If you are seeking hidden beauty, then here comes the best option! Pay a visit to Horagolla National Park as soon as possible, simply because an incredible beauty awaits you!!!
Horagolla National park is the best option for nature lovers living within the vicinity of Colombo. This is one of the latest and smallest national parks under the Department of Wildlife Conservation. Focusing on its rich biodiversity, it was first established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1973. Then, with the time being it turned into a national park in 2007. Since it is a park spread in a limited geographical area, visitors can have a walk through footpaths within less time. Yet, believe us, it is indeed rich in beauty.
Besides, it is the only urban park in the Western province. Since this is situated near the Horagolla Walauwa, which belongs to the Bandaranayake family, it has gained the name ‘Horagolla National Park’.
Environment and Climatic Condition of the Horagolla National Park
Horagolla park is a low country evergreen forest situated about 40km away from Colombo and 35 km away from Kandy. It belongs to the wet zone and the average temperature rotates around 25.8C. The soil structure is humus and the hot temperature persists in this park. It receives 2000-2500 rainfall annually. Yet, the environment is cool and fresh which lets the visitors get a typical forest feeling.
Flora and Fauna
This is a park that has greater importance towards flora with less fauna in the vicinity. Across the span of 33 acres, there is a high floral diversity along with varieties of local tree species. Below are some of the endemic plants that this park houses.
- Kithul Cane
At the same time, we can witness a wide range of rare puswel in larger numbers. This diverse flora provides food for birds, animals, and reptiles in the forest with ample water resources including Horagolla lake available there. This, indeed, is a well-covered habitat for the animals with enough food and water.
This is also a home for animal species such as birds, mammals, snakes; pythons and cobras, other reptiles, fish, and butterflies. In fact, there are exactly 10 types of mammals, 64 types of birds, 7 types of fish, and 28 varieties of butterflies. Also spotting the most threatened species like tortoises is possible here. Rare mammals like fishing cats and giant squirrels with many more species are there. As for the records, this is one of the few places on the island to explore butterflies since there are some endemic species as well. With the well-paved paths inside the park, it eases the visitors to discover all these types of animal species without a hassle, yet being cautious about snakes and other reptiles since this is a territory of them.
Bird Watching at Horagolla National Park
One of the major significance of this Horagolla National Park is that it is an ideal spot for bird lovers and watchers since this is highly recommended to experience the best of bird watching in Sri Lanka. In fact, with 64 bird species, there is nothing that a bird watcher will miss with regard to birds. There are all sorts of rare birds along with the endemic ones as well. The most commonly seen varieties are parakeets, black-crested bulbuls, barbets, and Asian koels. Apart from them, there are local species such as Sri Lanka grey hornbill, Sri Lanka hanging parrot, Layard’s parakeet, and Oriental dwarf kingfisher.
The best time of the day to visit the park to capture most of these birds is at dawn, mainly around the lake and water bodies. Also throughout the path into the park, you will catch the shrimps of different types of birds on those towering trees found in the park. It is like walking through a place that is full of different musical melodies that make your soul-soothing. That is why this place provides you with one of the best experiences without the safari jeeps. Paving down these paths in the park is worth owing to the sense of freshness and musicality in the air.
How to Visit Horagolla National Park?
All the local and foreign travelers can visit it through two main routes from two sides of the island. If you are a person who lives in the upcountry, then the best way to take is the Kandy-Colombo main road, and if you are within the vicinity of Colombo, you are to take the other way around. If you are coming from the Kandy side, you need to go up to 35 kilometers on Colombo-Kandy road, and if you are reaching from the other side there is a need for 45 kilometers traveling. After reaching certain distances from any side, there is another 1-kilometer distance towards Veyangoda turning from Nittambuwa to reach Pinnagala junction. Within another small 6 meters distance you find the park office and you are all welcome to enter the park from there. Visiting this park is all about the footwork!
What is the Best Time to Visit the Park?
The best season to visit the park is not the rainy season, but a season in which the weather is quite neutral; not much sunny either. The main reason for this is that the whole visit to the park is based on the footpaths among the forest. Also, since the means of this visit is to explore the extraordinary beauty hidden in this park it is better to choose either the morning or the evening times of the day.
Photography Opportunities in the Park
There is a general belief that the park is not for ordinary visits, but for explorations, photography, and knowledge. In fact, this is a recommendation for nature seekers, experiments, and students who have knowledge seekings. Obviously, the immense natural presence in the park makes space for photography and even for campings and documentaries. Therefore, you need to be very attentive when choosing a date and a time to pay a visit to the park if you are a grave wildlife and nature photographer.
The Conservation in the Park
There are several conservation programs going on in this national park. Even though the park has comparatively less significance to wildlife, it protects endangered species. Recently the park has started working on a ‘Hog deer project’ implemented in order to conserve the endangered hog deer population remaining in the park. Another incredible contribution that this park is making with regard to wildlife is that it has a separate premise to treat and cure the injured animals. Along with that the park constantly engages in the process of conserving its valuable flora and fauna. Even the park itself is a project started first hand to conserve the rich biodiversity and the eco-systems in the territory. It is, thus, your responsibility to respect these actions!
The Bottom Line
Above all, if you are a person looking forward to witnessing a unique experience among the greenery, a visit to Horagolla National Park is simply a must! The serenity around, and the wildlife it houses, are sure to amuse you beyond a doubt. Besides, being a small park, rich with biodiversity, you get the opportunity of experiencing the best within a short time period. So, if you are passing this area by any chance, make sure that you visit this beautiful national park as well. Happy and Safe Travelling!