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Kalutara.

Kalutara is a city in Sri Lanka, Located in Kalutara DistrictWestern Province, Sri Lanka. It is also the third largest city in Western Province after Colombo andNegomboKalutara is a resort city. It is also the administrative capital of the Kalutara District, located approximately 40 km south of the capital Colombo.

 

Etymology

Once an important spice-trading center, the city's name is derived from the Kalu Ganga River ('Black River' in native Sinhala). In the 11th Century, the town was temporarily made a capital on the orders of a South Indian Prince. The region was later planted with coconut trees, whose by-products are used for both internal and external trade. The location also boast fortifications dating back from the times when Portuguese, Dutch and British vied for control of the area.


The 38-meter long Kalutara Bridge was built at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga River and serves as a major link between the country's western and southern border. At the southern end of the bridge lies the 3 stories-high Kalutara Vihara, a Buddhist temple built in the 1960s which holds the distinction of being the only stupa in the world that is hollow.

 

 

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Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa is a small town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It is located in theSouthern Province, about 17 km north-west of Galle. Hikkaduwa is famous for its beach, surfing, corals and night life.

It was affected by the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. Villages affected were Telwatta, Paraliya (Queen of the Sea rail disaster), Dodanduwa, Kahawa,Rathgama. The place is on the way from Colombo to Galle on the famous Galle road. It is primarily a tourist destination, and serves as a great beach with options to surf,snorkel and enjoy the sun. The town is arranged around the one main road which runs from Galle to Colombo. This road is extremely heavily trafficked and pedestrians and tourists are advised to exercise caution when crossing.

In the wake of the tsunami, many of the families who had lost everything were givensewing machines as part of the relief operations. As a result, the town has a multitude of tailors who will custom make shirtspants, and shorts. The area also has a reputation for offering a vibrant nightlife. Hikkaduwa is also very popular with board-surfers. It's a well-known international destination for board-surfing. Hikkaduwa was featured in an episode of Anthony Bourdain's television show No Reservations.

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Galle

Galle is the largest town in the region. It is the most important southern town with an old-world charm. Its natural harbour was a famous fort in days gone by. Famous for its Dutch fort, lace making, emboney carving and gem polishing.

The Dutch Fort
A continuous rampart, built by the Dutch from the mid 17th century onward and added to by the British, encircles the city, interrupted by 14 massive bastions.


Dutch Museum
A splendid Dutch building, the oldest within the Dutch fort has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur and consists of three units. The Museum contains a collection of rare and antique items dating from pre Portuguese period to British Colonial era. Jewellery, pottery, coins and Chinese porcelain items are on display.

Galle National Museum
Located in the historic Dutch fort of Galle. This museum displays objects connected to the history and life of people of Galle. Products of handicrafts include reed ware, embroidery, horn and shell objects.

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Yala National Park.

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka. Actually it consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public; and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names also, like Ruhuna National Park for the (best known) block 1 and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) fromColombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along withWilpattu it was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan Elephants and aquatic birds.

There are six national parks and three wildlife sanctuaries in the vicinity of Yala. The park is situated in the dry semi-arid climatic region and rain is received mainly during the northeast monsoon. Yala hosts a variety of ecosystems ranging from moist monsoon forests to freshwater and marine wetlands. It is one of the 70Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Sri Lanka. Yala harbours 215 bird species including six endemic species of Sri Lanka. The number of mammals that has been recorded from the park is 44, and it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.

 

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Kataragama.

Kataragama is a pilgrimage town sacred to BuddhistHinduMuslim and indigenous Vedda people of Sri Lanka. People from South India also come there to worship. The town has Ruhunu Maha Kataragama devalaya, a shrine dedicated to Skanda-Murukan also known as Kataragamadevio. Kataragama is situated in the Monaragala District of  Uva province, Sri Lanka.

It is situated 228 km ESE of Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Although Kataragama was a small village in medieval times, today it is a fast developing township surrounded by jungle in the South Eastern region of Sri Lanka. It also houses the ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa. The town has a venerable history dating back to the last centuries of BCE. It also was the seat of government of many Sinhalesekings during the days of Rohana kingdom. Since the 1950s the city has undergone many improvements with successive governments investing in public transportation, medical facilities, and business development and hotel services. It adjoins the popularYala national park.

 

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Adisham Bungalow.

Adisham Bungalow of Haputale Sri Lanka
Adisham bungalow is a very big bungalow which was made by British governor at 1931 and it is at 2km from Haputale town of Sri Lanka. Several visitors used to visit this place daily. In present the bungalow is a church. Adisham bungalow is at near to Haputale town at very closed to Glanor tea estate of Haputale. There are several tea estates and Hindu Kovils also at near Adisham bungalow. Up side of bungalow is a eucalyptus forest and downside of bungalow is railway between Haputale and Idalgashinna railway stations.


Garden of Adisham is a fruit estate and flower estate. Jams, Cordials and several foods are produced at Adisham bungalow and available for buy.

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Bandarawela.

Bandarawela is a big town, situated in Badulla DistrictUva Province, Sri Lanka, which is 28 km away from Badulla. Due to higher altitude, Bandarawela has a mild weather condition throughout the year hence, it is popular among the citizens to spend the vacations with their family members. Bandarawela is 200 km away from Colomboand about 125 km away from Kandy, Colombo and Kandy being two capital cities in Sri Lanka. Both roads and railway transportation facilities are available to reach the area within a few hours. Bandarawela town, tinted with a colonial past resting among lush forestation has found its niche among its visitors as a base for eco-tourism.

History

History of the Bandarawela area is coming from the time of great Sinhalese KingValagamba who fell back and regrouped in the Dhowa region to fight against Cholainvaders.

During the period of British colonial era, the town occurred rapid development of the infrastructures and human resources due to tea plantations and migration of the British and local people to the area. A lot of past evidences can be seen there belongs to that colonial period. There is few buildings remaining which were built in the British colonial period with British architectural influences such as the Bandarawela Hotel, the Cargilles building, the Tennis club, etc.

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Hakgala Botanical Gardens.

Hakgala Botanical Garden is one of the three botanical gardens in Sri Lanka. The other two being Peradeniya Botanical Garden and Henarathgoda Botanical Garden. It is the second largest garden in Sri Lanka.[1] The garden is contiguous to Hakgala Strict Nature Reserve.

Location and climate

Hakgala Botanical Garden is situated on the Nuwara Eliya-Badulla main road, 16 km from Nuwara Eliya. The garden has a cool temperate climate because of altitude is 5,400 feet above the sea level. The mean annual temperature ranges between 16°C to 30°C during course of a year. From December to February it has a cold climate, while the warm climate persists from April to August.

History

Garden established in 1861 as an experimental cultivation of Cinchona, a commercial crop thriving at the time. Once after the Tea replace the Cinchona, it was turned into an experimental Tea cultivation. In 1884 it transformed to a garden since then many sub tropical and some temperate plants were planted in the gardens.

 

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Nuwaraealiya

Nuwara Eliya is a city, located in the hill country of the Central Province, Sri Lanka. The city name meaning is "city on the plain (table land)" or "city of light". The city is the administrative capital of Nuwara Eliya District, with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It is located at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is considered to be the most important location forTea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka.

History

The city was founded by Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile in 1846. Nuwara Eliya's climate lent itself to becoming the prime sanctuary of the British civil servants and planters in Ceylon. Nuwara Eliya, called Little England then, was also a hill country retreat where the British colonialists could immerse in their pastimes such as fox hunting, deer hunting,elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket.

Although the town was founded in the 19th century by the British, the whole district is today visited by native travelers, specially during the month of April, the season of flowers, pony races, go cart races and auto rally.

Many of the buildings retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen's CottageGeneral's House,Grand HotelHill Club, Town Post Office and even new hotels are often built and furnished in the colonial style. Anyone who visits the city can wallow in its nostalgia of bygone days by visiting these landmark buildings. Many private homes still maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens.

Climate

Due to the high altitude, Nuwara Eliya has a much cooler climate than the lowlands of Sri Lanka, with a mean annual temperature of 16 °C. But the temperature changes and sometimes it can be as low as 3°C. In the winter months it is quite cold at night, and there can even be frost. although it rapidly warms up as the tropical sun climbs higher during the day.

 

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Horten Plains & Worlds End

Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated anational park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya.

The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the MahaweliKelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains. Stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found here.

The plains' vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest, and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest diebackis one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon. The sheer precipice of World's End and Baker's Fallsare among the tourist attractions of the park.

 

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Tea Plantation and Factory

Tea production in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon, is of high importance to theSri Lankan economy and the world market. The country is the world's fourth largest producer of tea and the industry is one of the country's main sources of foreign exchange and a significant source of income for laborers, with tea accounting for 12% of the GDP, generating roughly $700 million annually.

In 1995, Sri Lanka was the world's leading exporter of tea, (rather than producer) with 23% of the total world export, but it has since been surpassed by Kenya. The tea sector employs, directly or indirectly over 1 million people in Sri Lanka, and in 1995 directly employed 215,338 on tea plantations and estates. The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall in the country's central highlands provide a climate that favors the production of high quality tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1847 by James Taylor, the British planter who arrived in 1852.

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Ramboda Water Fall

Ramboda Falls is 109m high and 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and 729th highest waterfall in the world. It is situated in Pussellawa area, on the A5 highway at Ramboda Pass. It formed by Panna Oya which is a tributary of Kothmale Oya. Altitude of the falls is 945m above sea level.

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Kandy Dance.

Kandyan Dance is a dance form that originated in the area called Kandy of the Central hills region in Sri Lanka. But today it has been widespread to other parts of the country.

History

According to the legend, the origins of the dance lie in an exorcism ritual known as the Kohomba Kankariya, which was originally performed by Indian shamans who came to the island.

According to legend, the Indian shamans came to the island upon the request of a king who was suffering from a mysterious illness. The king was said to be suffering from a recurring dream in which a leopard was directing its tongue towards the king, believed to be as a black magic of "Kuweni" the first wife of the king "Vijaya". After the performance of the Kohomba Kankariya the illness vanished, and many natives adopted the dance.

It was originally performed by dancers who were identified as a separate caste under the Kandyan Fudel system. They were aligned to the Temple of the Tooth and had a significant role to play in the Dalada Perahera (procession) held each year by the temple.

The dance waned in popularity as the support for the dancers from the Kandyan kings ended during the British period. It has now been revived and adapted for the stage, and is Sri Lanka's primary cultural export.
Tänze (Uda Rata Netum) Ves Tanz "Ves" dance, the most popular, originated from an ancient purification ritual, the Kohomba Yakuma or Kohomba Kankariya. The dance was propitiatory, never secular, and performed only by males. The elaborate ves costume, particularly the headgear, is considered sacred and is believed to belong to the deity Kohomba.

Only toward the end of the 19th century were ves dancers first invited to perform outside the precincts of the Kankariya Temple at the annual Kandy Perahera festival. Today the elaborately costumed ves dancer epitomizes Kandyan dance.

 

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Relic of the Tooth of Buddha.

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of KandySri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.

Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the Sacred Relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers, called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.The temple sustained damage from bombings at various times but was fully restored each time.

 

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Royal Botanical Gardens.

Royal Botanical GardenPeradeniya is situated about 5.5 km to the west from the city of Kandy in the Central Province of Sri Lanka.and attracts 1.2 million visitors annually, It is renowned for its collection of a variety of orchids. It includes more than 300 varieties of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees. Attached to it is the National Herbarium. The total area of the botanical garden is 147 acres (0.59 km2), at 460 meters above sea level, and with a 200-day annual rainfall. It is managed by the Division of National Botanic Gardens of the Department of Agriculture.

 

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Lankatilaka temple

Lankatilaka temple dates back to 14th century. It is built on the summit of a rock called Panhalgala in the Udunuwara division of Kandy district and is approximately 12 km from the Peradeniya bridge. It has an unusual architectural design.The temple provides a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding hills, paddy fields and the diverse vegetation around it.

The temples' elegant roof construction can be seen from afar. The sacred places of the inner court are the image house, Stupa, the Bodhi-tree, the Devale with five local divinities, the preaching hall, and the kitchen to prepare food for the gods.The image house has a massive seated image of the Lord Buddha and wall is filled with wonderful paintings of 24 former Buddhas. Ganesha and Kataragama are represented in the niches facing east. Saman, Vishnu and Vibishana face north, west and south. It also has a Hewisi Mandapa the Drum hall which use by traditional Drum artists to offer sound at public Buddha-puja which is also called  as hevisi-puja.

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Embekke Devalaya

Embekke Devalaya, Kandy comprises carved wooden pillars with engravings of swans, lions, bulls, elephants and other such animals. On these pillars you will often find motifs like leaves, flowers, soldiers, dancing women and even mermaids. There are a total of 128 carvings on these pillars. Most of these carvings are presumably the work of the ancient artisan, Devendra Mulachari.

16 wooden pillars adorn the entrance of the Embekke Devalaya in Kandy. The ‘digge’ inside the Embekke Devalaya, Kandy is 52 feet, 10 inches long and 25 feet, 9 inches wide. UNESCO has accredited the site as the abode of rare specimens of fine wooden carvings in the world. 

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Gadaladeniya Temple

The Gadaladeniya temple situated at Pilimatalawa on the Kandy-Colombo Road is built almost exclusively out of stone in 1344 by the Gampola King Wickramabahu, situated on a hilltop, commanding views of the surrounding countryside.

The architecture is Dravidian. The entrance porch features large stone pillars, which support a roof of huge stone slabs. Within the vihara, an ancient stone and plaster image of the Buddha looks down upon milk rice pots that have collected food offerings for centuries. The 638-year-Old jack wood doors still exhibit their original paintings.

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Dambulla

Dambulla is a big town, situated in the Matale DistrictCentral Province of Sri Lanka, situated 148 km north-east of Colombo and 72 km north of Kandy. Due to the major junction, it's the distribution centre of vegetable in the country.
Major attractions of the area include the largest and best preserved cave temple complex of Sri Lanka, and the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, famous for being built in just 167 days. The area also boasts to have the largest rose quartz mountain range in South Asia, and the Iron wood forest, or Namal Uyana.
Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site near Dhambulla cave temple complexes is the latest archaeological site of significant historical importance found in Dambulla, which is located within 3 kilometers of the cave temples providing evidence on presence of indigenous civilisations long before the arrival of Indian influence on the Island nation.

History

The area is thought to be inhabited from as early as the 7th to 3rd century BC. Statues and paintings in these caves date back to the 1st century BC. But the paintings and statues were repaired and repainted in 11th, 12th, and 18th century AD. The caves in the city provided refuge to King Valagamba (also called Vattagamini Abhaya) in his 14 year long exile from the Anuradapura kingdom. Buddhist monks meditating in the caves of Dambulla at that time provided the exiled king protection from his enemies. When King Valagamba returned to the throne at Anuradapura kingdom in the 1st century BC, he had a magnificent rock temple built at Dambulla as a gratitude to the monks in Dambulla.

 

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Sigiriya

Sigiriya (Lion's rock, Sinhalese - සීගිරිය) is a town with a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Central Province, Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka.

Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times. It was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees of the Buddhist Sangha. According to the chronicles asMahavamsa the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (477 – 495 CE), and after the king's death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century.
The Sigiri inscriptions were deciphered by the archaeologist Senarath Paranavithana in his renowned two-volume work, published by Cambridge, Sigiri Graffiti and also Story of Sigiriya.

Location and geographical features

Sigiriya is located in the Matale District in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is within the cultural triangle, which includes five of the eight world heritage sites in Sri Lanka.

The Sigiriya rock is a hardened magma plug from an extinct and long-eroded volcano. It stands high above the surrounding plain, visible for miles in all directions. The rock rests on a steep mound that rises abruptly from the flat plain surrounding it. The rock itself rises approximately 370 m (1,214 ft) above sea level and is sheer on all sides, in many places overhanging the base. It is elliptical in plan and has a flat top that slopes gradually along the long axis of the ellipse.

 

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Polonnaruwa.

Polonnaruwa (Sinhalese - පොළොන්නරුව Tamil - பொலநறுவை or புளத்தி நகரம் as called by Cholas) is a town. It's the main town of Polonnaruwa District in the North Central Province, Sri Lanka. Kaduruwela area is the Polonnaruwa New Townand the other part of Polonnaruwa, remains as the royal ancient city of polonnaru kingdom.
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more under a local leader.
The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa has been declared a World Heritage Site.

History

While Vijayabahu's victory and shifting of kingdoms to the more strategic Polonnaruwa is considered significant, the real "Hero of Polonnaruwa" of the history books is actually his grandson, Parakramabahu I. It was his reign that is considered the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa, when trade and agriculture flourished under the patronage of the king, who was so adamant that no drop of water falling from the heavens was to be wasted, and each was to be used toward the development of the land; hence, irrigation systems that are far superior to those of the Anuradhapura Age were constructed during Parakramabahu's reign, systems which to this day supply the water necessary for paddy cultivation during the scorching dry season in the east of the country. The greatest of these systems, is the Parakrama Samudraya or the Sea of Parakrama. It is of such a width that it is impossible to stand upon one shore and view the other side, and it encircles the main city like a ribbon, being both a moat against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace. The Kingdom of Polonnaruwa was completely self-sufficient during King Parakramabahu's reign.

With the exception of his immediate successor, Nissankamalla I, all other monarchs of Polonnaruwa were slightly weak-willed and rather prone to picking fights within their own court.[citation needed] They also went on to form more intimate matrimonial alliances with stronger South Indian kingdoms, until these matrimonial links superseded the local royal lineage and gave rise to the Kalinga invasion by KingKalinga Magha in 1214 and the eventual passing of power into the hands of a Pandyan King following the Arya Chakrawarthi invasion of Sri Lanka in 1284. The capital was then moved to Dambadeniya.
The city of Polonnaruwa was also called Jananathamangalam during the short Chola reign.

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Pinnawala

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanagenursery and captive breedingground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northwest of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawalla is notable for having the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 88 elephants, including 37 males and 51 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.

The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to many of the orphaned unweaned wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC).

The Millennium Elephant Foundation is a separate registered private charity organization which is a retirement home for 7 elephants and a tourist attraction

History

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was first established by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation in 1975 for feeding and providing care and sanctuary to orphaned baby elephants that were found in the wild. The orphanage was first located at the Wilpattu National Park, then shifted to the tourist complex at Bentota and then to the Dehiwala Zoo. From the Zoo it was shifted to Pinnawala village on a 25-acre (10 ha) coconut plantation adjacent to the Maha Oya River.

The primary residential care area is on the east side of Highway B199, Rambukkana Road. The main site also has some restaurants / refreshment stands, and management buildings including sleeping sheds and veterinary facilities. The elephant bathing and viewing area along the Oya River is directly opposite on the west side of the highway.

At the time it was finally settled, the orphanage had five baby elephants which formed its nucleus. The addition of orphans continued till 1995 when the Elephant Transit Home (ETH) adjoining Udawalawe National Park was created by the DWC. Since then, orphaned babies have been taken to the ETH and addition to the Pinnawala herd has been mostly through births occurring there.

It was planned for the facility to attract local and foreign visitors, the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage. The Pinnawala Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction. In 1978, the orphanage was taken over by the Department of National Zoological Gardens Sri Lanka. In 1982 an elephant breeding program was launched. As of 2012, there were 78 elephants living here.

 

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