Sinharaja Forest Reserve
The Sinharaja forest reserve is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka. It's dense, dark, wet and mysterious nature provides the perfect place for meditation, relaxation and nature exploration. This uninterrupted primary forest is a great Sri Lankan heritage which offers peace and harmony to those who are lucky enough to visit.
The forest is immersed in deeep legend and mystery. The word Sinharaja means, lion (sinha) king (raja). Famous belief is that the Sinhala people are descendants the union of a princess and the lion king who once lived in the forest. Legend also claims that the forest was a royal territory which belonged to the ancient kings (rajas). Also there are some other legends which state the forest as the last refuge for the lions who lived in the country a long ago.
Sinharaja is a forest with a great biodiversity. It provides the habitat for many rare species; both fauna and flora which could not be found anywhere else in the world other than Sinharaja. Crystal clear water draining into the various waterways is a common sight which makes the forest the most important watershed. A number of networks of such streams feeds rivers which flow through the forest. The reserve is only 21 Km (13 miles) from east to west and a maximum of 7 Km (4.3 miles) from north to south, but it is a treasure trove of endemic plants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Because of it's value Sinharaja was declared as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1989 by UNESCO
Sinharaja Attractions & Activities
There are several exciting nature trials in Sinharaja.
Giant Navada Tree Trial - Brief walk in the forest
Mulawella Nature Trial - Little more difficult when compared to the 'Giant Navada Tree Trial', but more rewarding
Sinharaja Nature Trial - Perfect for a adventurous hike and will let you venture deep in to the forest.
Birds Watching -
Sinharaja is home to many species of birds including more than 20 species endemic to Sri Lanka. A bird watching hike will take you to some large flocks of birds and will bring an unforgettable memory.
River Bath -
Sinharaja will provide a visitor many places to take a dip in the clear water.