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|Year and Month||May 2010|
|Number of Days||3 Day Trip|
|Transport||Car, Safari Jeep|
|Activities||Exploring / Photography / Wildlife|
|Route||This is the continuation of the Trip to Mannar and Talei Mannar.
We returned via Anuradhapura visiting Wilpattu National Park on day two and Puttalam/Kalpitiya on day three on the way back.
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
Photo Courtesy: Kosala Edirisooriya for some pictures
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This travelogue is dedicated to Nihal De Silva the author of “The Road to Elephant Pass” who lost his life inside Willpattu National Park by a landmine explosion and to my lovely wife Subhashini. Also I would like to dedicate this travelogue to all the wildlife members who lost their life in Willpattu and for brave soldiers lost their lives
Next Day was a big day for us as any of us haven’t been to Wilpattu National Park. Early morning we got up and headed to the park. Mr Chaminda Dissanayake, the owner of Kahala Jeep Safari gave us a great help arranging the best guides and the safari. I can strongly recommend him to anybody interest in a Wilpattu Safari.
Also if you are planning to use your own 4×4 I will not recommended it as vehicle might get damaged and there can be scratches on the paint. If you desperately want to use your vehicle be sure to take at least 1 spare wheel and the tool kit.
There are two types of tours Half Day Tour and Full Day tour Full day tour costs Rs7000.00 and it starts at 6AM and end at 6.30PM. Half day tour is useless for Wilpattu national Park. We have to travel 25KM from the entrance to start the journey. (I meant then only we can see the animals)
First we had the breakfast after 25KM drive. Wildlife Dept has arranged toilet facilities in that place. I must say the toilets are in good state.
After spending around 30 mins we departed as our main goal is to see lepords.
On our way we saw deer heard and some foxes and etc. These days animals wont come out as there is enough water inside the forest.
Our guide told us that there is a deer corpse near “Kali Villu” and it was killed by a leopard so we went there to see whether there are any leopards around.
We waited sometime but we were not able to see any leopards but there were lots of foxes around. So we continued our journey. We continued our journey to see the Palace of ‘Kuweni’.
Prince Vijaya landed on the north-western coast of Sri Lanka in 543 BC and met Kuveni, the Yakkha princess of the area. Thambapanni – the beach with copper sand and Kali Villu where Kuweni had her palace are located inside the park boundaries of Wilpattu.
Quoted from: Sunday Times
After visiting the Palace of Kuweni we were interested seeing Thambapanni so we were headed to Kudiramalai. To visit Kudiramalai we had to cross old Mannar road and again enter in to the Park.
When we were going to Kudiramalai we saw a huge damage done to the Wilpattu National park by the Road authority. NGOs have filled a case against the damage and they have temporarily stopped the road but if they finish 30M Highway to Mannar for around 50KM imagine the damage it can done to the wildlife. [Follow the latest updates on this issue ]
But they have already done a huge damage. They have BULDOZZERD Everything! If they complete the Highway there might be lot of road accidents and Animals as well as people might die…
I don’t understand why they are spending money on a new Highway while they can repair the existing Puttalam – Mannar road.
We continued our journey to Kudiramalai and on our way there was an interesting place, a mountain with 360 views of wilpattu and kalpitiya.
Our guide showed us a fundamental landmark by Sri Lanka Air force. In Aviation maps and in GPS this is marked as the end of the land. So pilots use this landmark to slow and to turn the Aircrafts around. Onetime LTTE used this place to taget and destroy our Air force planes.
So next destination was Horse Mountain Kudiramalai…
On the above picture I can clearly see the head of the horse, Can you see it??
The rock formation on top of the mountain is very unique.
There are legendry stories about an “Alli” queen who ruled that area and had a great liking for pearls. Her warriors were women and she hated men. During her time pearls were exported to Arab countries and in return Arab horses were imported through this port. That is how that port derived its name Kudiramalai (Horse Mountain).
We went to the beach to find the place where King Vijaya landed. Nearby we found a tomb of a Muslim Saint.
NAVY officers stationed there informed us that the sand changes colour to actual copper color at evenings.
It is not recommended to bath in this area as there is lot of big sea eels in this area and might attack you.
Next we headed to have a river bath near Kokmote Bungalow. On our way we saw Mr.Nihal De Silva’s jeep (double cab) remaining.
Nihal De Silva, was among eight people killed in a landmine explosion in the Wilpattu National Park in Sri Lanka.
They were tracking wild elephants in the park.
The location of the explosion, about 50 kilometres from the main gates to the Park, is close to the northern border of the park, the geographical beginning of rebel Tigers held stronghold of Vanni.
The area saw intense fighting before the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement.
While officials say the Tamil Tigers laid the landmines, the rebels have denied any hand in the incident.
The Director General of Sri Lanka’s Wildlife Department Dayananda Kariyawasam believes the mines were newly laid, because they were on a main road through the park that has been used regularly since it re-opened in 2003.
More about Nihal de Silva
He is the author of ‘The Road From Elephant Pass’, ‘The Far Spent Day’ and ‘The Ginirella Conspiracy’
We continued our journey after 2 hour’s bath. But we had to hurry as we had to be there near the gate by 6.30PM
Have a Safe Journey…..