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Home > Discovery Top Attractions > The Gathering At Minneriye

The Gathering At Minneriye

Arugam Bay"The Minneriye Elephant Gathering"-World's sixth greatest wildlife spectacle -by The Lonely Planet "

The national Park , circling around historical Minneriye Lake (3rd C.AD), situated in the north-central plains of the island, is the place for one of the most awesome wildlife spectacles in the world takes place in Sri Lanka.

Every year during the months of July to September an annual concentration of elephants known as "The Gathering" assemble on the receding shoreline of Minneriye Lake at Minneriye National Park .Over 300 wild elephants converge for the famous 'gathering' Now where else in the world will one find such a high concentration of wild Asian Elephants in only a few square kilometers. Matriarchs lead their clans to the lake, and it is very interesting to observe the social dynamics of Elephants – how the whole group takes care to safeguard the baby elephants which are always flanked by adults.

Small family group arrive from scrub jungles tens of kilometers apart and coalesce into small herds ,which in turn congregate into large herds of 50-100.Visiters have often counted over three hundred elephants at one time.

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The Minneriye Park is a transit lounge of sorts (corridor) for the elephants traveling in between two national parks, called Kaudulla and Wasgamuwa and As the drought in the Sri Lankan dry zone heightens every year in June and most national parks in the area are parched; there remains only one oasis -"Minneriya National Park". Here too the magnificent Minneriya Tank reduces in size by more than half giving rise to fresh grassland.

Hence, Abundant grazing land and water draw many herds from the surrounding forests, which converge around the lake during the months prior to the rains which are expected in September, resulting in an amazing GATHERING.

Here the elephants drink, bathe and search for a prospective mate. In addition to the elephant one could also spot sloth bears, spotted deer, sambar, leopards, macaque monkeys and the endangered red lipped lizard. The park has a range of habitat types varying from grasslands, dry tropical forests, terrain and wetlands.  

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