Wilpaththu National Park

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History and the Description of the Wilpaththu National Park

The Wilpaththu 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 Wilpaththu. Furthermore history shows that Prince Saliya, son of King Dutugemunu, lived with Asokamala in Maradanmaduwa in Wilpaththu 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 harbor.  In 1905, the designated area in Wilpaththu was declared a sanctuary. Thereafter it was upgraded to national park status on February 25, 1938.

Location

Wilpaththu National Park is located 26 km north of Puttalam ( approximately 180 km north of Colombo ) spanning from the northwest    coast inland towards the ancient capital of Anuradhapura (50 km to the east of the park). Covering an impressive 425 sq miles, the park is Sri Lanka‘s largest, and having reopened in March, 2010 it is just a matter of time before it becomes a popular eco-tourism destination. It is bordered by the Modaragam aru in the south the Kala Oya in the north and is bordered by the Indian Ocean in the west. It is situated ranging from sea level to 152 meters above it.Wilpaththu is a fairly thick dry zone jungle interspersed with a number of flood plain lakes banked with delicate white sands. It boasts an impressive variety of flora in huge expanses of forest, and varied wildlife, including deer, elephants, wild boar, sloth bears and leopards.

Climate

Annual temperature in the Park is around 27.2 Celsius and its annual rainfall is approximately 1000 mm. Though situated in the dry zone, the climate inside the Wilpaththu National Park is very unlike that of the dry zone. Upon entering the densely wooded Park, a feeling of going to a forest with abundant water is what enters the mind. This is perhaps explained by the patterns of rainfall it experiences. The period between September to December is known as the rainy season at Wilpaththu with the north eastern monsoon falling heavily. Inter monsoon rains come to Wilpaththu between March and April. The period of drought extends from May to early September.

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FOREST DEPARTMENT

DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
Map of wilpaththu

Flora

There are many Villu and lakes at Wilpaththu. This is identified as the main topographical feature of the Park. They are often flat and basin like while containing purely rain water. The western sector of Wilpaththu is covered deeply with forests. Many species of flora can be identified at Wilpaththu national park. There are three types of vegetation; Littoral vegetation, including Salt grass and low scrub immediately adjacent to the beach and further inland, monsoon forest with tall emergents, such as Palu (Manilkara hexandra), and Satin (Chloroxylon swietenia), Milla (Vitex altissima), Weera (Drypetes sepiaria), Ebony (Disopyros ebenum) and Wewarna ( Alseodaphne semecapriflolia).

Fauna

Looking at the fauna of this national park mammalian diversity and ecological densities are highest. A total of 31 species of mammals have been identified at the Wilpaththu national park. Mammals threatened with extinction are also there. The elephant (Elephas maximus), Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) and water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) are identified as the threatened species living within the Wilpaththu National Park.Other wetland bird species as Garganey (Anas querquedula), Pin tail (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) also found at the Wilpaththu National Park.
There are many Villu and lakes at Wilpaththu. This is identified as the main topographical feature of the Park. They are often flat and basin like while containing purely rain water. The western sector of Wilpaththu is covered deeply with forests. Many species of flora can be identified at Wilpaththu national park. There are three types of vegetation; Littoral vegetation, including Salt grass and low scrub immediately adjacent to the beach and further inland, monsoon forest with tall emergents, such as Palu (Manilkara hexandra), and Satin (Chloroxylon swietenia), Milla (Vitex altissima), Weera (Drypetes sepiaria), Ebony (Disopyros ebenum) and Wewarna ( Alseodaphne semecapriflolia).
Looking at the fauna of this national park mammalian diversity and ecological densities are highest. A total of 31 species of mammals have been identified at the Wilpaththu national park. Mammals threatened with extinction are also there. The elephant (Elephas maximus), Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), leopard (Panthera pardus kotiya) and water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) are identified as the threatened species living within the Wilpaththu National Park.Other wetland bird species as Garganey (Anas querquedula), Pin tail (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) also found at the Wilpaththu National Park.
At Wilpaththu, among the reptiles found the most common are the Monitor (Varanus bengalensis), Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris), Common cobra (Naja naja), Rat snake (Ptyas mucosus), Indian python (Python molurus), Pond turtle (Melanonchelys trijuga) and the Soft shelled turtle (Lissemys punctata) who are resident in the large permanent Villus. We can saw Star tortoises (Geochelone elegans) roaming on the grasslands at Wilpaththu. Termites of the Genus Trinervitermes clan probably account for the most significant proportion of the invertebrate bio mass. Termites are found not on the grasslands but actively living in the scrub forests. Nearly sixty lakes and tanks are found spread around the Wilpaththu National Park.

Contact Us... Pradeep - 0715919848 / Sumudu - 0779015807