Kumana National Park
As far as Kumana is concerned, all of us remember the birds. This is called the paradise of bird in Sri Lanka as there are more bird in Kumana than any other in national park. There are two reasons for the increase of birds in Kumana. One reason is the fact that the impact of electric waves on it is minimize. Also, there are many species of butterflies, roam freely in here. The other reason is its location. If you look at the world map, you can realize this story. From here, on the map, there is no other land until the birds meet Australian continent. So, this is the land where the migrant birds who come from the Australian continent find from the first time. This is why Kumana which is a place full of birds every day. In April and July the density of birds in Kumana increases.
Isn’t there anything else to see, rather than birds in Kumana? To find the answer for that, we tried to look around in Kumana. This national park belongs to the Ampara district. The main entrance to this is Panama. If you come to Panama from Colombo, You have to travel through Ratnapura, Monaragala, Siyabalanduwa and Pottuvil. If not, you can come to Panama after reaching Pottuvil passing by Ampara, Akkareipattu or passing by Batticaloa and Kalmune.
All right, let’s start the journey. We went these by a safari jeep. We entered from the main gate after buying tickets at about 2.00 pm. This was the best time to watch the animals. Throughout the park there are villus. The safari jeeps go through the villus. As the result of the heavy rainfall the trees had been restored and the path had become mud. So, we had to travel carefully.
Kumana has been a national park in December 1969. This was enlarged for several times and it is done in 2006, for the last time. It has a land area of 35,664 hectares. But, due to terrorism, Kuman was a restricted area for the tourist, from 1985 to 2003.
Everywhere there were birds and some were playing in the villus. In this bitrd paradise everywhere we could find herd of deers. Also we found some herd of bulls and herd of wild pigs. We found the best scenery of our journey after that. Two mother elephants, eating grass with their infants in the villu. We didn’t get tired though we watched it for a long time. We continued as we had to travel a long journey.
When traveling, watching all these, we found the ‘giant hearth’. Three natural stones are placed as a hearth. In Kumana, there is a bastion build for bird watching. We started the journey again after been there for a while. Next we stopped at the Kebilitta area. We found a shrining room of Lord Buddha and a kovil which is built for God Kataragama. The bears who have a habit to drink the oil these lamps can find in this area.
We said good bye to the Kebilitta area and reached to the Kumana tank. Kumana was a well-developed settlement for a long time ago. Not only the tank in the forest, but also the archeological evidence found in there, prove that it was a settlement in the past.Written By – Jeewana Pahan Thilina & Chandana Ponnamperuma Translated by – Umesha Sewwandi