Sin: මාදුරු ඔය māduru oya

 ‘Caraway Stream’  EP,  Sri Lanka

From Sin: māduru, ‘(black) cumin, caraway’ [Nigella sativa]; and oya, ‘river, stream – smaller than ganga’.

The Maduru Oya is a 135km river flowing through Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa Districts. It gives its name to the park, the dam and the reservoir.

The word māduru derives from mā, ‘large, great’; and duru ‘cumin’ [Cuminum cyminum]. Maduru also refers to ‘fennel’ [Foeniculum vulgare]. Although the plants are similar (fennel and caraway are related) they are not the same plants and the flavours are quite different – it’s confusing.

The National Park extends 58,850 hectares and protects endangered species including the elephant, leopard, sloth bear, water buffalo, toque monkey, langur, jackal, spotted deer, loris, otter and sambar.

There is a Vedda settlement in the Park at Henanigala. The Veddas are Sri Lanka’s indigenous tribe.

For related place names see Sri Lanka Place names.


Sri Lanka Elephants in Maduru Oya National Park             Anton Croos