简体中文 ZH-CN English EN Français FR Deutsch DE Italiano IT Português PT සිංහල SI தமிழ் TA
Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation

Episode 26 – Horagolla National Park

Content Image

The crocodile encounter

I served as the Park Warden at Horagolla National Park from 2017 to 2021. Our main duties there included providing amenities for visitors, bringing and caring for orphaned cubs and adults, sending the animals to the Atthidia treatment center if they needed to be kept longer, or releasing them back into the wild, and providing food and water to the animals there. We also engaged in activities like legal matters pertaining to the wildlife department. Due to the fact that Horagolla National Park is the only National Park in Western Province, we frequently received queries regarding specific creatures. We carried out the duties, accordingly.

Horagolla National Park, which is 35 acres in size, was donated to the government by Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. There is a 3-acre lake right at the entrance to the National Park. During the rainy season, water flows to this lake through a small channel. There is water in the lake even in dry seasons. Tortoise and fish species also live in this lake. The turtles we capture are released into this lake.

There was a young crocodile in the park when I arrived. It might have been carried in there by someone. This little crocodile quickly developed into an adult. This crocodile started wandering around the lawn while he was between the ages of 10 and 15 and had grown robust. We thought that he should be released to Wilpattu. But before that suddenly the crocodile disappeared. He had been missing for several days. Crocodiles can be dangerous to people and other animals and it can be harmed by people and vehicles. Therefore, we were therefore really upset.

We searched everywhere. Then a message came from the nearby village that there was a crocodile. There was a water pond near a hotel near Horagollawalavva. I got the message that the crocodile has gone to the pond. It is not easy to catch a crocodile as it swims  here and there and hit with its tail. Those days it was a strike by the Wildlife Guards. I went there with the Field Assistant, Chandrasiri and the Field Assistant Sumit. After about 4 hours of hard work, the crocodile was caught. Heaved a sigh of relief after that. People had gathered to see the event.

We tied the crocodile to a tree and took it to Wilpattu from there. It was morning when I went to Wilpattu. Eluwankulamen went inside and carefully released the crocodile.

Being able to capture the crocodile without causing any harm to anyone was fantastic. I recall the crocodile encounter whenever I think back on my stay in Horagolla.

Mr. T. R. Pradeep

We tied the crocodile to a wood plank and took it to Wilpattu from there. It was morning when I went to Wilpattu. Eluwankulamen went inside and carefully released the crocodile.

It was a great thing to be able to catch the crocodile without harming anyone. When I remember the time, I spent in Horagolla, I remember the incident involving the crocodile.

Mr. Pradeep had the opportunity to study the Diploma Course conducted by the Girithale Training Centre of the Wildlife Department and as a part of it he received 2 weeks of training in Dehradun, India. Moreover, they had the opportunity to study the short course on firearms and the short course on wildlife law as well.

Mr. Pradeep also had the opportunity to participate in a World Wetlands Program in South Korea and a workshop on climate change in China.

His wife Mrs. D.D.N.S.K.Bombuwala is a graduate teacher and works in the primary section of Baminiyawatta High School, Mawanella. Daughter DasithiDisara, aged 13, is studying in Year 8 at KegalleSwarnaJayanti School.

Their address is Baminiyawatta, Mawanella.

Horagolla National Park

Horagolla National Park is one of the newest National Parks in Sri Lanka, located close to Horagolla Walavva, which was the home of the Bandaranaike family. Horagolla National Park is given this name because of the abundance of Hora (Dipterocarpus zeylanicus) trees and is the only urban park in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. This park is located about 40 km from Colombo and is the smallest National Park under the Department of Wildlife Conservation. This National Park with an area of ​​13.40 hectares is located within the Nambadaluwa Grama Niladhari Division in Attanagalla Divisional secretariat of the Gampaha District. In the seventies, this land, which belonged to the government, was declared as a sanctuary under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance in view of the rich biodiversity of the area. It was Gazetted under No. 1351/17 dated 28 July 2004 as the Horagolla National Park.

                                                                                                                                   Name boards

Horagolla National Park is a lowland evergreen forest with a humus soil structure and warm temperatures throughout the year. Among the various native tree species commonly grown in this national park, plants known as hora (Dipterocarpus zeylanicus), kekune (Canarium zeylanicum), godapara (Dillenia retusa), kitul (Caryota urens), nedun (Pericopsis mooniana), atamba (Mangifera zeylanica), sacred fig (Ficus religiosa), and Milla (Vitex altissima) are found. Despite its small size, this land has a large number of Been entada creepers(Fabaceae sps.) whilst it is a park rich in biodiversity. The park is also dominated by tall trees such as teak (Tectona grandis) and ebony (Diospyros ebenym) and the undergrowth is abundant with thick vines and bamboo.

Hora (Dipterocarpus zeylanicus)

A variety of plant species and grasses cover the landscape throughout the park. The park’s diverse vegetation provides food and ample water for birds, animals and reptiles and is home to a large number of fauna found in the evergreen forests. But this park is rich in flora rather than fauna. The park has a variety of tall tree species and the constant chirping of various birds that live in the trees brings mental relaxation.

Inside the park
Been entada (Fabaceae sps.)

Spread over 33 acres, the park is home to 10 species of mammals, 64 species of birds, 7 species of fish and 28 species of butterflies. The park accommodates various animals including Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) and Barking Deer (Muntiacus muntijak), Slender Loris (Loris lydekkerrianus), Golden jackal (Canis aureus), Purple faced langur (Semnopithecus vetulus), Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura), Porcupine (Hystrix indica) and Wild Boar (Sus scrofa).  Many endangered species are found in Horagolla Park while python (Python molurus) and Cobra (Naja naja) are among the many reptiles found in the park.

Common garden lizard (Calotes versicolor)

Home to over 100 species of birds, this National Park is another favorite spot for bird watchers. Birds such as Yellow-fronted barbet (Megalaima flavifrons), Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot (Loriculus beryllinus), Sri Lanka Myna (Gracula ptilogenys), Sri Lanka Layard’s Parakeet (Psittacula calthropae), Forest wagtail (Dendronanthus indicus) native to Sri Lanka can be seen here.

Common hawk cuckoo (Hierococcyx varius)

As you walk along the trails in the park, the fresh air will melt away your stress. Instead of a jeep safari in the wild, Horagolla National Park offers a range of activities for visitors to help them connect with the environment in a more relaxing way. Bird watching is a popular activity here and provides ample opportunities to spot endemic and migratory bird species in the park. Also popular for free walks and picnics, the park allows visitors to leisurely explore the natural beauty.

A name board
A summer hut

Horagolla National Park can be reached by traveling 35 kilometers on the Colombo Kandy road. After turning from Nittambu and going one kilometer towards Wayangoda, you will find the park office at a distance of 6 kilometers from the Pinnagolla junction.

Horagolla National Park is an important area for conservation efforts in Sri Lanka and due to the park’s small size and proximity to urban areas, it is vulnerable to various encroachments and development activities. The Department of Wildlife Conservation has implemented conservation measures including habitat restoration and sustainable tourism to ensure the park’s survival and continued biodiversity.

The pond

List of animals in the Horagolla National Park

 Sinhala Names

Tamil Names

English Names

Scientific Name

හදුන් දිවියා


Fishing cat

Prionailurus viverrinus

වැලි මුවා


Barking deer

Muntiacus muntjak


பொன்னிறக் குள்ளநரி

Golden jackal

Canis aureus

වල් ඌරා


Wild boar

Sus scrofa




Hystrix indica

කලු වදුරා

சாம்பல் முகக் குரங்கு

Purple faced langur

Semnopithecus vetulus

දඩු ලේනා

பழுப்பு மலை அணில்

Giant squirrel

Ratufa macroura

උණ හපුළුවා


Gray Slender Loris

loris lydekkerrianus

ශ්‍රි ලංකා රන් මුහුණත් කොට්ටෝරුවා


Yellow-fronted barbet

Megalaima flavifrons

ශ්‍රී ලංකා ගිරාමලිත්තා

இலங்கை தொங்கும் கிளி

Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot 

Loriculus beryllinus

ශ්‍රී ලංකා  සැලළිහිණියා 

இலங்கை மைனா

Sri Lanka  Myna

Gracula ptilogenys

ශ්‍රී ලංකා අලු  ගිරවා

சாம்பல் கிளி

Sri Lanka Layard’s Parakeet 

Psittacula calthropae

කැළෑ හැලපෙන්දා  

கொடிக்கால் வாலாட்டி

Forest wagtail 

Dendronanthus indicus

උකුසු කෝකිලයා


Common hawk cuckoo

Hierococcyx varius




Naja naja




Python molurus



Common garden lizard

Calotes versicolor

List of trees in the Horagolla National Park

Sinhala Name

Tamil Name

English Name

Scientific Name




Dipterocarpus zeylanicus




Canarium zeylanicum


உவா மரம்


Dillenia retusa

කිතුල්கூந்தல் பனைkitul

Caryota urens


Pericopsis mooniana

ඇටඹகாட்டு மாAtambaMangifera zeylanica
බෝරුක්அரச மரம்Sacred fig

Ficus religiosa

මිල්ලகாட்டுநொச்சிMillaVitex  altissima
පුස්වැල්யானைக் கொழிஞ்சிBeen entada

Fabaceae sps.


Tectona grandis


Diospyros ebenym

Editor–  Dammika Malsinghe, Additional Secretary,Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation  (MWFRC)

Article on park written byHasini Sarathchandra, Chief Media Officer, Department of Wildlife Coservation (DWLC) Mahesha Chathurani Perera ,Development Officer, (DWLC)

Tamil TranslationsA.R.F. Rifna, Development Officer, MWFRC

English Translations Asoka Palihawadana, Translator, MWFRC

Web DesigningN.I.Gayathri, Development Officer,MWFRC -C.A.D.D.A. Kollure, Management Service Officer, MWFRC

PhotographyKavindu Sadamin Gunawardene