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Sinharaja Rain Forest

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Location Type:
 Nature & Wildlife

Distance From Airport: 190 Km (4.15 hour drive)

Distance From Colombo: 160 Km (3.30 hour drive)

Attractions: Sinharaja Rain Forest

 

Sinharaja Rain Forest is a world heritage site and major eco tourism destination, which can also be described as a Tropical Lowland Rain Forest or Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest . Whatever its ‘technical' name, it is undoubtedly a rich treasure trove of nature with a great diversity of habitats and a vast repository of Sri Lanka 's endemic species found nowhere else in the world.

Bird Watching in this ecosystem is particularly interesting because it is home to 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka ! Named as a world heritage site in 1989, this lowland evergreen rain forest is steeped in deep legend and mystery. The word ‘Sinharaja' means, Lion (Sinha) King (Raja), and it is popular belief that the legendary origin of the Sinhala people is from the union between a princess and the lion king who once lived in the forest!

History of Sinharaja Rain Forest

The forest steeped in deep legend and mystery. The word Sinharaja means, lion (sinha) king (raja) and the popular belief is that the legendary origin of the Sinhala people in Sri Lanka is from the descendants of the union the lion king who once lived in the forest and a princess. Sinharaja Forest Reserve is one of the least disturbed and biologically unique lowland rain forests now remaining in Sri Lanka.

The vegetation of Sinharaja is that of humid wet evergreen forest type with a high degree of endemism. In fact some families such as Dipterocarpaceae show an endemism more than 90%. The untapped genetic potential of Sinharaja flora is enormous. Out of the 211 woody trees and lianas so far identified within the southwest lowland Wet Zone of the country at latitudes 6 21- 6 26 and longitudes 80 21- 80-34.It spans over the administrative districts of Ratnapura, Galle and Matara.

 

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