Discover a True Paradise
  • Somawathiya National Park

Somawathiya National Park the best location to prepare for your journey inside the island !

Somawathiya National Park is one of the four national parks that is part of the Mahaweli River development projects, the other three being Flood plains, MaduruOya and Wasgamuwa. It lies in the deltaic flood plains that run to a junction where it forks into two branches. It contains 20 water filled basins on grassy plains called ‘villus’.

Because of its fertile alluvial layers, it provides a high quality habitat for a diverse wildlife. Somawathiya also connects with the Trikonamadu Nature Reserve and the Flood Plains National Park.

The National Park is home to historic Somawathiya Chaitya, a stupa named after Princess Somawathi.It was built by her husband Prince Abhaya as a home to the Buddhist tooth relic that was obtained from Arahat Mahinda.

What makes the stupa a popular tourist attraction is its reputation for being a site where miracles are reported to happen, such as beams of light and unusual apparitions. Flora and fauna was once a rich and vibrant feature in the National Park, but dwindled due to human activity and exploitation.

Deforestation, cattle grazing, and tobacco cultivation are some of the causes of the damage to the park’s ecology. Conservation, however, has been started and flora and fauna is slowly regenerating.

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Things to Do

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Wildlife spotting

What usually comes to mind when you visit national parks?Yes, looking for any signs of life.In Somawathiya National Park, you will find plenty of elephants,some jackals, water buffaloes, porcupines, wild boars and sambar.

Smell the grass

Aquatic plants and water-tolerant grasses populate the national park. The area is also inundated with creeping grasses, floating plants, and tree species.

Experience a miracle

Who knows? You might get lucky to experience a miracle when you visit Somawathiya Chaitya. Miracle or not, however, visiting the site where the right canine relic of the Buddha can be found can be a spiritual experience.

Tourist Attractions

Somawathiya National Park

Home to diverse flora and fauna, this national park is one of the four national parks that make up the Mahaweli River development projects. One of its prominent features are the many ‘villus’ found in the area.

Somawathiya Chaitya

Built for the Princess Somawathi, it was intended as a relic chamber for the right tooth of the Lord Buddha. According to historical documents, this stupa was supposedly built on the eastern bank of the Mahaweli River, but the current site is on the west bank. Regardless of the geography, it is one key attraction that is worth visiting when in the Somawathiya National Park.

Nearby Attractions:

Found close to Polonnaruwa, some of the nearby attractions of Somawathiya include:

Polonnaruwa City

Added to the World Heritage list of UNESCO in 1982, the ancient city of Polonnaruwa is a tourist attraction on its own. After all, it has historical remnants and features that comprise a wonderful site in Sri Lanka. These include a Rest House, Quadrangle, and New Town.

Archaeological Museum

This museum is designed in such a way that you walk from one end to another, passing through a series of themed rooms – the outer city, the citadel, the periphery, the monastery area, and the Hindu monuments.

Royal Palace Group

This features a group of buildings that dates back at the time of Parakramabahu I. There is the Royal Palace, Audience Hall, and Bathing Pool.

Vatadage

Located at the southeast of the Quadrangle of Polonnaruwa, the circular relic house or Vatadage has two terraces (outermost and second terrace), four entrances and the moonstone.

Gal Pota

This ancient monument is a representation of the ola book that is made of stone. It is around 9m long, 15m wide and up to 66cm thick. It bears the longest stone inscription in any of Sri Lanka’s stone inscriptions.

Kiri Vihara

This ancient temple was originally called Rupavati Chetiya, but the current name is much more appropriate. This is because when it was discovered, after years of neglect that caused a jungle to surround it, the lime plaster of the Kiri Vihara was in its perfect and milk-white condition. To this day, it is the best preserved dagoba that was never been restored.

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Getting In and Around

 Distance from important cities

  • Colombo: 258 km

  • Kandy: 161 km

  • Galle: 360 km

  • Anuradhapura: 129 km

  • Arugam-bay: 206 km

  • Trincomalee: 92.7 km

  • Jaffna: 304 km

 

From Polonnaruwa, travel to Sungawila. From there, you will then have to travel to an unpaved road by foot or motor. If you are coming from Minneriya, you have to pass by the town of Higurakgoda before you reach Sungawila.

Hotels and Accommodation

Samudra Guest House

This guesthouse is a rambling old house that offers basic rooms and pleasant service. Safari tours can be arranged to the Kaudulla National Park and the Minneriya NationalPark. Bicycles for hire is also available.

Devi Tourist Home

This homestay is a budget choice, offering five fan-only rooms. With its proximity to nearby attractions, you will definitely get more than what you paid for.

Palm Garden Guest House

Apart from clean rooms, thePalm Garden Guest House also offers a quiet getaway and meals served right on the terrace of your room. Pick-up from the bus stop can be arranged.

Leesha tourist Home

Manel Guest House

Polonnaruwa Rest House

Siyanco Holiday Resort

Our Picks:

{1} Samudra Guest House

{2} Devi Tourist Home

{3} Leesha tourist Home

{4} Manel Guest House

{5} Siyanco Holiday Resort

Foodies’ Guide

If you prefer not to eat in your hotel or guesthouse, there are plenty of great eats in Polonnaruwa.

  1. Binora Restaurant
    This basic café is on the main drag of the Old Town. It offers rice and curries, a variety of fried rice and mains ‘devilled’ – meals fried with hot spices.

  2. Jaga Food
    This restaurant is the epitome of home cooking in a sense that you get to eat home-made food in a cozy private house. Choose from a nice buffet of curries, chicken and fish.

  3. MahaKithula Restaurant
    If you’re looking for some local cuisine, this is where you should be. It is also the perfect eat for someone who is not very fond of hot and spicy, since you can get the non-spicy kind right here in this restaurant.

With its close distance to Airport, Colombo and center of the country, Somawathiya National Park is a great choice to begin your trip.