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The Ambuluwawa tower is a very unpopular and underrated tourist attraction in Kandy. It is visible to most places in Kandy, especially when you travel on Kandy-Nuwara Eliya road, the tower is clearly visible as you come to Gampola town. In fact, most travellers are wondering what this massive tower, which is perching on a mountain.
It is none other than the Ambuluwawa tower, which rises up to 48 meters from its base. The Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Center was built under the supervision of D.M Jayarathna, who had been one of the former prime ministers of Sri Lanka.
HOW TO REACH AMBULUWAWA FROM KANDY
Ambuluwawa tower resides 5 kilometres from the Gampola city. The nearest city of Ambuluwawa tower is Gampola, which had been the capital of ancient Sri Lanka, which has very important historical value. However, Ambuluwawa tower and Gampola are not coming under important tourist attractions on the island and they are rarely visited by travellers, especially foreign travellers. However, we do like to name it as an important tourist attraction due to its unique location giving a breathtaking view of the surrounding lower elevated areas.
HISTORY OF AMBULUWAWA
According to the historical information, there had been a Buddhist temple in Ambuluwawa forest during the reign of King Buwanekabahu IV (13the century AD). However, there are historical monuments of the earlier temple to be found here today. The visitors of Ambuluwawa tower can see three ponds, a sacred Bodhi tree, water Park, stone Park and herbal garden on the top of the mountain.
FAUN & FLORA OF AMBULUWAWA
Ambuluwawa is one of the highest mountains in Kandy and the mountain is under the purview of the wildlife department, a large part of the mountain is covered with forest.
The Ambuluwawa forest harbours a large number of tropical trees and plants with economical and medicinal value. 200 different species of plants, trees and creepers have been discovered in the forest and there are 80 different species of flowering trees and plants Among them.
The tower is built in the form of a Buddhist Dagoba or stupa (the semicircular building to be found in Buddhist temples) and located 5km from Gampola. The main reward for the visitors of Ambuluwawa tower is the breathtaking view of the surrounding area. The amazing view commands over rice paddies, tea plantations, vegetable plots, patches of forests, mountain peaks, rivers and waterfalls as well as villages.
Ambuluwawa mountain is located 3560 meters above sea level and it is surrounded by a ring of mountains made of Pidurutalagala, Bible rock, Adams peak, knuckles mountain. On the days with a clear sky, you can see most of these mountains from the Ambuluwawa tower.
It is important to reach the tower on a day with clear sky in order to enjoy the breathtaking scenery. Ambuluwawa is a place to have a very enjoyable hike if you wish to have a light adventure, however, there is a motorable road up to the highest point of Ambuluwawa mountain, giving you the convenience of reaching it without much effort.
BIODIVERSITY OF AMBULUWAWA
A survey carried out by a group of students of the University of Jayawardena Pura has published below statistics pertaining to the biodiversity of Ambuluwawa. The survey was done in the months of January and February 2003.
11 mammalian species, including 01 endemic
59 avian species including 07 endemic species
30 reptilian species including 13 endemic species
13 amphibian species including 06 endemic species
13 butterfly species including 02 endemic species
The total number of species discovered at Amubuluwawa is 126 species.
Out of the above 29 endemic species, 28 are nationally threatened. Moreover, there are also two nationally threatened no-endemic species.