Maduru Oya National Park was designated in 1983. The entrance to the park lies in the village of Dambana, located 25 km northeast of Mahiyangana. The park was created to protect the catchment areas of nearby reservoirs and attracts abundant birdlife. In addition, there is the usual fauna to look out for, such as elephants, sambar deer, and monkeys.
The indigenous people of the island, the Veddahs, live in an area known as Henanigala on the edge of the park. Visitors can browse through some of their crafts for sale at the main entrance. The Veddahs were turfed out when Maduru Oya became a national park, and are only allowed to enter during the day if they have a permit. In March 2012, a Veddah man was shot and killed for hunding with the wrong permit; heir hunting rights have since been withdrawn. more