Distance from capital city Colombo 315KM
Ampara district is located in the eastern coast of the Sri Lanka. It is bordered by Batticaloa district to the north, Polonnaruwa and Matale to the northwest, Badulla and Monaragala to the west, Hambantota to the south and Indian ocean to the east. It is 4415sq. km in area and divided into twenty divisions and each division is governed by a divisional secretariat. And these divisions are further divided into 503 grama niladhari divisions (equivalent to a village) and each grama niladhari division is headed by a state appointed grama niladhari (grama niladhari can be roughly translated into village chief).Population of the Ampara district is 648,057 (2012 census) in which 48.57% is male and 51.42% is female. Ampara is diverse in ethnicity, religion and traditions.38.73% of population are Sinhalese,17.42% are Tamils,43.58% Muslims and a small community of Burgher (descendants of Europeans from colonial era), Malay (Muslims with East Asian origin), Vedda (community of forest dwelling indigenous people) and other minorities.
How To Reach?
Ampara town is about 315km away from Colombo, which is the commercial capital and the main transport hub of Sri Lanka. Air-conditioned S.L.T.B(Sri Lanka Transport Board-State owned transport service provider who operates a large fleet of busses and coaches throughout the island) busses are operated From Bandaranaike international airport(the main and only functioning international airport at the moment in the country) to Colombo. These are direct buses from airport to Colombo bus terminal and stops nowhere in between as they use the E03 expressway. It takes no more than 45 minutes and the charge is roughly Rs.130 (USD 0.85-as of July 2017).From Colombo central bus terminal, buses are operated to almost all main cities of Sri Lanka around the clock, including to Ampara. There are no direct trains to Ampara because the railway line runs only up to Batticaloa. Andthere are buses available from Batticalao to Ampara. Air planes and helicopters can be chartered from some private tour operators, but the charges are extremely high. Cars or vans also can be arranged from Colombo or other places to reach Ampara. Though these private transport services are much more comfortable and flexible, usually they are expensive than the public transport services. International taxi service provider Uber offers its service in Sri Lanka but at the moment (as of July 2017) it is limited within western province of the country.
To Do’s In Ampara District
There are plenty of places to visit and activities to do in Ampara. Listed below are some of them.
Kumana National Park is well known for its birds, this 357 sq. km sanctuary is an ideal place to spot Asian open bill, glossy ibis, purple heron, great egret,
Indian pond heron, black-crowned night heron, intermediate egret, little egret, spot-billed pelican, Indian cormorant, little cormorant, common moorhen, watercock, purple swamp hen, white-breasted water hen, pheasant-tailed jacana, black-winged stilt, lesser whistling duck and many other birds. Fishing cats, Sri Lankan Golden jackals and Sri Lankan elephants may also surprise you. And a unique variety of dry land plants and trees also there to explore.
2) Gal Oya National Park
Gal Oya National park is situated in the western side of the Ampara district adjoining the Senanayake samudra, the largest fresh water reservoir in Sri Lanka.It is 260 sq. km in area and a perfect place to spot elephant herds throughout the year.
3) Degavapi Stupa
This is a venerable place for the country’s Buddhist population who believes that this place was visited by Lord Buddha.
4) Lahugala Kitulana National Park
This small natural area of conservation is a place to see Sri Lankan deer and elephants.
5) Crocodile rock
This is a small rock formation near the beach, about a half an hour drive from Pottuvil town.The name might have derived from a group of salt water crocodiles which inhabit near the lagoon.
6) Arugam bay
One of the best places for surfing, not only in Sri Lanka but also in the world.
There are plenty of hotels, Inns and restaurants in Ampara district. Most of them are near Arugam bay, Pottuvil and Ampara town. Monty Hotel, which is situated in Ampara town has a good reputation for its service.Though fully fledged hotels are rare, most of them offer bed and breakfast or guest house like service. Money withdrawals can be done using the ATM machines of the local banks which are mainly located in Ampara town. There are police stations located in Ampara town, Bakkiella, Managalagama, Samanthurai and Thirukovil.Ampara general hospital is located in Ampara town and several public and private hospitals are located throughout the district.