The wilderness has never been more beautiful than in the Sinharaja Forest reserve in Sri Lanka. Revered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the forest reserve is a spectacular retreat for any person. Reserving an unparalleled bio diversity, the Sinharaja Forest is one of the few surviving virgin forests in the World.
Roughly translated to ‘Lion King’, the reserve is of magnificent proportion of 34 square miles of rich forestry. The vast number of endemic species which includes trees, birds, amphibians, reptiles and more, of these most species are also endangered. Resident of this enigmatic reserve do include the popular Sri Lankan Leopard and Elephants. However giant squirrels, monkeys, chameleon lizards, and snakes are more commonly sighted.
The forest consists of ridges. It lies between the Kalu Ganga in the North and the Gin Ganga in the South. For the intrepid traveller, there are four access point to enter in to the forest. They are - the Kalawana- Weddagala road from the northwest, the Rakwana-Morning side estate road from the northeast, the Hiniduma-Neluwa road from the southwest and Deniyaya-Pallegama road from the southeast. Among these roads, the Kalawana-Weddagala road is shorter and more convenient for visitors traveling from Colombo.
Do remember to enter the forest, it must be done in the accompaniment of a National Guide.
Since its demarcation as a World Heritage Site, the Sinharaja Forest has been considered internationally to have outstanding universal value.
Attractions in Sinharaja
The wonderful forest reserve is an attracion of epic proportions. Explore as much of it you can on your visit.
Identified as an important IBS area, Sinharaja is paradise for Bird Watchers. Endemic birds such as Ceylon Lorikeet, Layard’s Parakeet, Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Spur Fowl, Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Grey Hornbill and over hundred other species can be viewed here.
The most obvious method of exploring the reserve is by trekking! On your trail take time to observe the diversity of the forest. You will certainly observe a variety of flora, fauna and Amphibia while you make your way through Sinharaja. However, there are leeches though so ensure you are geared up appropriately.
Sinharaja is haven for wildlife photographers. Its unique eco system and picturesque surroundings provides it to be the ideal muse for photographers. A camera conducive to the environment recommended for rich vibrant life like images.
Situated half an hour from Sinharaja, the historical temple of Kolawenigama provides for an ideal excursion. Constructed by King Buwanekabahu VII, the structure resembles that of the Dalada Maligawa in Kandy.