One day tour Sri Lanka to Kanneliya

Haggala botanical garden

One day tour Sri Lanka to Kanneliya

Southern Sri Lanka (about Sri Lanka)is a Kanneliya is one of the well known natural attractions in southern Sri Lanka. It is the second most important rainforest in southern Sri Lanka after Sinharaja forest reserve. Kanneliya is declared as a man and biosphere forest reserve by UNESCO in 2004. Kanneliya spreads over 10,139 hectares (25,000 acres) in the southern wet-zone of the island. Kanneliya is only behind Sinharaja rainforest in terms of ecological value and the extent of the forest cover.

Kanneliya is quite secluded forest cover and number of visitors in the forest is far lower than in Sinharaja rainforest. Even though Sinharaja rain forest included in many Sri Lanka tour packages, Kanneliys included is not included in Sri Lanka tour itineraries as an activity. There are many activities based on rainforests such as Sinharaja trekking tour, Sinharaja adventure tour, Knuckles trekking, Hantana trekking etc but Kanneliys is very rarely included in activities available for travellers.

Kanneliya rainforest is one of the most important forests with the highest bio-diversity not only within Sri Lanka but also covering whole southern Asia. Kanneliya accommodates large number of fauna and flora species and it is the home for many numbers of endemic flora species. Some of the trees and plants in Kanneliya are not to be found anywhere else in the world. Kanneliya is the main catchment area of the two biggest rivers, namely Gin Ganga and Nilwala, in southern Sri Lanka.

Kanneliya is situated about 40 kilometres from Udugama and it takes about 1 hour to reach the entrance of the forest. Just behind the entrance of Kanneliya is the Kanneliya tourist home that maintained by the forest conservation department. After about 10 meters along the path to the forest, you see the natural pond created by the perennial water resources of the forest. This footpath after the pond goes through the natural forest cover of Kanneliya and it is very cool and comfortable even on a very warm day. The cool and comfortable climate in the forest is resulted due to the filtration of sun-rays by the tree canopy. You need to walk with caution along the path because there is a chance of tripping due to the rocks and roots emerging from the ground. After several minutes walk through the forest, you come to the “Lihiniya Hela”, where people can see a stone cave. You need to go down on the flight of steps located on to the right hand of the footpath to reach the cave. A small stream flows through the cave and travellers can go through the cave and appear from the other side.

After going through the several more kilometres you will find the second holiday home. Next to it in the direction of left, there is another narrow path directing you to a wooden bridge. After the bridge, you can see the beautiful “Anagimala Ella”. The area called “Messa Muduna” is followed by Anagimale Ella, where the travellers can see the typical rainforest environment, and this is the starting point of “Anagimale Ella”.

The mountain known as “Lawalwaru” and “Kos Peliti” can be seen very clearly from Messa muduna. There is a large number of places to visit in Kanneliya other than places mentioned already. Kambili Kanda is considered as another important place to visit here. It is the highest spot of Kanneliya forest reserve. Even though Kanneliya is a rainforest, Kambili kanda shows the characters of a montane forest. Gigantic trees, Quartz Mountain, narangas Ella waterfall, Gallewli ella, Kambili kanda are other most important t places to visit in Kanneliya. 26 species of fish, 147 species of birds and 86 species of animals are recorded in Kanneliya. There are several routes in the forest and visitors are allowed to enter the reserve with permission of forest conservation officers at the site. You need to have the help of a ranger while walking in the forest.

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Sanjeewa Padmal (Seerendipity tours)

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