Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

Central Highlands of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a land like no other. With its rich culture, traditions, heritage, and history, the natural beauty adds more to the values. Like the islands’ lovely beaches, the central highlands are also terrific. Located in the south-central province of Sri Lanka, the protected central highlands are a UNESCO heritage site. Adams Peak, Horton Planes National Park, and Knuckles Conservation Forest are the three key areas that fall under the central highlands. The Hill Country, rich with biodiversity, fauna, and flora, should be noticed. 

Most visitors to Sri Lanka love the central highlands because of the climatic conditions. It has a variety in a shorter span of land. Tourists love the central highlands mainly because of the wet highland forests, the misty hill country, and the tropical greenery. The wet area of the Central Highlands gets an annual rainfall of approximately 5000 mm, and the lowland areas get a rainfall of 2500 mm annually. Among the different landscapes in the area, the Pita Wala Pathan is very famous because of its aesthetic appeal. In general, the central highlands of Sri Lanka provide homes and shelter to about 128 birds, 60 butterfly species, 17 mollusks, 31 mammals, 20 amphibians, and 53 reptile species. Also, there are three types of freshwater fish as well. 

What to enjoy in the central highlands?

You have a lot to enjoy in the central highlands. The Dumbara hills of Kandy, with a larger land span, have a breathtaking landscape and a soothing climate. Also, the areas covering the Matale district and the Knuckles Mass is another area that would draw the interest of nature lovers. The Knuckles Reserve was announced as a climatic reserve in 1873—the Horton Plains National Park. Ella and Nuwara Eliya are the other main areas that one should visit. Apart from sightseeing, many love the hike through the Horton Plains. You could also do hiking, trekking, bird watching, and mountain climbing. Also, camping is another critical activity many local and foreign tourists love. There are plenty of places for lodging and accommodation. It is a worthy trip to enjoy the beauty of the central highlands of the Island.

The Knuckles Mountain range and the adventure trek

Trekking in the Knuckles Mountain range is one activity that foreigners and locals should take advantage of on their trips to Knuckles. It is one of the best ways to enjoy yourself enjoying nature to the fullest.

Knuckles Mountain

The Knuckles Mountain range is located in the Matale and Kandy districts. It is famous for being one of the best places for camping and trekking. The knuckles range of mountains gets the name due to its unique shape. It is similar to the form of a folded fist and the knuckles of a human hand. It is an incredible land to explore as it has unique natural features and one of the best wildlife spots. If you are a nature lover and love digging in a cool climate, the Knuckles mountain range is the best.

Horton Planes National Park

Located in the country’s Central province in the Nuwara Eliya district, the Horton Plains National Park is one of the highlands with beautiful biodiversity. It is about 1500-2524 m above sea level. 

Before the British rule, this palace is named Maha Eliya. It became one of the best nature resources during the British period. It was renamed Horton Plains by the British governor Robert Horton. Also, Sir Samuel Bakers used this for hunting. Also, it was under protection during the British era. 

Horton Planes National Park

Anyone who visits the national park is worth visiting the information center first to get the needed information about the place. The path to the main trail starts from that point. You can see the wonderful waterway from the red bridge. Then the Y point leaves you to choose if you need to experience the tail in the complex or easy way. The Small World’s End, the big world’s End, baker’s Falls, and the Chimney Pool are exciting spots you should never miss. Also, animals like leopards, Sambar deer, and bears are in the park. 

You could also try the Thotupola Kanda and the Kirigal poththa trails. They give you a different kind of experience. 

Adams Peak

Adams Peak is located in the Southwest of the country. It is 2304 feet high from the sea level. The mountain is also known as the Sri Pada Kanda for its legendary Buddhist belief in the Sacred footprint of Lord Buddha. It is venerated by many Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, and Christian pilgrims yearly. 

The mountain belongs to the Piduruthalagala mountain range and has a conical shape, giving it a Pyramid shape. The surrounding area is a stunning rainforest. It is home to a small elephant population as well. The land was named a conservation zone in 1940. Also, there are many tea estates surrounding the sanctuary. 

Adams Peak

The pilgrimage to the mountain is an exciting but rough journey through the forest. But Many visit the mountain peak for blessings annually. The Sun service and the beautiful view from the mountain top is one of the most incredible experiences one can have, and it is undoubtedly a lifetime experience. 

Riverstone in Knuckes

Reverstoen in Matale is also an excellent location to enjoy the country’s beauty with a delightful and cool climate. The beauty is mesmerizing with the greenery and the mountain ranges. Also, it is an exciting journey to the Meemure village through the jungle. If you love enjoying village life, you should visit Meemure village. It will surely be an unforgettable experience.

Riverstone in Knuckes

Central Highland mountain hikes

There are several beautiful hiking routes in the Central Highlands that many tourists love experiencing. Hanthana, Dolukanda, Piduruthalagala, and Namunukula are the most popular hiking spots in the country. 

Ella attractions

Ella in the central hills of Sri Lanka is famous as you can get a very adventurous experience. Many local and foreign visitors love Ella due to the beautiful surroundings and the number of activities there. 


Tea estates

The lush green tea estates add to the true identity of the country’s central highlands. Nothing is more enjoyable than enjoying a fresh cup of tea made from freshly picked tea leaves. You can also visit the tea production facilities and see how the famous Sri Lankan tea is produced. 

It is more than these sites. The highlands have much more hidden beauty. The waterfalls, the lush green tea estates, the parks full of colorful flowers, lakes with crystal clear waters, and the beautiful mountain peaks add glamour to the central highlands. It is a never-missed destination for most visitors who visit Sri Lanka on vacation.

The central highlands of the county are facing extinction slowly. It is mainly because of human activities. These are of immense value and should be protected by the locals and the world for generations. Also, if you visit the central highlands, there is much to try and enjoy. Hiking, trekking, and site seeing are the key activities that you can enjoy. A hike through the Horton planes is something extraordinary. And one should know the world’s End, a lifetime experience. Enjoying the scenic beauty is a memorable experience; many love the cool climate too. However, being a world heritage, these highlands should be well preserved for the entire world! 



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