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.


Sri Lanka Elephants in Maduru Oya National Park             Anton Croos