Wilpattu - Leopard Spotting

Trip Start Nov 29, 2013
Trip End Jun 11, 2014

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Monday, March 17, 2014

Wilpattu is one of Sri Lanka’s major national parks and
supposedly the best place to see leopards. My tour included an afternoon Jeep
safari into the park, a very pleasant environment of mixed woodlands, open
grassland, and varied wildlife. Unfortunately, though, there were no leopards -
my luck with big cats in South Asia remains at zero. However, I have pictures
of water buffalo, deer, land monitors, and lots of birds.

An interesting fact for me about Wilpattu National Park is
that it only reopened for tourism about three years ago once it appeared the
ceasefire between the Tamil Tigers and the government would hold. For many
years before that it was considered a risky zone where fighting and attacks
sometimes occurred.

On the way to Wilpattu we stopped briefly at a very
elaborate Hindu temple more or less in the middle of nowhere. The temple was
quite beautiful and resembled on a small scale those I saw in Tamil Nadu state
in southern India. Interestingly, though, it is a totally modern creation of a
wealthy Tamil businessman who wanted to demonstrate his religiosity and has no
historical significance whatsoever.

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