Iconic Sites

Sinharaja Forest

Located in the South- Western part of the island, Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a national park in Sri Lanka. It is of international importance and has been termed a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

A tropical rainforest, the resplendent Sinharaja borders on Galle, Matara and Ratnapura.

Due to its inaccessibility, the alpine rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rainforests eco-region, was protected from the damaging effects of commercial logging. It was labelled a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1989, and is also known as ‘Kingdom of the Lion’.

It is just 21 km (13 mi) from east to west, and a maximum of 7 km (4 mi) from north to south, but it is a paragorn of endemic species, including a variety of biodiversity such as trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.

As a result of the intense vegetation, wildlife is rather suppressed in comparison with dry-zone national parks such as Yala. Elephants are absent, and the 15 or so leopards are rarely seen. The most common larger mammal is the endemic  Purple-faced Langur.

If you are planning your trip to include a hike through the forest, the most accessible route is that of ‘Veddagala- Kudawa’ route. Furthermore, it is also the most convenient route with cities such as Colombo, through Avissawella, Ratnapura, turning off from Tiruwanaketiya and passing Nivitigala, Kalawana, Deldoda, Veddagala and reaching Kudawa.