The majestic mountains in Sri Lanka can be found in isolation or as ranges, which are mostly catchment areas of many rivers in the country. Sudden drops and precipices always enhance the Central Hill’s beauty and are very popular among the adventure tourists. Most of the mountains in Sri Lanka, boast unique experiences and carry with them a wealth of history. You may find the second natural world heritage site of Sri Lanka in these highland mountain ranges, which is the central highlands comprising Adam’s Peak, Horton plains national park and the Knuckles Mountain range.
Horton Plains National Park
Situated in the central highlands, this cloud forest is unlike any other place on the Island and is often compared to the Scottish Highlands for its windswept landscape and cold, wet climate. At an elevation of more than 2000 m, the park is situated on the highest plateau in Sri Lanka. Its terrain is undulating grasslands interspersed with dense cloud forests, rocky outcrops, and waterfalls. The key attraction in the park is ‘The Worlds End, ‘a sheer precipice offering a panoramic view across the southeastern side of the Island.
Knuckles Mountain Range
The Knuckles range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a hiker’s hotspot. The similarity of its peaks to a clenched fist inspired the naming of the field by British surveyors. Locals also refer to the area as ‘Dumbara Kanduvetiya,’ meaning ‘mist-laden mountain range.’
There are many hiking routes in the range, and one of the most famous is a trek of 1.1 km that begins at the Knuckles Conservation Centre (KCC) and leads to the Deanston Village. This trek takes about an hour to complete. The Mini World´s End situated here is an escarpment. It is a fine observation point that gives a panoramic view of the knuckles range and some of the villages in the mountain range’s foothills.
Meemure is a remote forest village with beautiful streams and waterfalls. This little-known place makes you feel like the world has stopped moving, where you can soak in the idyllic surroundings and enjoy just being. Mingling with the villagers, who are happy to converse and show you the true spirit of Sri Lankan hospitality, will make you question your ideologies about happiness in life.
The Adam’s Peak
Adams Peak, known as Sri Pada or ´Secret Footprint´ is a tall, pointed mountain located in central Sri Lanka. In Buddhist tradition it is believed that the footprint is that of the Buddha, In Hindu tradition that of Hanuman or Shiva, and in some Islamic and Christian traditions that of Adam. Many pilgrims of all faiths visit the peak every year.
The region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve and houses many species such as elephants and leopards and includes many endemic species.
Adam’s Peak is also close to the Ratnapura district, known for yielding precious stones like emeralds, rubies, and sapphires, for which Sri Lanka is famous.
Piduruthalagala, also known as Mount Pedro is the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. The mountain takes a pale-yellow colour during summer giving it a straw (piduru) like appearance hence the name Piduruthalagala (Straw Plateau Rock). Whether it is the stunning panoramic view on a clear day or a dream-like view from above the clouds you will not regret the view from the top. There is plenty of wildlife around and it is motorable almost to the peak.
There are close associations between the mountain ranges close by and the Hindu mythology `Ramayanaya`
Kirigalpoththa is the second highest mountain in Sri Lanka. This 7 km trail (one way) will take around 5 1/2 hours of trekking and hiking. Leopard and sambur are the bigger wild animals you may occasionally come across and you may even encounter a few endemic bird species. Attempting Kirigalpththa is recommended for the more adventurous hikers as the conditions can be hard due to the difficulty terrain and inclement weather.
The panoramic view from the summit of Ella Rock with mist and clouds covering the area is quite a treat. Ella Rock is famous for hiking and camping and is situated in the town of Ella.
Ella is a beautiful small town in the humid south of Sri Lanka and situated in the hill country. With its moderate temperature Ella usually has sunny mornings and rainy afternoons. Whilst in Ella you can visit the famous and picturesque nine arches bridge, Diyaluma Falls, or one of many tea plantations. If you’re up for a hike there is Little Adams peak which offers an impressive 360-degree view overlooking the valley.