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Wilpattu National Park

The largest National Park of Sri Lanka, Wilpattu National Park spans over an area of 130,000 hectares. An interesting feature of the National Park is that the entire park is dotted with large sand rimmed natural lakes known as “Villus”. The name Wilpattu comes from the words Willu-Pattu meaning the Land of the Lakes. The National Park has been named so due to the large number of lakes and tanks found in the park. One of the oldest national parks of Sri Lanka, the park has been reopened after several years of closure, reason being the armed conflict in the country. The Wilpattu National Park was designated an animal sanctuary in 1905, and was declared a National Park in 1938.

Insight to Wilpattu National Park

Not just the wildlife, the Wilpattu National Park is famous for its archaeological and historical importance. It is believed that around 500 years before the birth of Christ, Prince Vijaya from India along with his followers landed in a place called Thambapanni in the North West corner of Wilpattu. They then formed the Sinhalese Kingdom at the same place.

Wildlife of Wilpattu National Park

The Park houses many threatened and endangered species living within the park, including the Sri Lankan Leopard, the elephant, Sloth Bear, and water buffalo. Some of the common animal species living in the park are mongoose, spotted deer, Sambhur mouse and shrew.

Birdlife of Wilpattu National Park

Some of the major bird species that can be found in the park are the painted stork, the Sri Lankan Junglefowl, different species of owls, terns, eagles, kite buzzards etc. There are also several wetland bird species including, Pin tail, Spoonbill, White ibis and the Purple Heron.

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