Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park lies on the west coast close to Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka. The area was declared as a sanctuary in 1905 and upgraded to national park status on 25th February 1938.

BY Palitha Weerawansa

Wilpattu National Park is among the oldest and important protected areas in Sri Lanka. Its flora and fauna are representative of the dry lowland zone. It also contains several important cultural sites. Extension of the park to include the adjacent waters is identified as a priority.


The park lies on the northwest coast 30 km west of Anuradhapura and spans the border between North Western Province and North Central Province. The Moderagam Are in the south, in the north the Kala Oya, and in the west Portuguese and dutch bay and the open sea.

The Wilpattu sanctuary lies inland from the coast and is entirely within Northern Province. It is contiguous with the park, the intervening boundary being marked by the Moderagam Aru.


The only practical access from Colombo would be via Negombo, Chilaw, and Puttalam. The turn-off is at the little hamlet of Thimbiriwew on the 28th milepost along the PuttalamAnuradhapura road. The park office, where one obtains a permit and a guide is at Hunuwilagama, 8 km from the turn-off.