The ‘Gathering’ at Minneriya gets top billing world-wide

Gehan & Srilal’s dream comes true

It was about 5 years ago that Gehan de S Wijeratne ( formerly of Jetwing Group) and Srilal Miththapala ( formerly of Serendib Leisure) two senior  tourism industry personnel,  having a great interest in wild life and nature, coined the name

The 'Gathering' at Minneriya gets top billing world-wide

tusker at minneriya

“The Gathering” for the unique spectacle of the congregation of some 150-200 wild elephants on the banks of the Minneriya reservoir, each year during the months of June , July and August.  In fact it is the largest grouping of wild Asian elephants that can be seen at any one given time, anywhere in the world.


Gehan and Srilal set out to create a ‘brand’ for this unique spectacle, and over the years ,  managed to create continuous publicity, both locally and internationally, ably supported by Sri Lanka Tourism and the then managing Director of Sri Lanka Dileep Mudadeniya . Gehan in particular was instrumental in producing for Sri Lanka Tourism good quality promotional materiel in the form of leaflets and hand outs, which was distributed at all international trade fairs.  Chitral Jayatilake ( from John Keels) and Gehan got down several international film crews to document the gathering and these films were shown in almost all the major nature/ wild life networks.  and helping to create publicity for this event.

The 'Gathering' at Minneriya gets top billing world-wide

So, with the Lonely Planet ( one of the most accepted industry guide books) now featuring   The Gathering as the world’s 6th greatest wild life spectacle ( , the untiring efforts of a few committed individuals  has clearly been vindicated, and the country’s tourism industry  should now reap the benefits.