The Sunday Leader

Sinharaja

by Kirigalpoththa (kirigalpoththa.blogspot.com)

photos by flickr.com/photos/yador

photos by flickr.com/photos/yador

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of the last remaining virgin rainforests in the world. Due to its significance, UNESCO has designated this forest reserve as a Biosphere Reserve as well as a World Heritage Site.

This majestic rainforest is situated in the South West of Sri Lanka within Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces. There are many entry points to this forest and the closest to Colombo is Kudawa village via Weddagala. The distance to Kudawa is about 125km from Colombo. The other main entry points are Pitadeniya via Deniyaya and Morningside via Sooriyakanda.

This primeval forest is home to many flora and fauna and most are indigenous to this area. It is quite popular for endemic species of butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and birds. Also you can see larger animals like sambhurs and leopards. The majority of the trees are tall, gigantic ones between the heights of 35 – 40m. And some trees like the Giant Nawada Tree are closer to 50m in height.

The forest receives 4000 – 5000mm of rainfall every year and it is a primary source for many rivers and tributaries. Koskulana Ganga and Gin Ganga are some of them. There are some dazzling waterfalls also in this forest like Neluwa and Doovili Ella. This hilly reserve area has a few medium level peaks which provide excellent vantage points for explorers. Hinipitigala, Mulawella, Sinhagala and Kosgulana are some of them.

The best period to visit the forest is between December – April and August – September.

The above picture was taken from one of the highest peaks within the range known as Mulawella (about 760m).

I will bring more about this amazing place very soon.

More details: kirigalpoththa.blogspot.com

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