Lahugala Kitulana National Park

IUCN category
II (National Park)
Designation type
National Park
Surface area
15.54 km²
Status year
Governing type
Federal or national ministry or agency
Management authority
Department of Wildlife Conservation

Lahugala Kitulana National Park is a hidden gem. It is one of the country’s smallest national parks, but despite its size, it is one of the richest in terms of wildlife. The park is known for its large number of Sri Lankan elephants and is a great place to visit if you want a more authentic experience, away from crowds of other tourists. Lahugala is also an important habitat for other endemic animals such as the Sri Lankan spurfowl, sloth bear, black-napped hare and slender loris.

The park prides itself for its untouched wilderness, and because of this cars aren’t allowed inside the park, instead, you can walk through the main road between Arugam Bay and Monaragala. Inside the park, you will also find Neelagiri Maha Seya, which is a colossal ancient stupa that dates back to the 1st century. It is believed that the massive stupa which is 72ft in height and with a circumference of 597ft, was built by King Kavan Tissa (205-161 BC), however, this area was occupied by the LTTE during the time of the Civil War, so the ruins may not be as well kept as others from the same time. If you are interested in wildlife, Lahugala is definitely a must since it can offer a mix of culture and wildlife.