Sinharaja Forest Reserve – Sri Lanka
Visit one of the stunning biodiversity hotspots of the world, the enchanting Sinharaja Forest Reserve. The last remaining major undisturbed rainforest in Sri Lanka is home to an incredibly vast array of wildlife and plant life. This is reflected in the fact that the Reserve has been declared a World Heritage site and a Biosphere reserve by UNESCO. Take a trek through the dense jungle and see the shy purple faced languor, or leaf monkey, that is endemic to the Island. If you’re lucky you may also stumble upon one of the rare and stunning leopards that still survive in the Reserve. Sinharaja is also home to a multitude of rare and beautiful plant life, including several trees which tower to a staggering height of over 50 metres. The elevated region is also home to several large mountain peaks, including the inspiring Hinipitigala, which is often atmospherically shrouded in mist and cloud. The striking Kiruwananaganga Falls, some of the largest in Sri Lanka, are also a stunning natural sight.
Where is it?
Located in the south-west of the country, Sinharaja lies in the heart of the island’s renowned wet zone. The island of Sri Lanka itself lies in the Indian Ocean, to the south-east of the tip of India.
What is it?
Sinharaja, which translates to Lion King, is a spectacular and hugely significant rainforest in Sri Lanka. Home to a huge number of endemic plant species and wildlife, the Reserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1989, as well as a designated Biosphere Reserve.
Best time to visit?
The drier months of January, February, August and September are the best times to visit the reserve. There’s very slight seasonal variation in the temperature, which stays around 24 degrees inside the forest, although the site does experience very high humidity levels.
The Kolawenigama Temple is an unassertive size, but has a distinctive structure that is reminiscent of Kandy’s famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Built by King Buwanekabahu VII in appreciation of defence given to the tooth relic by local villagers, the shrine has beautiful features and frescoes.