Sinharaja Rain Forest
One of the least disturbed rain forests in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka's Sinharaja Forest is a unique, low land rain forest comprising about 11,187 hectares, spreading across several administrative districts. It is one of the least disturbed and biologically unique forests in Sri Lanka.
The Sinharaja Forest it was declared a National Wilderness Area under the National Heritage Wilderness Area Act in 1988 and later on a World Heritage Site. It is Sri Lanka's first natural resource to earn this esteemed distinction.
Sinharaja Forest consists of a series of continuous ridges, aligned approximately in an East-West direction and lies between the tributaries of the Kalu Kanga in the north and the Gin Ganga in the south.
Vegetation of Sinharaja may be described either as a Tropical Lowland Rain or Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest.
Preliminary studies on the fauna of Sinharaja have revealed that there is a high degree of endemism among the butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Out of the larger mmals, although elephants were said to be 'common' in the past there have not been sightings during the last 15 years. However, there have been sightings of a few animals in the Eastern Sector.
The Sambhur, The Mouse Deer and Barking Deer are also found within the reserve. Leopards are very seldom sighted.
Things you can do
- Walking - There are many nice walks in and around Bandarawela and owing to the relatively quiet roads and the comfortable climate, walking can be very pleasurable and the perfect way to get to know the area. Among these walks, there are beautiful trails passing through the many tea estates in the area, where one can watch the tea pickers at work and admire the mountain scenery.
- Udawattekele Sanctuary
Situated to the North of the City of Kandy, this reserve has deep forests with many endemic birds, butterflies and plants. Udawattakele also has a Buddhist meditation centre.
- Knuckles Mountain Range
Its name describes its outline. The Knuckles Range consists of the Knuckles massif, the Knuckles range and the Knuckles Peaks. This mountain range offers a wonderful place for hiking and nature tours. It also holds great fascination for geologists and naturalists.
- Sripada (Adam's Peak)
Sripada (sacred footprint) or Samanalakande (butterfly mountain) has been the object of worship and pilgrimage for centuries for persons of all major religions. The British referred to this mountain as Adam's Peak. Watching the dawn from Sripada is a rare experience. On clear days you can see the shadow of the peak cast on the surrounding forest canopy as the sun rises. The 'pilgrim season' begins on the poya (full moon monthly Buddhist holiday) day in December, and runs until the start of the April monsoon.
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