Nature of Gampaha

Gampaha is a district located in the western part of Sri Lanka. It is situated just northeast of the capital city, Colombo, and is considered part of the Greater Colombo Area.Gampaha is blessed with a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and abundant rainfall throughout the year, contributing to the fertility of the land.Gampaha District is home to several nature reserves and protected areas that showcase the rich biodiversity of the region. These include the Muthurajawela Marsh, a vast wetland ecosystem renowned for its birdlife and mangrove forests.

In addition to its natural beauty, Gampaha also boasts a number of botanical gardens national parks like Henarathgoda Botanical Garden and Horagolla National park which offer serene settings for relaxation and leisure activities.

Overall, the nature of Gampaha is a harmonious blend of tropical landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and serene surroundings, offering residents and visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

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Muthurajawela Wetlands

Muthurajawela Wetlands is situated approximately 18 kilometers north of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. It can be easily reached by road from Negombo or Colombo. The wetlands cover an expansive area of marshland, mangroves, and lagoons.

Muthurajawela is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species. The wetlands support over 200 species of flora, including various mangrove species such as Rhizophora, Avicennia, and Ceriops. The area is also a haven for numerous bird species, with over 190 species recorded. Common sightings include kingfishers, herons, egrets, and waterfowl. Reptiles, mammals, and fish can also be found in the wetlands.

The wetlands serve as a critical habitat for both resident and migratory bird species, providing nesting grounds, feeding areas, and resting places during migration. Muthurajawela Wetlands also plays a significant role in flood control and acts as a natural buffer against coastal erosion.

Various organizations and educational institutions conduct studies and awareness programs to promote conservation and sustainable management of the wetlands.

Boat Rides: One of the best ways to explore Muthurajawela Wetlands is by taking a boat ride. Several operators offer guided boat tours, allowing visitors to navigate through the narrow waterways and enjoy the tranquility of the wetlands. These boat rides provide an opportunity to spot various bird species, reptiles, and other wildlife.

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden

The garden was originally established in 1876 by the British colonial government as an experimental garden for the cultivation of cinchona trees, which were a source of quinine used in the treatment of malaria. Later, it was transformed into a botanical garden to study various plant species and their adaptation to the Sri Lankan climate.

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden covers an area of about 43 acres (17 hectares) and is home to a diverse collection of plants. It features a range of trees, shrubs, flowers, and medicinal plants, including many indigenous and exotic species. Visitors can explore the garden’s well-maintained pathways, enjoying the natural beauty and tranquility of the surroundings.

The first imported rubber tree to Sri Lanka was first planted in this garden and it was the first seedlings of Brazilian rubber tree ever planted in Asia.

The botanical garden provides a valuable resource for scientific research, botanical studies, and educational purposes. Researchers, botanists, and students can study plant taxonomy, ecology, and other aspects of botany within its diverse plant collections.

Henarathgoda Botanical Garden is a popular attraction for both local and international visitors. Its lush greenery, serene ambiance, and well-maintained landscapes make it an ideal place for leisurely walks, picnics, and nature appreciation.

Horagolla National Park

Horagolla National Park sounds like a lesser-known gem for nature enthusiasts and visitors seeking a quieter national park experience.

With its location in Nambadaluwa village near Gampaha, Horagolla National Park offers a chance to explore a diverse range of wildlife within its 13,362-hectare area. Being a part of the wet zone in Sri Lanka, the park is home to various species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish.

The park’s rich biodiversity led to its designation as a wildlife refuge in 1973 and later as a national park in 2004. The presence of different tree species such as Hora, Milla, Nadun, Godapara, Diyapara, Kithul Cane, Etamba, Bo, and Ankenda adds to the natural beauty and ecological significance of the park.

Horagolla National Park’s evergreen forests provide habitats for a diverse range of wildlife, including the fishing cat, mouse deer, fox, giant squirrel, and various bird species such as parakeets, black-headed bulbuls, barbets, and Asian koels.

The park’s relative lack of crowds compared to other popular national parks in Sri Lanka makes it an attractive destination for those seeking a tranquil and immersive nature experience.

Negombo Beach

Negombo Beach is a beautiful and popular tourist destination located in the coastal town of Negombo, which is part of the Gampaha District in Sri Lanka.

Negombo Beach offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. The long stretch of golden sandy beach provides ample space for sunbathing, picnicking, and leisurely walks along the shore. The calm waters are suitable for swimming, and there are designated areas for water sports such as jet skiing, windsurfing, and catamaran rides.

Negombo is known for its vibrant fishing community, and a visit to the beach allows you to witness the traditional fishing practices. It is is renowned for its fresh seafood, and there are numerous restaurants and eateries along the beach that offer a variety of delicious seafood dishes. You can indulge in mouthwatering prawns, crabs, fish, and lobster, prepared in both local and international styles.

Dutch Fort: In the vicinity of Negombo Beach, you can explore the remnants of the Dutch Fort, a historical landmark that dates back to the colonial era. The fort is now used as a prison, but its architecture and historical significance make it worth a visit.

Negombo Beach is a popular destination for tourists seeking sun, sand, and sea. With its beautiful coastline, water sports activities, fresh seafood, and cultural attractions, it offers a delightful beach experience for visitors of all ages.

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