Sinharaja Rain Forest - The Heart of Sri Lanka's Biodiversity

Sinharaja forest reserve , the heart of Sri Lanka's bio diversity, is undoubtedly one of the most biologically unique virgin forests left in the world. It is the last remnant of undisturbed tropical lowland rain forest in Sri Lanka. The word 'Sinharaja' means 'Lion (Sinha)' 'King (Raja)'. According to fold lore, this forest had once been home to a mythical Lion King who believed the name was derived from the forest being 'Sinhale Raja Vanaya', or the royal forest of the Sinhalese kings. This forest spans Galle, Matara and Ratnapura Districts covering an extent of about 11187 hectares.

Sinharaja forest reserve was declared as an international man and biosphere reserve in April 1978, and as a National Heritage Wilderness Area in 1988, subsequently it was declared as a World Heritage Site.

The vegetation type of Sinharaja can be categorized as tropical wet evergreen forest. The average height of trees vary between 35 to 40 meters. Out of the 217 woody trees and lianas identified within the reserve 65% are endemic. There is a high degree of endemism among the butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals in the forest. 95% of the country's endemic birds can be seen in Sinharaja. One of the most enchanting display of colour to be found in Sinharaja is the sight of mixed species - foraging bird flocks, a phenomenon commonly found in rain forests. It has been observed that some flocks include 48 species.

Interesting places hidden among this dense and mysterious woodland

Sinharaja Rain Forest Trail Map

A - Kudawa Conservation Centre

B - Jeep track from Kudawa Conservation Centre to Kudawa Research Station

C - Mulawella Peak

D - Kudawa Research Station

E - Gal Yen Yaya

F - Sinhagala Peak

G - Pitadeniya Conservation Centre

H - Pitadeniya Ticket Counter

I - Track from Mediripitiya to Pitadeniya Conservation Centre

J - Kohila Aramba

K - Kekuna Ella

L - Patan-oya Ella

M - Duwili Ella (Kosmulla)

N - Morningside Conservation Centre

O - Natural Pool

P - Duwili Ella (Morningside)
1 - Wathurawa- Mulawella

2 - From Kudawa Conservation Centre to Nawanda Tree

3 - From Sinhagala Trail to Gal Len Yaya

4 - Sinhagala trail from Kudawa

5 - Kohila Aamba Trail

6 - Kekuna Ella and Pata-oua Ella Trail

7 - Sinhagala Trail from Pitadeniya

8 - Duwili Ella Trail from Denuwakanda

9 - Duwili Ella Trail from MCC

10 - From Morningside to the natural pool

11 - Trail from Kosmulla via Duwili Ella to Siththara gal lena (cave)