Just as the name says, Wilpattu refers to the “land of lakes”. Including about 60 lakes altogether, the exact reason behind this name is the natural, sand rimmed water basins in the park filled with rainwater. The park connects both cities of Anuradapura and Puttalam with a total area of 1,317 square kilometres. Famous for its leopard population, it is also recognized as the largest and one of the oldest national parks in the island.
Wilpattu also has a connection to the history of Sri Lanka, as the location where Prince Wijaya married the tribal queen Kuveni and founded the Sinhala nation. However, today it is one of the main nature attractions of both local and foreign tourists.
The flora and fauna varieties add colour to the park and keep every wild life traveller glued to the destination. Elephants, sloth bears, water buffaloes, and leopard are among the 31 mammal species, while Sri Lankan Junglefowls, Painted Stork and other wetland birds fall in to the category of birds living in the Wilpattu National Park. Rat snake, Indian python, and Pond Turtle are some of the reptiles that can be found in this location.
It is a scenic destination to a photographer who aims to capture wildlife in its true habitat. Some travellers make long trips till they witness the entire beauty of this amazing national park.