Snake Farm in Weligama Sri Lanka

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There are very few places of Sri Lanka where snakes kept for demonstration. In near to Weligama city there is one farm called Telijjawila village. A rural village near Weligama. The owner of the farm is an Ayurveda doctor with indigenous knowledge. In here found many endemic venomous and non-venomous snakes. Telijjawila Snake farm is a great place to visit if you happen to be in the Weligama / Midigama/ Ahangama Mirissa / Matara area. It is a pretty amazing place with great history.
The owner's grandfather built that place as a snake sanctuary. It’s been a snake farm for three generations. Vipul Waidyasena is now in charge. His father Wijepala Bandara is 76 years old and still practices Ayurveda snake medicine. Grandfather Gemis Appuhami died at the age of 86 in 1974. They collect snakes mainly from rice fields but also directly from people's homes, nurse them if needed and after six months release them back to the nature so the number and species of snakes depends on that.

Snakes in Sri Lanka

There are 72 different snake families in Sri Lanka of which seven are very poisonous. At the snake farm there are 20 different families present and on average 25 snakes are released into the wild every year. It takes a bit of getting used to the fact, that the snakes are kept in pretty dull concrete boxes with wooden lids (some of them secured with an extra nail or two).
Cobra  in Snake Farm - Telijjawila, Weligama

Not a snake farm but a conservation centre ?

Housed in a small space the conservatory can house 20 - 40 rescued snakes at any given time, ranging from innocent rat snakes to a highly venomous Russel’s viper. Snake Farm is a small conservatory cum an Ayurveda treatment centre for snake poisoning operated by a father and son duo, who have had generations of experience in handling reptiles, especially the ones that can kill you in a whole number of excruciating and exciting ways. Almost all the snakes at the conservatory are temporary members, who have been rescued from neighborhood houses and farmlands and are awaiting their turn to be relocated to a safer and more permanent habitat. This conservation centre helps prevent snakes from extinction. With the local community being uneducated in snake species they see all snakes as a threat and will try to kill any snake they see.
Non-venomous snakes
You can hold Snakes in your hand!

Demonstration of snakes

The head of the family will expertly display to you a series of snakes found in Sri Lanka. Watch Cobras dance, Vipers uncoil and receive a hug from a python. The safe keeper of the snakes and the son of the Ayurveda doctor takes time introducing visitors to the resident snakes available at the moment.  Snake demonstration will start one by one the snakes are presented to the tourists. The poisonous ones are put on the ground where they can move, spit and turn without causing trouble. The demonstrator is very cautious in manipulating all his animals.
Demonstration of snakes in Snake Farm - Telijjawila, Weligama

You get a lot of time to make pictures and he enables you to take the not poisonous snakes in your hands, manipulate them a little or hang them around your neck like the python. It gives a strange feeling, touching such cool, muscled skin that moves over your own skin... The snake collection consists of scorpion, tarantula, hump-nose viper, green Paddy viper, white cobra, brown cobra, black cobra, python etc… the only snake that jumps from tree to tree living in the rain forest, and some other non-poisoned small snakes. While most of the snakes are benign and can be touched and handled with care by anyone; venomous snakes like cobras, vipers and constrictors require expert handling and visitors get the chance to view them from a safe distance in an open environment. It was a really interesting experience.

Multiple Snake Farms in Telijjawila? (High demand though)

If you search for Snake farm in Telijjawila, Weligama there are some several places (actually three locations). One place that presents in this article is Dr. Vipul Waidyasena's place. So at first try to reach Dr. Vipul place if it is not available you can try other snake farms that is situated nearby locations.

Note: All the snake farms are located in their homes, so sometimes they may close the home or may not demonstrate the snakes because of unavailability of the owner. Therefore try to contact the Dr. Vipul place first and confirm that he is available. Otherwise you could visit other snake farms which is located nearby. For this you can hire tuk tuk. Beware of their charges also. And when you reach other snake farm places first ask about the price, never be a victim of rip-off.

How to get here: Snake farm in Telijjawila, Weligama

The easiest and cheapest way to get there is to rent a scooter or and drive here. If you want to go on your own, here’s a map with the location:

By your own vehicle:
To get there, you can take the Weligama - Telijjawila road from Weligama. It’s just over 8 km to your destination, which is a bit before Telijjawila proper. You can ask anyone there for directions to the snake place. The locals are pretty used to people coming there for their reptile fix. You could also use Google Maps since the spot is marked there.

By public transport - by bus
To get there, you can take the Weligama - Akuressa bus from Weligama bus station. You can easily find the bus route number 336. Bus will operate 2 per one hour. It’s just over 8 km to your Weligama town, which is a bit before Telijjawila proper. Take tickets for Telijjawila. And you can ask from conductor to inform you to get off from snake place. Otherwise use Google maps. You can ask anyone there for directions to the snake place. After you get down from bus where the sign board of Snakes in Sri Lanka, which is shown aside of the road. then you can easily reach the location by walking. It may takes 30 minutes time to reach bus to snake farm. On your way back you can easily find any bus which is travel towards Weligama town. Almost all the buses will go to Weligama town.
Sign board from main road : Weligama - Akuressa
Sign board from main road

Location in Google maps

In this map three snake farms were located and map. The first location is the Dr. Vipul Waidyasena's place. You can find how to visit snake farm from Weligama town using public transport or by your own vehicle.

Entrance fee:

The snake farm gets around 20 visitors a day and the entrance fee is LKR 800,- per adult and LKR 400,- per child. The contact number for the farm is: 077 796 8320
Snake conservation store in Snake Farm - Telijjawila, Weligama

Your visit will not only give you an up-close experience with a variety of snakes, but will help to assist the future running of the family which conserve the snakes in Sri Lanka. The service he provides is immense and people of his nature are few, we must do our part by appreciating them. The service he provides is immense and people of his nature are few, we must do our part by appreciating them.