Wilpattu Sanctuary Park, Camping and sacred ruins in ancient city-Anuradhapura
At 23:20h we started our journey from Colombo by bus through the route Colombo-Chilaw-A'pura (Route no 4). We have reserved a Safari Jeep before to the journey. So we planned to catch the Jeep at Wilpattu Junction after getting off from the bus and around 0400h morning we came to Wilpattu junction. But we came to know that the bus driver dropped us at a wrong place after giving a phone call to the Jeep owner, Mr. Nishantha. After getting some information and directions from him we came to Nochchiyagama town to catch him at there, so we had to take another bus which follows our previous bus at 05:00h. It was very kind of him to take all of us to his home and treat us with all facilities we need at that moment plus nice morning tea, after catching us at Nochchiyagama town to his Jeep. After all we started our tour to Wilpattu and around 06:15h we were able to reach there.
|PARK FEES FOR ENTRY|
|Local adult or locally resident adult||Rs. 60.00|
|Local child or locally resident child||Rs. 30.00|
|School children (per child)||Rs. 20.00|
|Foreign adult||U.S.Dollars 15|
|Foreign child||U.S.Dollars 08|
|CHARGES FOR VEHICLE|
|For each jeep or double cab||Rs. 250.00|
|For each car||Rs. 125.00|
|For each van||Rs. 250.00|
|For each bus or lorry transporting passengers||Rs. 400.00|
|Single visit during hours - Local tour group||Rs. 300.00|
|Single visit during hours - Foreign tour group||U.S.Dollars 08|
|Vat For above Grand Total - 12%|
After two hours of touring in the park we came to Kumbukwila for the breakfast. It was nice one with String hoppers, Sambola and a spicy dhal curry. Up to that time we've seen Deers, Wild Fowls, Wild Boars, Foxes and many types of birds in the park. After the breakfast we started the safari back towards finding the place where it is considered as 'Kuweni' (as per to the legend of Aryans establishment in Ceylon) was keeping on her works with wool when the time 'King Wijaya' arrives here.
We have observed few old bungalows (Manikkawila, Kali willu) which have been destroyed by miserable LTTE terrorists in the war time, while on our travel.
After, we came to 'Point Kudiramale' which is a one end of the park. This point is also important due to few ancient facts. This is the place where it called King Wijaya Landed first (as per to the history, the sand at the shore came to copperish colour when the king touches the sand and so this land called 'Thamba-panni'). Also we observed ruins of a Hindu Kovil, an old Sea port ('Horse Mountain') also there.
Then we came to famous Kala oya water stream, another end of the park with a plan to have a bath and take our lunch there. But Unfortunately Army is not allowing people to go to the Kala oya these days. So we came in to another small stream and had our lunch after having a river bath. It was 14:00h when we start our safari back from that place.
Our main target was to observe leopards. It is said that vision of leopards is very rare. Even though we moved here and there in the park almost four hours to catch a leopard on our eyes, we’re failed. But we could have a view on many wild species we’ve seen before in the morning also some troops of elks. The time, limits our journey from there, and we have started coming back from the park so at 18:30h.
We took away two tents with us to spend that night in a camping area. The jeep owner, Mr. Nishantha helped us a lot to settle our tents at close proximity of 'Thotupala Lake'.
The whole park was swallowed by the darkness even we are coming to the Thotupala Lake area. For the rapid progress of the work we divided in to three groups ourselves and by means of light from battery torches we started or works. Two teams were engaged in arranging tents and rest was responsible of making fire and cooking. We first made a Soup and then 'Rotti'. After few hours of work we're able to complete making tents and have a complete meal with Rotti, Sambol, Salmon fish curry with marmite paste. We went to sleep at 01:30h passing midnight after having a hot tea also.
I think it's 07:00h passed when we woke up in the morning. We're able to fire up the fire place easily and make a tea for the morning. We ate few rotties we preserved from last night cooking. As per to our planned journey we have to go to 'Island Baththalangunduwa'. But as a group idea we thought it's better to go and worship to sacred 'Atamasthanaya' (Sacred eight places) in ancient city Anuradhapura. Within 30 minutes we came to the A'pura town. Meanwhile, one member of our group came back Colombo on same day for his personal reason, leaving our team in to five members.
Sri Maha Bodhiya
We came to Thisa wewa (The Lake Thisa) to have a nice swim and bath, first. Which is an intuitional feeling of us as Buddhists, we must clean first before visiting a temple. We first entered in to 'Ranmasu-Uyana' (The garden 'Ranmasu') following through the foot path along with bank of the lake. After visiting ranmasu Uyana, we came see to world renowned 'Isurumuni Lovers' Sculpture. After that we visit 'Lowamahapaya' and worship our sacred 'Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya', 'Ruwanmali Seya', 'Thuuparamaya' and 'Jethawana Sthupa' also. This took over five hours of time walking.
Finally we came back A'pura main Bus station and returned to Colombo at about 23:30h. The End.