Wilpattu National Park

Declared a National Park in 1938, Wilpattu is situated in the northwest of Sri Lanka. What is unique about this place is that it has 60 natural villus or lakes. These are natural sand rimmed water basins that fill with rainwater; and it is from the villus that Wilpattu gets its name. One of the larger national parks, Wilpattu is not only home to a great number of mammals but is also home to several historical sites in the country. Wilpattu is known for its elusive leopards. The Park is home to many wild animals including elephants, sloth bear, spotted deer, barking deer sambar, crocs, turtles, and bird varieties. The Park is in the dry zone and is of semi-arid vegetation.

Thambapanni, the port at which Arya Prince Vijaya landed centuries ago heralding the country’s civilization and written history, can be found within the national park. The soil here is copper colour. According to many, Kudiramalai or Horse Mountain in Wilpattu is an area scattered with ruins of amassive horse. The horse had stood 35 feet tall, its front legs raised up in the air and the rider clinging to the reins. A lantern that hung from the statue was believed to have guided ships into the port town. There is also a stone tomb where a Muslim saint was believed to have been buried centuries ago. The pre-historic burial site of ‘Pomparippu’ also lies in the vicinity of Wilpattu.

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