The archaeological and historical heritage of Yala National Park
Location The Yala National Park is located in the southeastern region of Sri Lanka and extends over two provinces and two administrative districts, as follows: Northern, northwestern and western areas of the park lie in Monaragala district in the Uva province; Southwestern and southern areas lie in Hambantotoa district in the Southern province; Part of the southern and all the eastern and northeastern boundaries lie along the Indian Ocean. Yala is renowned for the variety of its wildlife, largely characteristic of dry zone tropical thorn forest, and its fine coastline and associated coral reefs. Large numbers of important cultural ruins bear testimony to earlier civilization and indicate that much of the area was populated and well developed, with an irrigation system supplying water to the surrounding paddy fields, including those of Yala. Access There are three regular routes from Colombo, Along the coast via Galle, Hambantota, Tissamaharama (approx. 182 miles/293 km). Via Ratnapura, Pelmadulla, Embilipitiya, Hambantota, Tissamaharama (approx. 176 miles/ 284 km). There is only one entrance to the park, the turn-off being along the road between Tissamaharama and Kirinda. The park office is situated at Palatupana, 7 miles/12 km from the turn-off, where a permit and a guide should be obtained before entering the park. Climate The park lies in a transition zone between the single wet season experienced on the east coast and the double peak of precipitation found along the south coast of the island. Mean annual rainfall varies between approximately 900 mm in the south to 1300 mm in the north, with an extensive period of drought from May to September. Mean annual temperature is 270C. Visitors and Visitor Facilities There is a museum at the park office. There are fivewildlife bungalows (located at Mahasilawa, Talgasmankada. Warahana, Heenwewa, Ondatjee) and five campsites (Jamburagala, Kosgasmankada, Nugasevana, Meegas sevana, Warahana). Reservations at the Head office, Battaramulla. Tel. 011 288 8585
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Updated: November 24th, 2014.
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