From West Coast to East Coast (Exploring Kumana National Park)

Lakdasun explores Arugam Bay. Panama and Kumana National Park.
With excellent, unique photos attached.

"Never seen a more beautiful beach thanPanama"

With the reopening of the Kumana national park early this year it had been on our priority list for quite some time and finally we managed to make that dream come true. The camp sites were booked more than three months in advance as there is no other accommodation south of Arugam Bay. Wildlife department is trying to rebuild the destroyed circuit bungalows and hopefully we will get to use them before long.

Having never been to the east coast before, we wanted to have a glimpse of the rising sun from the east coast and planned the trip so that we will be at Pottuvil by sunrise. So we left Colombo late night at 10.30PM and drove through the night via the Beragala route. Unfortunately, when we arrived at the Beragala junction the road via Koslanda to Wellawaya was closed for repairs and the detour took us to Haputale, Bandarawela, Ella and then to Wellawaya. We lost a good part of an hour due to this detour and the sun was already rising as we passed Lahugala.

It was a night for the moonIt was a night for the moon

A new day dawns (at 5.30AM)A new day dawns (at 5.30AM)

plowed paddy fields Basking in the morning lightBasking in the morning light

East coast at lasta??..East coast at lasta??..

East coast at lasta??..East coast at lasta??..

All of us were really hungry after the long drive and as soon as the shops opened we tucked into a hearty meal consisting of a??Kiri Appaa??, String Hoppers, Fish curry and a strange but fabulous coconut sambol which I have never had anywhere else. Then it was time to hit the beach at Arugam Bay. Since we were early the beach was isolated and we had almost the whole beach to ourselves except for the fishing folk who were returning from their fishing trips.

Beautiful Arugam BayBeautiful Arugam Bay

We had the beach all to ourselvesWe had the beach all to ourselves

After a nice bath and fun in the sand later we had a short nap at a friends place nearby before proceeding towards Panama and Okanda. The roads were in excellent condition up to Panama and the views alongside the roads were breathtaking.

Order priligy dapoxetine Heading for the bushesHeading for the bushes

Towards PanamaTowards Panama

At Panama without taking the turn towards Okanda, we proceeded up to the Panama beach amidst sand dunes & bushes. It was like being in a desert full of sand but the beach was spectacular here. Crystal clear water and golden sandy beach makes this a spectacular place which is totally isolated from the world. Unfortunately a drinking party was already on which made us rush away from the place as we did not want any unfriendly situations to occur.

Sand dunes at the Panama beachSand dunes at the Panama beach

Never seen a more beautiful beach than at PanamaNever seen a more beautiful beach than at Panama

Panama beachPanama beach

It was getting close to the evening when we arrived at the Okanda entrance and along with the guide, proceeded directly to the camp site. On the way we saw plenty of wild buffaloes, birds, elephants, crocodiles and Deers.

Park office at OkandaPark office at Okanda

All that remains..All that remains..

In and out of focusIn and out of focus

You looking at me?You looking at me?

The lone oneThe lone one

Fast drying outFast drying out

The thick canopy prevented sunlight from reaching the groundThe thick canopy prevented sunlight from reaching the ground

The a??maha gal amunaa?? camp site is the furthest and probably the best camp site in the Kumana national park. It is located at 6 32 24.19N and 81 39 46.39E.
There were plenty of sandy areas to setup tent and we put up ours in the shade of the trees. There is an actual a??Amunaa?? made up of rocks which is said to be built by a king to take water to the Kumana wewa. The old canal which carried this water is still there to day just behind the camp site.

The Gal AmunaThe Gal Amuna


We got the bonfire going to keep away wild elephantsWe got the bonfire going to keep away wild elephants

Moonlight and firelightMoonlight and firelight

Sun rise over the Kumbukkan OyaSun rise over the Kumbukkan Oya

Dying outDying out

Footsteps in the sand, signs of visitors in the nightFootsteps in the sand, signs of visitors in the night

Camp site in the tree shadeCamp site in the tree shade

We decided to visit a??Bowaththagalaa?? the next morning where we found signs of being an ancient dwelling. There were plenty of inscriptions and remains of an old stupa on top of the rock. It is sad that no proper study has been done on the history of these places. Indicating that this is a roaming place for the elusive kinds, we also found bear footmarks and fresh leopard footmarks printed in the sand.


Inscriptions in the stoneInscriptions in the stone

Coming down the stepsComing down the steps


A view of the caveA view of the cave

Footprints of a bearFootprints of a bear

Signs of a leopard??Signs of a leopard??

Perfectly lodgedPerfectly lodged

Kumana wewa, as seen from BowaththagalaKumana wewa, as seen from Bowaththagala

A pond in the rocksA pond in the rocks

Heavenly wineHeavenly wine

A close upA close up

Web of lifeWeb of life

At the Kumana VilluAt the Kumana Villu

End of life, dead and scatteredEnd of life, dead and scattered

Big fish (buffaloes) in a small pondBig fish (buffaloes) in a small pond

Looking for something..?Looking for something..?

Another type of storkAnother type of stork

After seeing many more herds of deer, wild buffaloes, peacocks, birds and elephants we decided to move out and headed to Wellawaya for the nights stay at Don Diogu. This is a wonderful place to stay with a nice family atmosphere and gorgeous food. After two tiring days this was the perfect wind down.

On the way back to Colombo we visited the a??Buduruwagalaa?? statues at Wellawaya and had a peek at the Museum set up near the turn off from the Wellawaya-Thanamalwila road. Even though many people visit Buduruwagala, it is sad to see that not many care to visit this museum which is open on Sunday as well. To me, the place was very interesting as it contained many artifacts recovered from the Moneragala District and a wealth of information from our proud history.

Buduruwagala statuesBuduruwagala statues

Blooming for Lord BuddhaBlooming for Lord Buddha

Waiting to be litWaiting to be lit

Buy cefadroxil online The great compassionThe great compassion

Our heritageOur heritage

Buduruwagala tankBuduruwagala tank

Well oiled..Well oiled..

The museum of the Moneragala districtThe museum of the Moneragala district

We passed the Udawalawe park entrance along the way and as usual there were many elephants lurking close to the road in anticipation of the food thrown in by passers by.

Thanamalwila road..Thanamalwila road..

Please sir, give me some more..Please sir, give me some more..

Even though, wild life department has set up boards informing not to feed the elephants, villagers have erased the boards or have taken them down all together in order to make a living by selling bananas to be thrown towards the elephants. It is very sad to see the ecological system of the forest being turned upside down by the acts of a few stupid people who think that wild animals are family pets.

Irresponsible behaviorIrresponsible behavior

If only people care more..If only people care more..

Have a nice trip..

Last Updated | November 15, 2010

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1 Response to “From West Coast to East Coast (Exploring Kumana National Park)”

  • Thanks guys, It is great to know that we have such lovely places in our beautiful island.Sure, will make a visit when
    I am down in SL.

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