Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wilpattu National Park


Wilpattu National Park (Willu-pattu; Land of Lakes) is a park located on the island of Sri Lanka. The unique feature of this park is the existence of "Willus" (Natural lakes) - Natural, sand-rimmed water basins or depressions that fill with rainwater. The park is 131, 693 hectares and ranges from 0 to 152 meters above sea level. Nearly sixty lakes (Willu) and tanks are found spread throughout Wilpattu. Located in the Northwest coast lowland dry zone of Sri Lanka. After the end of civil war in 2009, it is a popular eco tourism destination in Sri Lanka. It is the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka. Wilpattu is among the top national parks world renowned for its Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) population. The Leopard population in Wilpattu is still not yet known. It is situated about 180 Km away from Colombo city. From Anuradhapura it is only a distance of 30 Km. This park is considered to be the largest national park in this country. Wilpattu National Park occupies about 425 sq Km of area. On the west, the national park is bordered by the Indian Ocean. To its north is Kala Oya and to the south, the Wilpattu National Park is bordered by Modaragam.

Wali Kukula (National Bird of Sri Lanka)

 Leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya)

Spotted Deer

In Wilpattu National Park, a number of wild species are found. There are about 31 species of mammals those are found in Wilpattu National Park. The commonly found reptiles in the Wilpattu National Park are common cobra, mugger crocodile, rat snake etc. Star tortoises, soft shelled turtles and pond turtles are also found in this national park. Many species of birds like whistling teal, spoonbill, large white egret, pin tail, white ibis, purple heron etc are seen here.
In Wilpattu National Park mainly salt grass, low scrub and monsoon forests are found. This national park is spotted with innumerable lakes. About 60 lakes have formed across the entire Wilpattu National Park. This area receives about 1000 mm of rain annually and the average annual temperature is about 27.2 Celsius.

Willuwa (Wet Land)

The Wilpattu National Park and its surrounding are steeped in history and covered with legend.Popular legend says that in 543 BC King Vijaya landed at Kudrimalai and that he married Kuweni. According to some ancient ruins identified, it is said that Kuweni lived in the place now identified as the Kali Villu. Both Kudrimalai and Kali Villu are found in the Wilpattu. Furthermore history shows that Prince Saliya, son of King Dutugemunu, lived with Asokamala in Maradanmaduwa in Wilpattu over 2000 years ago. Pomparippu too is of historical value as urns containing the remains of those belonging to pre Vijayan times have been excavated from that site. Also between Palangaturai and Kollankanatte are the remains of an old harbour.  In 1905, the designated area in Wilpattu was declared a sanctuary. Thereafter it was upgraded to national park status on February 25, 1938.

View Larger Map
Source - Click Here

Google Analytics Alternative