- Sinharaja Rain Forest -

A  eye catching beautiful broad view of a surrounding regions from Moulawella Trail

Area of Sinharaja Rain Forest

The total area of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is 18,900 acres or 7,648 hectares. It ranges in altitude from 300m to 1,170m.

Significance of Sinharaja Forest

 

Sinharaja Forest reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians.

Mountain Peaks of Sinharaja Rain Forest

Nature trails of Sinharaja Rain Forest

The two main nature trails of Sinharaja Rain Forest are those lead to the peak of Moulawella and the peak of Sinhagala. Both of these nature trails begins at Kudawa Conservation Centre  are equally enjoyable and enlightening.

 

The forest is densly crowded with tall trees growing in close proximity, but winding trails make the trekking. Small streams of crystal-clear cool water, that is home to a variety of fish, toads and crabs, crisscross the trails. And the mixed species of birds are seen in the canopy of woods.

Moulawella Nature Trail

Trail head- Entrance to the protected area, Kudawa             Conservation Centre, Weddagala, Kalawana

 

Trail end- Mulawella Peak

 

Length of the trail-: 2.4 km

 

Rise in elevation along the trail- 457m at Trail Head to 758m at Trail End

 

Approximate time- 1-2 hours

 

Hiking Season- Best months are December to April

Sinhagala Nature Trail

Trail head- Entrance to the protected area, Kudawa Conservation Centre, Weddagala, Kalawana

 

Trail end- Sinhagala Peak

 

Length of the trail- 7.4 km

 

Rise in elevation gain along the trail- 300m at Trail Head- 473m at Trail End

 

Approximate time- 5-7 hours

 

Hiking Season- Best months are December to April

There are several Mountain Peaks in the Eastern Side of the Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Hinipitigala Peak - 1,171 m

 

Dotugala Peak - 769 m

 

Moulawella Peak - 2400 m

 

Kosgulana - 797 m

 

Hinipitigala West - 1170 m

 

Hinipitigala East - 1168 m

 

Pathinigala - 605 m

 

Sinhagala - 7400 m

 

Tibbotagala - 904 m

 

Kohilarambe - 757 m

 

Waturawa - Not operating now

Mammals, reptiles, amphibians and Butterflies

Out of 12 endemic mammal species of the country 8 are found here. Giant squirrel, dusky-stripped jungle squirrel, badger mongoose and endemic purple-faced leaf monkey and torque macaque are frequently seen.

 

Many threatened species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and butterflies are found in the Reserve including the leopard. Endemism among mammals and butterflies is greater than 50%. Reptiles and amphibia include python, endemic green pit viper, endemic hump nosed lizard

(Lyriocephalus scutatus) and and rough-nose horned lizard

(Ceratophora aspera).

Insect Trapper

The pitcher plant is a creeper  on shrubs and treelets. The leaf tip modified to form an elongated sac ( a pitcher ) filled with a liquid which traps insects to be digested by the plant.

 

The thickend stem of the plant is used for tying in the construction of wattle and daub houses and ladders by the villagers usauly grow along forest margins and disturbed sites.

Wesak Orchid  ( Dendrobium marcarthiae )

A rare Orchid localy known as Wesak Orchid. ( Dendrobium marcarthiae ) found in Sinharaja it is an ephyphite with purple flowers the flowreing season is mostly in month of May coinciding in Wesak season month celebrated by buddhist.

Kitul Tree ( Caryota urens )

This is a common sight witnessed in Sinharaja where villages carry pots full of sap trapped from the inflorescence of locally known Kitul Tree ( Caryota urens ) family palmae fermentation of the sap produces an alchohlic beverages.

 

The unfermented sap when concentrated by heating forms a thick syrup which is relished as treacle ( peni ) by Sri Lankan. Treacle in turn produces juggery ( Hakuru ) crystalized brown suger.

 

These two products fetch very attractive prices thus making a livelihood of the local people.  Sinharaja juggery is well known all over Sri Lanka.

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