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Explore Rainforest in Sri Lanka

Explore Rainforest in Sri Lanka

Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka is a forest reserve. It also serves as a biodiversity hotspot. It has been designated a Biosphere reserve and a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Sinharaja is considered to be the last remaining area of primary rainforest in the country. Over 60% of these trees are endemic, and many are considered rare. Sri Lankan endemic species include 50% of the butterfly, amphibian, bird, snake, and fish species. It is home 95% of the country's endemic birds.

Part of the Sri Lankan lowland rain forests Eco area, the hilly virgin rainforest was saved from the worst commercial logging. It was made inaccessible in 1978, making it a World Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site by 1988.The dense vegetation makes wildlife less visible than in dry-zone national parks like Yala. There are approximately 3 elephants and 15 [vague] leopards. The endemic purple-faced languor is the largest mammal.

Mixed feeding flocks are a common way for birds to move, with the loud orange-billed babbler and Sri Lanka crested Drongo leading the charge. The 20 rainforest species are among the 26 endemic bird species in Sri Lanka, which includes the red-faced malkoha and green-billed coucal.The endemic green pit viper, hump-nosed vipers and many other reptiles are included. Tree frogs are another example of amphibians. The endemic Sri Lankan birdwing butterflies and leeches are examples of invertebrates.

Sinharaja Forest Reserve covers 8,864 hectares (21.903 acres) and is located in southwest of the island. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because it has unique plant and animal life.This prime lowland rainforest has been threatened by illegal logging, cardamom cultivation, illegal settlements, and gem mining over the years. The Sri Lankan government decided to include the surrounding forests in the reserve to counter fragmentation. This effectively increased the protected area's size by fourfolds to 36,000 ha (88.960 acres).

Location in Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja forest is composed of a series continuous ridges that run roughly in an East-West direction. It lies between the tributaries Kalu Ganga (North) and the Gin Ganga (South). There are four main routes to Sinharaja. From the northwest is the Kalawana–Weddagala, Rakwana–Morning side-estate road, from the north, and the Hiniduma–Neluwa from the south, respectively. Deniyaya– Pallegama from the South-east is the Deniyaya–Pallegama road. The kalawana–Weddagala route is the shortest and most convenient for visitors travelling from Colombo.

Climate of Sinharaja Rain Forest

Rainfall is received from the northeast monsoon (November to January) and the southwest monsoon (May to July). It lies mostly between the 5080mm and 3810mm isohyets. Average annual rainfall is more than 2500mm, with no dry spell. Even February, the driest month, averages 189mm (Gunatilleke and Gunatilleke 1983). Temperatures vary little between seasons, but there is a wide diurnal range. They fluctuate between 19 and 34 degrees Celsius (de Zoysa& Raheem 1987), but this is minimized by the steady rainfall.

Physical Features

The 21-km strip of undulating piedmont is made up of a series valleys and ridges that surround the Rakwana mountain massif. It is drained through a complex trellis of streams that flow into two major rivers. The MahaDola flows into the Gin Ganga (river), which runs along the southern border. To the north, it flows into the Kalu Ganga via the Napo Dola and Koskulana Ganga rivers. The Reserve is located in the transition zone between two major rock types that are typical of Sri Lanka. The southwest group consists of metasediments and charnockites, while the highland group consists of khondalites made of metamorphosed sediments. The Sinharaja Basic Zone is a large outcropping with basic rocks. It is composed of hornblende and pyroclasts as well as basic charnockites and pyroxene ampibolites. There are also calc-granulites that contain small amounts of quartzite, garnet -biotite and intermediate charnockites. (Hapuarachi and colleagues, 1964). The area is also home to an aeromagnetic anomaly, which may have contributed to the formation of the gem-fields in the region (Katz 1972; Munasinghe&Dissanayake 1980). Except for alluvium, the soils are mostly red-yellow podzols. They are impermeable and weather to laterite in some places. There is very little organic matter accumulation. This is due to a combination of climatic and soil microflora that rapidly breaks down organic matter and a tree's rapid uptake and recycling.

History and Geography

Sinharaja, a virgin and age-old rainforest, is not without its share of rich history. The name Sinharaja means "Kingdom of the Lion" and, according to legends, Sri Lankans are descendants of the union of a princess with a lion king who lived within this forest. Sinharaja Rainforest is one of the most important and least-disturbed biodiversity hotspots in Sri Lanka. It was first designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (in 1978) and then a UNESCO World Heritage Site (in 1988). This is the first nature reserve in Sri Lanka to receive this prestigious distinction.

The forest is approximately 11200 hectares in size, measuring 21 kms from east to south and less than 4 kms from north to south. The Sinharaja Rainforest lies in Sri Lanka's southwest lowland dry zone. It extends into the administrative areas of Ratnapura Galle, Matara and Matara. The forest is composed of a series continuous ridges that run in an east-west direction. It lies between the tributaries to the Kalu Ganga (river), to the north, and the Gin Ganga south.

The Sinharaja Reserve's elevation ranges between 200 and 1,300 metres. The terrain is flat and the Hinipitigala Peak, which rises to 1,150m, is the highest peak. The reserve also contains important mountains, including Moulawella (760m), Kosgulana (797m), Sinharaja (742m), Kohilearambe (575m), Dotalugala (769m) and Tibbottagala (904m).

Universal Value of Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja Forest Reserve, which is located in Sri Lanka's south-west lowland dry zone, encompasses the largest patch of primary lowland forest in Sri Lanka. It covers an area of 8,864ha and is located at an elevation of 300-1,170 meters. The narrow strip of undulating terrain is surrounded by a series valleys and ridges, which are connected by a complex network of streams. This intricate network of waterways drains to the north and south. They flow into the Gin River at the southern boundary and the Kalu River via the NapolaDola and Koskulana Ganga, Kudawa Ganga, and the Kalu River at the northern boundary. Over the past 60 years, the annual rainfall has varied between 3614 and 5006 mm. Most of this precipitation occurred during the south-west monsoon May-July and the north-east Monsoon November-January.

Sri Lanka has 830 endemic species. 217 trees, woody climbers and other plants can be found in the low-land wet zone. The reserve has 139 (64%) of these species, including 16 rare species. Bird endemism is especially high, with 19 (95%) species of the 20 species that were recorded on the property being endemic for Sri Lanka. The endemism of butterflies and mammals is also higher than 50%. The reserve is home to many endangered, threatened and rare species.

Topography of Sinharaja Rain Forest

The Forest Dynamics Plot is topographically located at 424 m above sea level. It also spans an elevation range of 575 m to 575m. Sinharaja FDP includes two slopes: a steeper, higher slope to the south-west and a gentler slope to the north-east. The Forest Dynamics Plot shows the 'ridge steep slope-valley' landscape of southwestern Sri Lanka's lowland to mid-elevational rain forest.

Sri Lanka's forests are very diverse, but have high levels of endemism. 70% of the 190 tree species in the Sinharaja World Heritage Site are endemic. Sinharaja Forest Dynamics Plot includes one-quarter of Sri Lanka's tree species and half of the species found in the World Heritage Site's lowland rainforests. Forest demographic studies at the plot are part of ongoing silvicultural, forest restoration and forest preservation studies by the UvaWellassa University, University of Peradeniya, Forest Department (Srilanka) and Yale Forest School. The ongoing research also includes a study on the recruitment of dominant canopy species to the study plot, which has been in operation since 1999; and a study on biomass dynamics in the forest.

People in Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja is surrounded 22 villages, with an estimated 5000 inhabitants. The reserve is home to only Warukandeniya (the village) and Kolonthotuwa (the village). Because of the long history of human settlement in the area, it is difficult to manage and conserve the forest. The southern boundary of the reserve, on the bank at Gin Ganga, is home to the majority of the ancient harmless. A few are located on the northern-western side. There are many ancient footpaths along the reserve's periphery, while three of them run through the forest's interior.

The extended family is composed of parents, children, and grandparents who live together. They average 25 sq.m in floor area. They are made of wattle, daub and measure approximately 3.5 meters in length. The roof is made of wattle and daub. However, clay tiles and coconut leaves have been gaining popularity as roofing materials.

Rice is the staple food of villager. Yams like sweet potato, Manioc (Cassawa), Breadfruit, and Jackfruit are grown in home gardens and can be substituted for rice. You will also find vines of passion fruit, black pepper and betel (Piperbetel) in your home garden. Also grown are fruit trees like banana and papaya. The forest provides many plants that the village relies on for their daily needs. Jaggery can be made by tapping the in Florence of Kitul palm (CaryotaUrens).

A second source of income is the production of mats and baskets made from rattan on wewal'. Other plant products are also cultivated by the villager, such as wild cardamom and resinous exudates that can be used to fumigate Nawada( ShoreaStipularis ), and other shorea species.

Exudates of Kekuna (Canariumzelanicum ) are used to caulk boats damaged and for glue domestically. Many plants that are used in the local 'ayurvedic" system of medicine are also collected by the villagers and sold. Of particular importance is the stem of Weniwel, Cosciniumfenestratum, which is used by many Sri Lankans as an antidote to tetanus. Beraliya( Shoreamygistophylla) is a fruit that can be used to substitute for flour.

UNESCO Heritage site

In 1988, UNESCO designated the Sinharaja Rain Forest of Sri Lanka as a Natural World Heritage Site. Since 1988, it has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. It is the lowest-lying primary tropical rain forest in Sri Lanka, and one of only a few virgin forests worldwide. The Sinharaja Forest's most notable assets are its green canopy and high Bio-Diversity. Over 60% of the trees are endemic, and many are rare.

Geology and Soil

The Sinharaja Reserve locates within the transition zone of two important groups of rock types, the South/ Western group which consist of metasediments-charnokites and scapolites bearing calcgranulites and the highland group comprising khondalites of mcamorphosed sediments and Charnockites. Sinharaja's most important geological feature is the existence of a "Sinharaja Base Zone", which consists of hornblendpyriclasts pyroxene amphibolites, calcgranulites, and scapolites. The highland group consists of khondalites of mcamorphosed sediments and Charnockites. There are clearly identifiable horizons with varying soil depths. The soil is very well drained, with little organic matter accumulation.

Flora in Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja's vegetation can be described as either a Tropical Lowland Rain Forest, or a Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest. The forest's striking features include the height of dominant trees, their straightness in their bole and the abundance of regeneration.

The trees average height is between 35-40m. Some trees can reach 50 m.

Contrary to popular belief, scrub growth can occur on rock shelves and gaps in the canopy caused by the fall of over-mature tree. It is difficult to identify ecological patterns due to the large number of Sinharaja tree species. Some tree associations have been identified, including the Dipterocarpus (HoraBuHora), which is confined to lower elevations of the Gin Ganga valley. The Mesua-Doona(Shorea) association forms part of the Sinharaja forest matrix.

Sinharaja's vegetation is a humid, wet evergreen forest type that exhibits high levels of endemism. Dipterocarpaceae, for example, has an endemism of more than 90%. Sinharaja's untapped genetic potential is immense. Of the 211 woody trees or lianas that have been identified in the reserve, 139 (66%) are endemic. High levels of endemism may also be true for lower plants such as ferns and Epiphyts. Sinharaja is home to 13 of the 25 endemic species in Sri Lanka.

The total vegetation density includes trees, shrubs and seeds has been calculated to be approximately 240,000 individuals per hectare. 95% of these individuals are below 1m high. Trees with a girth of more than 30 cm at the breast height have a density between 600 and 700 individuals/ha. The number of individuals that can be sold from trees with a girth of greater than 150cm is low that ranges from 45 to 55 hectares.

It is estimated that there are six to seven hundred lianas per hectare. Sinharaja is home to many endangered species and is home to many other animals. The reserve is home to many species of fish, mammals, butterflies, reptiles and amphibians that exhibit high levels of endemism.

Herbal Plants in Sinharaja Rain Forest

Many of the Sinharaja Rain Forest endemic plants are used ethno-medically by people, and not documented formally. These include Depterocarpuszeylanicus, D.hispidus, Shore asp.Garciniahermonii, xylopiachampionii, Mesuanagassarium, Loxococcusrupicola, Atalantiarotundifolia, Caryotaurens), Calamus sp., Kokoonazeylanica, Elattaria, Cosciniumfenestratum. Natural habitat destruction and degradation of microecosystems are threatening species with medicinal value, such as Zeuxineflava and Xeuxineregia.

In a country such as Sri Lanka, rain forests that contain medicinal plants are an important source of bioresources. Research has shown that the direct sale of medicinal plants or pharmaceuticals derived from plants generates a significant amount of revenue.

There are many medicinal plant species that are commonly used in medicine, such as Kohomba, Adatoda, Dorana, Binara, Duhudu, Murva, Kara, Kotalahi, Bandura, Iruraja, Wellangi, Weniwel, Wanaraja, Binkohoba, Iruraja, Binkohomba, Narilata.

MahaHedaya Medical Plant

It is vital that Sinharaja's biological diversity and genepool are conserved. This is the outstanding feature of Sinharaja. The importance of Sinharaja as an important watershed is another aspect that must be conserved. Sinharaja conservation would ensure water resources are maintained and flood intensity is reduced, which is a constant threat to this area of the island that is characterised by heavy rains. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is managed by the Forest Department of Sri Lanka. It is managed as a unique genepool, and as a watershed. Therefore, it is completely protected. You are encouraged to be aware of the importance of conserving forests like Sinharaja. Contrary to urban chaos and congestion, forests are where the best quality of life can be found. Forests offer peace and tranquility, which is what man seeks. You should allow yourself enough time to explore this green cathedral of nature and take in its beauty, regardless of whether you are a photographer, scientist, or nature lover.

Fauna in Sinharaja Rain Forest

Initial studies of the Sinharaja fauna have shown that there is high levels of endemism among the birds, fish, amphibians and reptiles. The Endemism of butterflies and mammals is also higher than 50%.

Although elephants are larger mammals than others, sightings of them have been reported infrequently over the past 15 years. There have been sightings in the Eastern Sector, however. The most common deer is the sambhur. Both the mouse deer and the barking deer can also be found within the reserve. Leopards rarely are sighted but tracks and other signs have confirmed their presence. Brown Mongoose, and the golden-palm Civet were occasionally sighted. The purple-faced, leaf monkey is the most common primate.

72% of birds found in the Western sector were non-endemic residents and 13% were migrants. This is a common phenomenon in rainforests and it makes the Sinharaja a fascinating place to see mixed species foraging bird flocks. Studies revealed that many flocks contained 48 species, 12 of which were endemic. Sinharaja is home to the red-faced Malkoha, the Sri Lankan blue magpie and the ashy-headed starling, as well as the green coucal, which are some of the most rare birds in Sri Lanka.

The reptiles with the highest number of agamids are the Green Garden Lizard. Of particular significance are sightings CalotesLiolepis, an arboreal species which is the rarest of all the agamids on the island. The hardshelled terrapin is the only tortoise found in the reserve. However, the spotted skink is often seen. The green pit viper and the hump-nosed viper , both endemic to Sri Lanka, are common in this forest.

Amphibians are well represented in the reserve, and nine endemic species of amphibians have been identified. The endemic Torrent and common house toads are both found in the reserve. The Sinharaja Wrinkled frog, and the Sri Lanka Reed Frog can be found in most streams and marshes. Ramanellapalmata, a rare endemic microhylid species, is the only one so far to be recorded. The yellow-banded Caecilian however is the only other apodan.

Endemic Species in Sinharaja Rain Forest

Yellow-eared Bulbul (Pycnonotuspenicillatus)

Although this bird is shy, it can sometimes be seen on a nearby perch, but disappears as quickly as it appeared. It is easily identifiable by its sharp, "whee, whee," whee call. Trees that are fruiting produce large numbers. It prefers low bushes and mid-canopy, but it will move higher up to fruit trees.

They can be found breeding almost all year, with only two peak periods in March to May and August or October. The nest is a cup-shaped and about 10-15 feet from the ground. It is surrounded by dense foliage and upright forks. The nest is quite thick and mostly contains green moss. Fine fern rootlets line the cup. It usually lays two eggs.

Layard’s Parakeet (Psittaculacalthrapae)

This green parrot is distinguished by its bluish-grey back and head, and a separate green collar. The tail is blue-tipped yellow and has a black chin stripe. The male is the same, with a black beak and less green face. The immature birds are mostly green with an orange bill.

Parakeet Layard prefers to be in the woods, especially at the edges, in clearings and sometimes in gardens. It moves around based on the availability of its diet, which includes fruit, seeds and buds, as well as blossoms. It is usually found in small groups, outside of the breeding season. Their call is loud and raucous. It nests in large trees and lays 3-4 white eggs.

Sri Lanka Junglefowl (Gallus Lafayettii)

It is the national bird of Sri Lanka. It can be found in both forest and scrub habitats. This bird is strongly sexually dimorphic. The male is larger than the female and has more vivid plumage, a comb and a wattle. The comb has a yellow centre and is red. The female is smaller and has a dull brown plumage, with white markings on the breast and lower belly. This makes it ideal for nesting birds.

It spends its time digging up fallen fruits, insects and seeds. Lays between 2-4 eggs in a nest on the forest floor, or in an abandoned nest with other birds or squirrels.

Sri Lanka Blue Magpie (Urocissa ornate)

These birds are quiet and shy, but they can be noisy. They usually travel in small groups or pairs. The flock keeps in touch by calling and the loud, penetrating sounds they make help identify lost birds. Blue Magpies are an omnivore, and will eat insects, beetles, and lizards. They also eat fruits, but not as much. The favourite food is ripe keiya fruit (Freycinetiaphytophylia).

They spend their time in the trees looking for prey, and then descend to the ground. They are most active in the rainy season, particularly when there is a short shower or intermittent rain. They follow mixed species in Sinharaja's flocks, but they are not considered to be their primary followers.

Blue Magpies are born between January and April. The Cluth number varies between 3 and 5, with 4 being most common. Nest building is best done in an area near streams and rivers that are unaffected. The nest construction is done by the couple, with the assistance of other members. Both parents share the responsibility of caring for the young and incubating them.

Yellow- fronted Barbet (Magalaimaflavifrons)

The bird usually occupies the top canopy. The bird's most distinctive characteristic is its call. Its peak season is during breeding season. The breeding season is when the birds start calling. They call for several hours and start calling in the early morning. They often remain silent for most of the day. In the evening, the crescendo returns. Their call is the dominant sound in the forest during these hours and can be heard far away. The birds become silent when they are eating. Often, several birds are sharing the same fruit tree. They eat the whole fruit, and then pick it up. They are regular members of Sinharaja's feeding flock.

There are two distinct breeding seasons: March to May and September to September. The main period is the second. The nest is excavated from a medium-sized, dead or decayed softwooded tree. The nest is typically dug in a near vertical stump. Although the nest chamber is typically 10-20 feet above ground, there are nests that can be found higher. The nest chamber is excavated by both birds and no nesting material is used. Both birds incubate eggs and feed the young. Although the young are primarily fed on fruits and insects they will also eat small animals like gekos.

Sri Lanka Orange –billed Babbler (Turdoidesrufescens)

The Ceylon Rufous Babbler is also known. It is a native of the wet zones forests and the highest elevations of the hills. You may also see them in adjacent home gardens or groves. Although the Common Babbler is similar in size and shape, this species is more appealing with its red-brown plumage, orange beak, and legs.

Movements in flocks are usually part of the nucleus species for mixed feeding flocks. Both animal and vegetable matter make up food. Although it has a strong hop, the flight is slow and confined to a few minutes from one place to another. In the heat of the afternoon, they are comparatively inactive and preen.

Ashy-headed laughingthrush (Garrulaxcinereifrons)

The noisy bird has rufous brown upper and deep buff lower, and a grey head with a white throat. Since they are difficult to spot in their preferred habitat, their laughter calls can often be the best indicator that they are present. A weak flyer with short, rounded wings. Their habitats are being destroyed and it is now known that their population is declining.

Prefers to live at the edge and in the interior of primary and secondary humid forests. Preferred to as a specialist in 'gap-edge', because it is almost always associated with canopy gaps even in deep, unreachable areas.

Spotted winged thrush (Turdusspiloptera)

The bird can be found in suitable forest cover that is dense and undisturbed between 1,000 and 4,000 feet. This bird is shy and prefers to stay in dense forests. It only comes out of the open at night and early morning. The males call frequently in the morning and evening while sitting on low branches. A almost inaudible "tzee" sound is heard when a male calls for food.

The nest is usually placed in a fork about 5-12 ft above the ground. It is made with sticks and moss. The cup is large and well-lined with fern roots, grasses, decaying leaves matter, etc. Two eggs are usually laid but one will hatch.

Sri Lanka White-eye (Zosteropsceylonensis)

The bird is found in most areas above 3,000 feet, with Sinharaja being at 900 feet. If there are enough tall trees, it can be seen in both forest g and clear areas like plantations. It can be seen moving in small groups of up to 15 birds. They call to one another in soft chirps. The top canopy is preferred and he searches for insects and tender shoots.

A nest is a cup that hangs from a fork. It is usually 8-12 ft above the ground. However, in plantation areas, it can be as high as 3 ft. within a tea bush. The nesting material is usually rootlets or mosses and is bound with cobwebs on the outside.


Sinharaja forest is home to nearly half of Sri Lanka's mammalian species. Sinharaja is home to two non-primate arboreal mammals, the Golden palm Civet and the Small flying squirrel (Petinomysfumscocapillus). Sinharaja forest also hosts the endangered and endemic purple-faced Leaf Monkey, which is also an endemic primate. There is a small herd occasionally of elephants that roam around the DelwalaWalanakanda, Rakwana and Rakwana ranges. These elephants are one of two remaining populations in the wet area. Indirect and direct observations of the herd in the areas above indicate that there are 3-4 animals present, with a bull. They are darker than the dry zone elephants and appear much more stouter. Lucky visitors may be able to spot a wild cat in Sinharaja: the Leopard, Fishing Cat, or the smaller Rusty Spotted Cat.

Toque Macaque (Macacasinica)

This species has a long tail with a golden brown top. They prefer to be on the ground but can also be found in the trees. They can also swim well. They are omnivorous and eat mainly leaves, fruits, seeds, etc., but occasionally birds as well. The Toque macaque lives with up to 40 troops and a well-organized social strata. Hierarchies exist between males and women. Some individuals will flee a troop if they become too large. After a 5--6 month gestation period, the female macaque will give birth to one offspring. The average gap between the offspring is 18 months. The offspring, when young, is able to hold onto their mothers and learn survival skills and social skills.

Purple-faced Leaf Monkey (trachypithecusvetulus)

The long-tailed arboreal monkey is generally brownish-black in body and limbs. The coat colour of each subspecies varies. Although the common name implies 'purple,' the face is actually greyish-black. This species has a markedly lower thumb.

It usually has a "unimale" social system. This typically consists of one resident adult male and one to seven adult women, as well as a few sub-adults, juveniles, and infants. There are also all-male groups, ranging from 2 to 14. Each group operates within its own home range. Sometimes all-male groups have home ranges that overlap, but not always unimale. Other males trying to take over the Harem will be attacked by the resident male.

This species is primarily a leaf-eating one, but they will eat flowers, fruits, and seeds when necessary. A single offspring is born after a gestation period ranging from 195 to 220 days.

Common Birdwing / Ceylon Birdwing (Troidesdarsius)

This species is an endemic and the largest of all Sri Lankan butterfly species. You can identify it by its size and the bright yellow and black colors that are visible while flying. They are quite common and can be seen flying close to trees at the banks of rivers, streams bordering forested areas, or even in gardens. They are strong flyers and can be active from early morning to midday, and sometimes into the afternoon. They can often be seen flying back-and-forth within the same stream edge, garden, or forested area. The Family Aristolochia is their larval host plant. The Aristolochia is the most common recorded species in Sri Lanka. This small climbing plant is either found in the wild, or it is grown in rural gardens for its medicinal properties.

Tree Nymph (Idea Iasonia)

This species is an endemic. This large butterfly has beautiful black markings on its wings. Semi-transparent white background. The forewings are larger than the hind wings. Adults can be easily identified by their size and colour. They also have a slow, almost glide-like flight that stretches out along high treetops. This is one of the most slow-flying butterflies in the country. They can seem almost to hover in one spot with their spread wings when seen from a distance. They can be found along the edges and pathways of forest streams, paths, and openings.

Reptiles & Amphibians

The Green Garden Lizard is the most commonly found reptile. CalotesLiolepis is an arboreal reptile that lives within the Reserve. The Hard-shelled Terrapin is the only Tortoise that has been recorded in the Reserve. The Reserve is home to the Green Pit Viper, Hump-nosed Viper, and 8 other snakes. These include the endemic Torrent Toad, and the common House Toad. You will also find the Wrinkled Frog as well as the Sri Lankan Reed Frog in all streams and marshes of the Reserve.

The Senkanda Cave

This rock cave was home to Senkanda, a hermit. A person entered this forest to get rattan. He got lost in the forest. The hermit made contact with the poor villager, and let him spend the night in his cave. The man saw many wonderful things in the forest. The villager sought out more information from the hermit, and reported them to Kind Wickramabahu, whose kingdom was at Gampola. The king fled to hide in the rock cave after his kingdom was taken by an enemy. The king built his kingdom in the forest.


It is the highest of the small peaks within the forest. It is believed that this peak was once the highest point in the forest. The peak's elevation is approximately 800 feet above the sea level.

Pus Wela

Near Kodimale, there is an endemic giant liana that is 200-300 years old called "Pus wela" or Entadapusaetha. It is an ornamental, which increases the forest's beauty and value. Giant Pus Wela (Entadapusaetha).

Walk for Love

This narrow lane runs around the royal pond, passing through high-rising and shaded trees. This lane is well-known among youths who frequent this forest to take in its tranquilizing natural beauty. The beauty of nature's creation is the serene and cool atmosphere found beside and under the dense canopy of trees.

The pond

During King's reign, the Queen and other royal members used the pond to play water sports. It is believed that a pot of gold, filled with King Keerthi Sri's valuables, was found at the bottom. Folklore has it that the pot rises to the surface once a year and disappears. This is according to folk tales. Many believe there is a tunnel that runs from the Kandy Lake's middle to the pond.

The Marble Seat

The forest contained a flat, marble-colored rock. The royal family used this rock as a resting place to admire the forest's natural beauty. It was removed from the forest recently and is now kept in the Sri Dalada Sylvan to be used as an alter for flowers.

Best Time to visit Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja receives rain throughout the year. However, the chance of rain is lower during December to April and July-August.

How to get Sinharaja Rain Forest

The Sinharaja Rainforest is accessible by road from Colombo via RatnapuraKiriellaKalawana, Weddala, Kalawana, Kalawana, and Kalawana. You can fly by helicopter from Ratmalana or Bandaranaike Airport to Sinharaja. Then you will reach the Rainforest via road. This location does not have an Air Taxi.

Sinharaja Rain Forest Project

Rainforest Rescue is a partner of Rainforest Rescue International (RRI). Since 2008, Rainforest Rescue has worked in partnership to conserve and restore the rainforest habitat that is highly endangered between the Sinharaja World Heritage Forest Reserve &Kanneliya Forest Reserve. These are important biodiversity reservoirs. The Sinharaja/KenneliyaRainforestCorridor Program is designed to increase the conservation areas and habitats of vulnerable rainforest species. The establishment of biodiversity corridors will allow species to move freely between habitat areas. These links help stop extinction by creating habitats and maintaining migratory routes during times of environmental change. They also encourage breeding to maintain viable populations. RRI, a non-profit organization based in Galle (Sri Lanka) was established in 2002. It works to protect vulnerable ecosystems through the development of sustainable livelihoods and education.

Sri Lanka Plant a Rainforest

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will the trees grow?

The first plantings will be on land purchased for the Sinharaja/Kenneliya Rainforest Corridor development in the south-west region of Sri Lanka. Temple lands and schools within the corridor will also be planted. These lands will be used to establish a rainforest canopy, which will be integrated into this corridor.

What is the cost of planting a tree?

Planting one tree in the Sinharaja/Kenneliya rainforest corridor costs $2. This includes all management expenses.

Who and how do they plant trees?

Rainforest Rescue International provides guidance and assistance to the local community in planting the trees. This will create jobs for local residents and encourage ownership of this project and its results.

What about follow up care?

Rainforest Rescue International offers all necessary follow-up care for the plantings along the corridor. To increase awareness among the local population about the importance of local ecosystems, education programs are also offered.

How can we be sure they will be protected for all time?

An Act of the Sri Lankan government has designated the land purchased for the corridor trust lands. This means that the lands are now in the hands of the Sri Lankan public. Rainforest Rescue International has been working with the local government in order to create a protection policy that will protect all rainforest areas remaining under the "green city" sustainable growth zone concept.

What are the main threats to the rainforests and natural resources?

Encroachment for agriculture, as well as the felling of trees, are the main threats to Sri Lanka's rainforests. Local biodiversity is also affected by habitat loss due to destruction and degradation of forests.

Which species are being planted in your area?

There are approximately 1,000 trees planted per hectare. 250 trees were chosen to generate income for the community. The rainforest contains 750 species, many of them endangered or threatened species. Shoriatripesipolia and DipterocarpusZeylanica are examples of these species.

What is the role of local residents in the Project?

Local people participate in the collection of seeds, the propagation of plants and the maintenance of the plant areas.

Which species are being planted in your area?

There are approximately 1,000 trees planted per hectare. 250 trees were chosen to generate income for the community. The rainforest contains 750 species, many of them endangered or threatened species. Shoriatripesipolia and DipterocarpusZeylanica are examples of these species.

What is the significance of the biodiversity corridor?

The Sinharaja/KenneliyaRainforestCorridor Program is designed to increase the conservation areas and habitats of vulnerable rainforest species. It will be the only genetic link that restores the link between the lowland remnant (Kanneliya), and the highland (Sinharaja).

Can I visit the BiodiversityCorridor and other Rainforest Rescue International Projects in Rainforest Rescue International?

Yes. Yes. Rainforest Rescue International offers guided tours to interested parties.

Things to do in Sinharaja Rain Forest

• Sinhagala Nature Trail

• Mulawella Nature Trail

• MaduwanwelaWalawwa

• NeluwaDuwili Ella Falls – Waterfall

• Sathmala Ella – Waterfall

Rivers of Sinharaja Rain Forest

• Koskulana Ganga

• Maha Ganga

• Kudawa Ganga

• MahaDola

• Pitakele Ganga

• Gin Ganga

• Kalukandawa

• Gin Ganga

• NapalaDola

• AranuwaDola

Things to Do in Sri Lanka