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  • Kalawewa National Park

Kalawewa National Park

Declared a National Park in 2015, it embraces the imposing Kalãwewa and Balaluwewa water tanks, built by King Dhatusena in the 5th century. This Park of over 6000 hectares, is home to elephants but with a notable feature - the herd has a great concentration of tuskers; male elephants with tusks (which are ivory). Roughly only about seven percent of the male elephant population have them, making tuskers a magnificent sight to see.

Being in the dry zone, when the water levels recede from the tank beds, a lush grassland reveals itself – which is much sought after by the elephants. Resident herds and migratory herds from nearby jungles all congregate, to enjoy the grass. As the Park is only open during the dry season, the chances of such sightings are very promising. And this is in addition to seeing large flocks of open-billed storks.

The monsoons arrive around October – November and the grasslands disappear to give way to filled up reservoirs. While the resident elephant herds remain, the migratory elephants return. The Park’s beautiful kumbuk trees and vegetation complement the reservoirs, birdlife and pristine surroundings.

 

Vijithapura Rajamaha Viharaya (2km from Kala Wewa)

About 2 kilometres from Kalãwewa National Park is a temple thought to be built by King Dutugemunu and is believed to be the Vijithapura Rajamaha Viharaya.

Historians suggest that this location was important as a trading point during the early stages of the Anuradhapura Kingdom, connecting several trade routes. The temple has many old ruins which are believed to belong to the Anuradhapura Era. The highlight is the “Kadu ge Gala”. Legend has it that this granite stone was used by King Dutugemunu and his army to sharpen their swords prior to battle.

 

Avukana Buddha statue

A short distance away from the temple, stands the Avukana statue, near the town of Kekirawa in North Central Sri Lanka. The standing statue of Lord Buddha, carved out of a large granite rock face during the 5th century, stands at a height of more than 45 feet. It stands on a stone pedestal in the form of a lotus symbol and the symbolic gesture carved on the statue, called Mudra, is in the form of Ashiva Mudra which signifies giving or blessing. Intricate detail is given to the robe that clings to the statue.

Constructed during the reign of King Dhatusena, it may have been made as a result of a competition between a master and a pupil. Whatever the reason, the Avukana statue is one of the best examples of a standing statue constructed in ancient Sri Lanka.

 

Raswehera Buddha Statue

This statue is called Ras Vehera as well as Sasuruwa (or Sas-seruwa). The height of this statue is recorded at around 39 feet. Unlike the Avukana statue, this statue stands on a plain rectangular pedestal and the statue depicts the Abhaya Mudra, which signifies freedom from fear. But unlike the Avukana, this statue seems to be unfinished, with less attention given to the sculpture details in general.

The Bo Tree found here, is a sapling of the very first 32 saplings of the Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura and believed to be planted by King Devampiyathissa (250 – 210 BC). It is said that on the day the tree was planted the area was lit by colourful rays of light (know as ‘ras’). Thus the name ‘Ras Vehera’ was attached to this place. The tree is protected by a 10 feet wall of tightly packed stones, in four layers – a unique feature of ancient construction.

 

Day Safari at Kalawewa

There are 3 safari options available for the guest.

1.       Morning Safari (6.00am)

2.       Afternoon Safari (2.30pm)

3.       Full day Safari

The safari would take place with an experienced guide in specially modified comfortable jeeps for unique safari experience. The tour could be more customized for guests for their preferences (Family safari, honeymoon safari, photography safari etc.).

Tour in brief

Initial meeting with the Eco Team crew and the safari guide, a brief of the tour will take place in the entrance to the Kalawewa Safari. For the morning half-day tour, the starting time will be at 6 a.m. while the afternoon tour begins at 2.30 p.m.

After entering the national park with your guide in a jeep, you will be able to spot several species of birds and other animals that have made their homes in this sanctuary. The guide will explain about the various interesting attributes as you will learn and enjoy about the flora and fauna of Kalawewa.

You will be taken through most of the Kalawewa National Park, covering the wetlands, grasslands, forest patches, etc. We will make longer stops at certain watering holes for unique photography opportunities.

Finishing the safari, either round 11 a.m. or around 6 p.m. you will be dropped at the park entrance.

 

Detailed Safari Itinerary

Date 01- Arrival in Kalãwewa

Schedule

·        Arrival in Kalãwewa National Park

·        Half Day Safari at Wasgamuwa National Park

·        A Jeep tour on the muddy road and a boat tour in the lake

·        Discovering the Park’s flora and fauna

·        Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel

 

Date 02-  Ancient Temples and Archeological Sites excursion

Schedule

·        Breakfast at the Hotel

·        Visit Vijithapura Rajamaha Viharaya

·        Visit Avukana Buddha Statue and archeological sites nearby

·        Visit Raswehera Buddha Statue

·        Lunch at the hotel or at a suitable location along the trail

·        Departure

 

 

 

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Hotline : (+94) 70 222 8 222
Office Address : 20/63, Fairfield Garden, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka