Living Heritage of Sri Lanka

Heritage Reserve - Okanda-Kudimbigala

sunrise from Panama-Okanda region

Okanda is the popular name for the Yala East National Park. It is visited via the Eastern Province through the town of Pottuvil, the village of Panama and then along a jeep track through Helawa to Okanda.

The Yala East National Park forms an interesting and most fascinating region of scenic beauty, consisting of lagoons, natural rock pools, rock outcrops, ridges, open park land, scrub jungle and forest.

The Okanda-Kudimbigala Heritage Reserve will be an ecologically sustainable community living a traditional lifestyle, with the Okanda Shrine at its center, while cultivating rare species of our traditional grains and pulses now threatened by genetic piracy and other modern agro-business practices.

Rationale - Why Okanda and Kudimbigala?

Okanda according to legend is a hierophany, a rare, divine spot at which divinity reveals itself on earth. Because of the importance of this legend to the people of nearby Panama and in fact to the entire east coast, the Okanda-Kudimbigala region has all the conditions necessary to create a model of ecologically sustainable and culturally harmonious living. Such a model would combine the twin aims of conserving our traditional heritage and protecting global genetic diversity.