As a mysterious fog rolls over one of the last untouched and tranquil areas of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, any visitor can’t help but wonder at the magnificence of The Kingdom of the Lion, locally and internationally famous by the name “ Sinharaja “
Situated in southwest Sri Lanka, this expanse of 8,864 hectares is a treasured zone filled with dense vegetation home to both rare and endemic species of insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, and trees alike.
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, this terrain consists of tropical rainforests where more than 60% of the trees are endemic. Take a scroll through the gloomy woods, observe the tall trees fighting for sunlight as you advance across valleys, ridges, and small hills, and leap across the miniature streams that form a complex network over the reserve.
This popular tourist attraction has 5 entrances. The main 2 entrances are the Kurulugala and Pitadeniya entrances, both located within a 30-minute drive from Deniyaya. The other 3 entrances in Lankagama, Morningside, and Kuduwa all hold their unique trails and visits.
From the Kurulugala entrance, visitors can entertain themselves with bird and butterfly watching with views of the Kurulugala mountain peak and Southern plains.
A more active route is the Pitadeniya entrance which which takes visitors past the Kekuna Ella waterfall and the hanging bridge.
While the Forest Reserve is a major tourist attraction for both local and international travelers, it’s home to thousands of species. This includes a variety of orchids including the Bim Orchid, a common orchid flower. Visitors can commonly see the Purple-faced Langur, pitcher plants, horned lizards, and the Grizzled Giant Squirrel. Any watchers for birds can set their eyes on a Ceylon Jungle fowl, a Sri Lankan Blue Magpie, or a Red-faced Malkoha and those with eyes for butterflies can gaze up in search of a Ceylon Tree Nymph, Glassy Tiger, or even a Ceylon Birdwing.
Experience a treasure on the tiny island of Sri Lanka, where you get to be at the heart of Mother Nature’s gentle touch
Article by: Minura Kulasekara | Faculty of Medicine
Design by: Ahinsa Wanninayake | Faculty of Science