacock mentioned in the poem cannot be seen today as it was stolen some time ago. The parapet which stretches from each sides of the entrance is constructed parallel to the main route by using smoothed stones. It is clearly visible that parapet is done using pillars which stood in equal gaps to strengthen the prakara. A décor of blooming lotus is created in the two pillars at each extremity. The mansion is positioned afield about 400 m from the stone doorframe. In the past there was a line of beacons in each sides of this approach. The glass covers fixed on these beacons were lit up at night. Before entering the mansionyard another gateway must also be passed through. Two images of lions and two images of door-keepers are created in each side of the door. The Bodhi-tree that was worshiped everyday by the inmates of this manor-house in days of yore can also be sighted nearby. The ruins of the fountain which was once beautified the yard can be seen in the center of the compound. Maduwanwela manor house is not a building complex that has been done in the life-time of a single man. It owns some sections that have been constructed within the life span of at least four people. The mudalier named Vijayasundara Abhayakon Ekanayaka has resided in this terrain for the first time in 1700. Secondly, a person in the same generation who held the position of “Mohottala” has renovated the edifice. Third one is also a mudalier having the same name of the first. The octagonal bungalow locally called as “Mahabangalawa” was erected in his time. The manor house complex was reconstructed at last in the period of a royal official named J.W. Maduwanwela. The edifice with two stairs in the west, the court house in the east and the new image-house called “Aluthviharaya” were erected in his time. The mansion with two stairs has been named as “Burutha Maligawa”, due to the entire usage of satinwood in all the deeds that must be done in timber. This chateau was internationally shined out in the era of Maduwanwela royal official called as “Ratemahaththaya”, particularly because he was a powerful and august demagogue like a King. Almost half of this demesne has been destructed in the pace of time. Few of the dyed edifices are residences which have been used by thousands of servants in the chateau including tinsmiths, carpenters, mahouts and herdsmen, stables and the shades where elephants were trained and looked after. Although it is said that there were 21 amid courts in this building complex, only 7 out of them remain today. Hence the number of bereaved edifices is considerable.


Duvili Falls Maduwanwela

Maduwanwela Duvili Falls cascades in a misty spray is breathtakingly beautiful amidst by the forests of Kolonna Korale in Maduwanwela Naroangahamada. The falls is a creation of a branch of Andalu Oya, incipient from Sinharaja Rain Forest Reserve. Deviating from this main falls there are two other falls namely Aralu and Karalu cascading from the main fall, which can also be reached by descending further parallel to the river. Follow the road in front of the main entrance of Maduwanwela Walauwa leading to Kiathalabokka anicut passing Maduwanwela reservoir as long as 1.5 km until the motorable road ends and then hike across the green paddy fields and a bit of a forest to reach this beautiful scene.

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