Formerly known as the Yala East National Park, the Kumana National Park was closed for a large part of the Civil War before reopening in 2010. Located on the pilgrimage route to Kataragama, the par is one of the five blocks of the Yala National Park.
The 357-sq km park is noted for its impressive range of resident and migratory birds, which include painted storks, cormorants and Eurasian spoonbills- there have also been occasional sightings of the endangered black-necked stork. The park’s most significant feature is the Kumana Villu, a huge mangrove swamp lake fed by the Kumbukkan Oya river by way of a long narrow channel. A range of water birds nest in these mangroves during May and June. Besides the wetlands, the park’s thriving bird population is also supported by an array of lagoons and salt marshes. A number of mammals, including elephants, wild boar, fishing cats and golden jackals, are known to inhabit the park. The place is a nesting ground for several species of turtles as well.
Kumana National Park is also home to some archaeological ruins. Among the highlights is the sacred site of Bambaragasthalawa that comprises rock caves with inscriptions and a badly damaged 11-m tall Buddha statue dating from the 9th century. At Bowattagala lie the remains of a rock temple dating from the 3rd century BC. more