Yala is Sri Lanka’s most popular and the most biodiversity-rich national park. It extends to the southeast coast and thus forms the perfect mixture of wetland, jungle, and coastal wildlife. The main feature of Yala National Park is its high-density leopard population, one of the highest in the world. You can easily catch sights of the elephant, water buffalo, sambar deer, peacock, and crocodile on a Yala safari. Yala and its satellite parks extend to some of the most significant historical and archeological sites in southern Sri Lanka. Evidence of past civilizations is found here, including 5th Century irrigation reservoirs and 2nd Century stupas.
Yala National Park
It is the largest and oldest of a chain of six national parks and three sanctuaries. There are 44 mammal species, 215 bird species, and dozens of reptiles.
Bundala National Park
It harbours around 197 species of migratory waterbird species and stretches 20km along the west coast of Yala. Greater flamingos are its main highlight.
This 2nd Century monastery atop a rocky outcrop is said to have built by King Kavantissa. It features ancient paintings and ruins of stone Buddha images.
These seven rock-cut Buddha figures date back to the 10th Century and belong to the Mahayana tradition. It also has a mysterious mustard oil lamp.
It is one of the most sacred multi-religious pilgrim sites in the country, with a shrine dedicated to a deity of both Buddhist and Hindu origins.
Considered to be the official entrance to Kumana National Park, legend has it as the place God Murugan first sailed into Sri Lanka in a golden boat.