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Wild Sri Lanka_Kaudulla National Park

Being photographing wildlife from sometime now, I developed liking for elephants and I go to different places to observe and photograph them. This time I landed up in a place called Kaudulla. It is around 200 kms from Colombo and situated in north central province of Srilanka. In the dry months, elephants move to this park in search of water and grass, historically kaudulla was one of a irrigation tanks built by king Mahasen.

Park is open from 6 am to 6 pm. Wanted to leave early from Colombo but I got late and could reach near the park only by 3.30 pm and I was welcomed with heavy rains. It was clear to me that today is not the day to take any images and I should try to understand the park to make sure I get some images next day.

Female elephant in the heavy rain

Next Day, I decided to leave my hotel early and I was at the park gate by 1.30 pm. Rain God was giving signals to start my work early before he starts his. Entrance was filled with Jeeps and visitors and I started thinking “Am I in a right place to take images?”

Somehow managed to go insde the park and I saw first herd of elephants, was happy to see them than I realised they were moving fast towards the forested area. I requested my driver to slightly drive faster and I managed to get one image.

Elephant herd

Clouds were forming and It started raining. Saw this beautiful tusker in the rain, locals call him Banu.

Tusker in the rain.

I saw one elephant leaving the herd and moving towards waterbody, I waited for him to come out. Landscape was simply breathtaking.

Saw a very young calf, may be a week old, was moving slowly with the mother and others. They are protected and looked after by other females in the herd. Young ones are fun to watch. Saw one fellow who I think was tired, decide to simply fall and sleep.


As elephants are habituated with the vehicles, one can decide to take closeups or become creative.

Kaudulla is one nice place to visit, the only trouble is number of jeeps and visitors. I think it is high time they take decision on number of vehicles allowed in the park and training of the drivers. Overall it is worthwhile to visit Kaudulla National Park.

Rohit VarmaComment