Wilpattu National Park is the largest national park in Sri Lanka. Willu-Pattu means land of lakes…. And truly as per to the meaning of the name, Wilpattu National Park is filled with many lakes of rain water… Nearly 60 lakes and various smaller ponds can be found in Wilpattu. This beautiful forest is situated in the dry zone of Sri Lanka but yet it gets rains through out the year, mostly in the period of September to December. Wilpattu is situated 30 km west Anuradhapura(Sri Lanka’s ancient city) and located 26 km north of Puttalam (approximately 180 km north of Colombo). Wilpattu National Park is famous for it’s leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya) … but at the moment the leopard population is unknown.
Wilpattu National Park – Ancient ruins sites
Wilpattu National Park has Sri Lanka’s ancient ruins sites. Sri Lanka’s ancient queen Kuweni’s kingdom was situated in Wilpattu. And Sri Lanka’s ancient great king Dutugamunu’s son, Prince Saliya has lived in Wilpattu area after he has rejected the throne. Mostly the forest is in the temperature range of 27C – 30 C.
Wilpattu National Park -Wild Life
Wilpattu National Park is famous for leopards (Panthera pardus kotiya) and sloth bear but it has many other animal attractions. Elephants, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Pig, Water Buffalo and Mugger Crocodiles are a few of the 31 mammal species we found in this beautiful forest.
Wilpattu National Park is an ideal spot for Bird watchers. There are various kinds of Sri Lankan and migrant birds. The painted stork, the open bill, little cormorant, Sri Lanka junglefowl (Gallus lafayetii) along with many species of owls, terns, gulls, eagles, kites buzzards are to be found at Wilpattu National Park. Wetland bird species that can be senn in Wilpattu are the garganey (Anas querquedula), pintail (Anas acuta), whistling teal (Dendrocygna javanica), spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), white ibis (Threskiornis malanocephalus), large white egret (Egretta alba modesta), cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) and purple heron (Ardea purpurea).
You can see large no of reptiles are resident in Wilpattu, monitor lizard (Varanus bengalensis), mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), common cobra (Naja naja), rat snake (Ptyas mucosus), Indian python (Python molurus), pond turtle (Melanonchelys trijuga)elanonchelys trijuga) and the soft shelled turtle.
Herds of elephants bathing in lakes… herds of deer drinking water in lakes or eating grass in endless green pastures, various kinds of beautiful birds and butterflies, beautiful natural lakes and marvelously beautiful natural wild flowers are few breathtaking views you commonly find in Wilpattu forest. If you are a wild life lover don’t forget to spend your holidays in Sri Lanka in the enchanting Wilpattu forest…