Horagolla National Park-An urban hideout of flora and fauna

Situated next to the Horagolla Walauwa, the family home of Bandaranaike family the Horagolla National Park is the latest addition to the Sri Lankan national parks and is the only urban park in the highly populated  Western province of the country.

Thus named for its abundance of Hora or Dipterocarpus zeylanicus trees Horagolla National Park is 40 hectares of low country every green forest, ideal for a comfortable walk through concrete shady paths.

Horagolla is not a National Park of the capacity of Yala or Willpattu looming with wildlife and adventure but a garden of carefully planted trees with name boards on them. The trees include Canarium zeylanicum (Kekuna), Dillenia retusa (Godapara), Caryota urens (Kitul), Pericopsis mooniana (Nedun), Mangifera zeylanica (Atamba), Sacred fig, Alstonia scholaris (Ruk Attana), Acronychia pedunculata (Ankenda), Vitex pinnata (Milla), Mimusops elengi (Moonamal), Breadfruit and Pterospermum canescens (Velang.

The only wildlife found at the park include  Fishing Cat, Sri Lankan Spotted Chevrotain, Golden Jackal, Grizzled giant squirrel and an abundance of birds making it an ideal spot for bird watching then adventure. The Horagolla National Park boasts of 68 bird species including Parakeets, Black-crested Bulbul, Barbets, Asian Koel, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Layard’s Parakeet and Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher.

The rare Clipper, Ceylon Birdwing and Blue Mormon are the butterflies fluttering in the park while an occasional cobra or a python is reported or observed.

The summer house by the canal scattered with aquatic birds is an ideal spot for respite and solitude after the long walk and an afternoon well spent at Horagolla.

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