Central Highlands

Central Highlands

Central Highlands consist of Hoton Plains, Knuckles Mountain range and Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. Central Highlands, the comprising the peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton plains national park and the Knuckles conservation Forest had been declared as a world heritage site.

Horton Plains National Park

It is covered by misty mountains to grasslands and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated as a wild life sanctuary in 1960s later It was elevated to a national park because of its biodiversity value and the climatic pattern. Most of the vegetation is grasslands interspersed with mountain forest, and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan sambar deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but for the Horton Plains. The sheer precipice of World's End and Baker's Falls are among the attractions of the park. Also two major rivers Mahaweli and Walawe radiate from Horton plains summit.

Knuckles Mountain Range

Knuckles Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, in the Districts of Matale and Kandy. The range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif which resemble the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from certain locations in the Kandy District. The Sinhalese residents have traditionally referred to the area as Dumbara Kandhu Yaya meaning mist-laden mountain range. The entire area is characterised by its striking landscapes often robed in thick layers of cloud but in addition to its aesthetic value the range is of great scientific interest. It is a climatic microcosm of the rest of Sri Lanka. The conditions of all the climatic zones in the country are exhibited in this mountain range. At higher elevations there is a series of isolated cloud forests, home to a variety of flora and fauna, It is home to a significantly higher proportion of the country’s biodiversity.

Peak Wilderness Sanctuary Including Adams Peak area

Peak Wilderness sanctuary is a tropical rain forest, it radiates Kelani and Kalu the major rivers of the island and many tributaries of the river Mahaweli, These streams make waterfalls on the way to Indian Ocean inside the sanctuary. Peak Wilderness from 300m to 2200m above sea level. Therefore, it possesses unusual geographical formations compared to the other natural reserves of the island.

Adams Peak

One of the Highest in Srilanka, Known as Samanthakuta, Samanalakanda According to the Buddhist Tradition and belief the sacred footprint of Buddha on the summit. The surrounding region is largely forested hills with an extreme cold climate. The region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve, home for many species varying from elephants to leopards, and many endemic species. The surrounded area is enriched with gem bearing gravel consisted precious stones, such as Emeralds, Rubies, Sapphires for which the island has been famous for , and that earned ancient name of “Rathnadvipa” or Island of Gems.