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How To Travel
Adam’s Peak is perhaps the most well-known mountain in Sri Lanka. Located in the Sabaragamuwa Province with an elevation of 2,243m, it is a place of worship for all of Sri Lanka’s major religions. However, in the very heart of the island; the Central Province, lies the hill country, which is a land of verticals. Sri Lankans, centuries ago, used the mountains as a natural defence against the colonizing British, with choke points and rolling boulders to protect the last kingdom of Kandy. Travelling through the roads that wind around the mountains presents breath-taking scenery, with tea estates than seem like miles of green carpet, waterfalls, and mist-covered peaks. Mount Pedro, with an elevation of 2,524m is the highest mountain of Sri Lanka, and is located here, close to the city of Nuwara Eliya. The Knuckles Mountain Range, Horton Plains, and Kirigalpoththa, Hakgala and Thotupola mountains are some of the other main attractions in Nuwara Eliya.
To a traveller proceeding from Colombo to Kandy, this magnifi cent rock stands as a colossus dwarfing the surrounding landscape. Bathalegala Kanda rising to a height of more than 1688 feet is surrounded by its satellites such as Devanagala Kanda hallowed by the visit of the legendary God AlutnuwaraDeviyo in the north east, Kaithankadagala and Urakanda hillocks and Montane Kanda, Wakirigala Kanda and Uthuwankanda from the north. Image Nature has gifted Bathalegala Kanda with the panorama of cascading water-falls, luxuriant meadows and intriguing scenery. Bathalegala is directly under the World Magnetic Field Line and lightning has special attraction towards it. People say when there is lightning at least two or three will strike Bathalegala. It has a cave on the summit and once "Loku Hamuduruwo" was a victim of a lightning strike but fortunately survived. There is a small Stupa and some caves for the monks on top of the rock. Though we see Bathalegala as a single rock but it is not. The particles of the rock changed eventually because of the magnetic fi eld and the shape of the rock changes, but the stability of the rock will change when the time goes by." There's a rock named "Idiri Gala” which is apart from Bathalegala now. People say that 50 years ago one could jump to that rock from Bathalegala.
Kirigalpotta Mountain which is about 2,395m above the sea level is the second highest mountain of Sri Lanka. The mountain is located in the NuwaraEliya District west of the Horton Plains and it consists of several beauties and a large amount of endemic flora and fauna especially endemic birds, plants,animals. Out of these, Binaraflower, Maharathmal flower, deer, horned chameleon, jungle fowl can often be found at the Mountain. Leopards maintain the natural ecological balance. To travel to this place, you need to come to the car park at the Horton Plains and then go to top of the forest and walk 12 kms as there is no other clear path to travel.
The Knuckles Mountain Range covers parts of KandyandMatale districts and is separated from the Central Hills by the Mahaweli Valley to the South and East and the Matale Valley to the West. Its name derived from its shape of a clenched fist, which forms a scenic wonderland.
What makes the Knuckles Mountain Range unique is the geographical character of its location. Knuckles Mountain Range is important due to the historical value it carries and therefore it is considered as one of the valuable heritages in Sri Lanka. The story of Knuckles (Dumbara Hills) goes back into prehistoric periods. It is said that in ancient times it was referred as "Giri-Divaina" and as "Malaya Rata" and there is archaeological evidence that speaks of ancient Yakkha settlement in the area. The name "Lanka" is derived here for which much folklore has gathered over the centuries. The Knuckles Mountain Range is an invariable reference in salutary admiration of the last kingdom; Kanda Udarata. The importance of the Knuckles Mountain Range is obtained from several factors. It has a parasitical quality to it because of the mountain peaks, the crystal clear and perennial waterways, cloudy forests and exquisite fauna and flora. Pregnant with history running into several millennia, the Knuckles Mountain Range is a real treasure house of cultural heritage; a mirror to the past. A remarkable feature of this area is that most of the climatic conditions of Sri Lanka can be found within the extent of a mountain range. All these hanging climatic conditions can be experienced within half an hour.
walk through this valley. The location of the hills, the particular effect of the monsoons and the wind factor generate a certain climatic diversity to the area. In fact in these hills one can find characteristics of all the key ecological zones found in the island. Average annual rainfall lies between 3000-5000ml, and temperature of the region ranges from 5.50 to 350 Celsius. It is through a gap in the mountain that the winds of Southwest Monsoon enter to the Dry Zone. The average wind speed has been measured to be approximately 7.2km/ hour and humidity in the range lies between 57%-90%. Since the main rise to both the Southwest and Northwest Monsoons, the area enjoys bountiful rainfalls. For this and other reasons, the Knuckles Mountain Range is counted among the richer of the upper watersheds in the country. In fact from these hills flow the richer of the tributaries to the Mahaweli River. There are three main rivers called the Hulu Ganga, the Heen Ganga and the Kalu Ganga, which begin from Knuckles Mountain Range and there are a number of breathtaking waterfalls and small rivers, which can be found in this area. Even today as was in the ancient day's water from Knuckles Mountain Range feeds the ancient irrigation works suchasParakramaSamudraya.
Namunukula is a mountain in the Badulla District of Sri Lanka and closer to Moneragala District. The height of the main peak of Namunukula is about 6600 feet. Namunukula town is situated between Badulla, Ella and Passara. It is popular as good observation point in the up country. The entry points to Namunukula are from Badulla town, from Passara or Badalkumbura and Ella town. The most popular and beautiful entrance is Ella. We could see the morning mist on the eastern side of the range dotting out Monaragala, Pottuvil and the eastern coast. On its western slope, Yala, Kirinda, Tissamaharama and farther into the southern coast was clearer.
Piduruthalagala presents an impressive mountain that presents magnificent views over the surrounding landscape. Magnificently positioned in the heart of the country within the central province, this mountain should not be passed over during a trip to Nuwara Eliya or Sri Lanka. Getting to the peak of Sri Lanka's highest mountain is a diffi cult and enthralling task. However, for those who overcome it and reach the summit will be rewarded with the stunning and breathtaking panoramic view. Apart from offering dramatic views of the country, this mountain offers a wonderfully cool climate. The village with the coolest climate in the Sri Lanka is positioned between Piduruthalagala Mountain and the city of Nuwara-Eliya. Numerous plants, animals, birds and flowers are hidden in this mountain and most of them are endemic to Sri Lanka. Many rare species of botanical life can also be found in Piduruthalagala. It is said that the Soma plant which can be found only at Himalayas of India grows here. Due to its enormous height, many local broadcasting stations have set up their towers at the peak of this mountain including the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation.Travellers both local and international identify this mountain as a haven for trekking. The journey involves trekking through jungles; past streams and through heavy mist before finally emerging at the summit and its stunning views. Sri Lanka's tallest ountain offers more than just beauty it offers a wide range of wildlife activities and lots to explore for a nature lover.
Ritigala is the highest mountain, in the north-central plain of Sri Lanka, measuring 2,513 feet above sea level. It is in close proximity to Kekirawa and Maradankadawala. The mountain mass is about three miles long and about two miles wide at its widest point; it is covered with dense jungle inhabited by wild elephants, leopards and bears. It is the watershed of the MalwatuOya which feeds the Nachchaduwa tank and KaluebaEla which feeds Huruluwewa. The upper part of the mountain is well known for its flora, some of which are rare; it has also a range of wild orchids. The mountain has over 70 known caves which have been used as dwellings by the early inhabitants of the country and subsequently as monasteries by Buddhist monks but there are no paintings in them. It has a long.
history and is referred to as "Aritta-Pabbata" in the Mahawamsa which records that Pandukabhaya, king of Sri Lanka (377-307 BC) sojourned in the mountain for seven years preparing for the wars to capture the kingdom. The early inhabitants of Ritigala referred to as "Yakkhas" joined Pandukabhaya's cause and fought in his many battles. Ritigala appears to have also been used by the King Dutugemunu (101-72 BC) and by the King Jetta Thissa in the 7th century in their wars against the Indian Invaders. There are rock inscriptions which indicate that it had become a monastic retreat for hermit (Pansakulika) monks and a place of religious importance. By the 10th-12th century AD, Ritigala seems to have been abandoned by the hermit monks and soon it was covered by jungle and forgotten.
Sri Lanka's most revered mountain, Sri Pada or Adam's Peak is located in a very breathtaking area of the southern hill country. Sri Pada has been a pilgrimage centre perhaps for all faiths for over 1000 years. The sacred footprint, a rock formation nearby the summit, is believed to be the Lord Buddha's. Therefore, thousands of devotees throng to this sacred mountain peak in order to worship the sacred footprint of the Buddha. Sri Pada is a conical mountain 7,360 feet high, soaring clear above the surrounding mountain ranges. The pilgrimage usually takes place from December to April, which is the dry season just before the southeast monsoon breaks. The great desire of every pilgrim is to reach the peak before dawn to see the magnifi cent sight of the sunrise and thereafter perform their religious rites. Young, old and married women carrying children and old men, who appear physically incapable of the tiring effort, make the ascent strengthened by the belief that they are doing a meritorious act. Since of late it-has become a pleasure.
trip for some. The climb is by no means easy. It takes several hours to reach the top. There are several resting places at various points on the path, where pilgrims are able to rest, cook and have their meals or even spend a night. There is a river that separates the peak from the surrounding mountain range in which pilgrims take a ceremonial bath of cleansing and change into clean clothes before crossing over a fort bridge to the sacred mountain itself. From this point the path is an ascent of steps, very steep at some points. Especially at these and other points railings are fi xed to support the climbers. Many make the ascent during the night in order to reach the peak before dawn; the pathway is today lit with electricity. but earlier there were only lanterns at various points. Groups of pilgrims recite devotional songs as they climb. Cries of "Sadhu Sadhu" are heard especially, when one group passes another.
Thotapala Kanda in the Horton Plains is the third highestpoint in Sri Lanka (2360 metres above sea level). Toclimb to the top is quite easy and a good starting pointfor a young hiker. When you travel from Nuwara-Eliya to Horton Plains via Pattipola-Ohiya Road, the trailentry point lies about 400 metres from Pattipola mainentrance of the Horton Plains. The entire hike to the topwill take about an hour and the total climb will be lessthan 200 metres. The fi rst bit will be through tall shrubsand then you will come to an open terrain with shortershrubs. You cross a mini peak before the Thotapala mainpeak. The top of the mountain is full of thick vegetationso it is bit diffi cult to see a panoramic view but still theview is splendid. You can clearly see a good half ofthe plain from the peak. Since this peak is within thenature reserve you need to get prior approval from theDepartment of Wildlife Conservation.