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Maduru Oya National Park

Incorporated into the Mahaweli Development Project, Maduru Oya is one of Sri Lanka’s National Parks and is also a part of the catchment of the Maduru Oya reservoir. The park plays an important role in that it provides and safeguards the immediate catchments of 5 reservoirs and is a haven for elephants as well. The Maduru Oya National Part is 288 km from

Henanigala which borders the park is home of the Veddah community, an indigenous ethnic group of Sri Lanka.

Being one of the 4 national parks designated under the Mahaweli Development Project, the other 3 are Wasgamuwa, Flood Plains and Somawathiya. In the 1980s an ancient sluice was discovered on the old ruptured earthen bund of the Maduru Oya. Stones and bricks make up the sluice and it is approximately 30 feet in height, 30 feet in width and 219 feet in length. The upper sluice dates back to the 6th century B.C. and consists of two phases.

The Temple of Mahiyangana which has a great significance among the Veddah community is located outside the park. Veddhas have been residents of Sri Lanka even before the migration of the Sinhalese people from India in 543 B.C. They are said to be descendants of King Vijaya and Queen Kuveni. Traditionally they are hunters and have always relied on minute cultivations to provide for their livelihood.

The part is at present facing encroachment, poaching, illegal timber felling which care causing immense problems.  The ad hoc colonization of land by people with the hope of obtaining deeds to the said lands that come under the Mahaweli Development Project has seen a steady increase. As a result of this there has been severe disturbance to the wildlife, as it is their habitat.