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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Beautiful Mountains in Sri Lanka

We must protect Nature for posterity

Mountains in Sri Lanka

the central and southern parts of Sri Lanka there are several peaks that are of ecological importance and rich in bio diversity. These mountains are preserved as forests and are the starting points of many rivers. Let us learn some details about them

Sri Pada Peak 2243 m

The Sri Pada Peak is Sri Lanka’s holy mountain, where people go on pilgrimage to worship the footprint of Lord Buddha
The Sri Pada Peak is the only mountain in the world, where four major religionsgather to worship. To the Buddhist, the imprint found on the summit of the mountain is the hallowed footprint of Lord Buddha. To the Hindus, the footprint is that of God Shiva. To the Christians, it is the footprint of St. Thomas, and to the Muslims it’s the foot print of Adam.
In Sanskrit literature, Sri Pada is called Mount Lanka, Ratnagiri (Mountain of Gems), Malayagiri or Mount Rohana. This last name, like its Arab and Persian equivalent, Al Rohoun, is derived from the name of the south western district of Sri Lanka where Sri Pada is situated. In several Tamil works it is known as Svargarohanam (The ascent to heaven) while the Portuguese called it Pico de Adam and the English Adam’s Peak. In the Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka written in the 5th century CE, it is called Samantakuta ( Samanta’s Abode) while in modern Sinhalese it is often called Samanelakanda (Saman’s Mountain). Long before Buddhism came to Sri Lanka in about 246 BCE Sri Pada was revered as the abode the god called Samanta, or sometimes Saman or Sumana. This local mountain god was destined to go onto great things. The Theravada Buddhists of Sri Lanka later made Samanta the guardian of their land and their religion.
Sri Lanka is the home of numerous species of glorious butterflies and once a year they form into long chains, sometimes consisting of hundreds of these creatures, and go through the countryside. Legend has it that butterflies were going to Sri Pada to pay homage to the Buddha’s footprint. The other animal associated with the sacred mountain, the leech, is far less pleasant. Ibn Batuta, the Moroccan traveller who visited Sri Lanka in 1344, like many people before and since, was appalled by the tenacity and ferocity of these leeches and mentioned that pilgrims would carry lemons to keep them at bay.
Today the jungle besides the paths that lead up the mountain is cleared at the beginning of each pilgrim season, thus lessening this problem. But rest for a moment on a rock at the jungle’s edge or walk into it to answer a call of nature and hundreds of ravenous leeches will attack.

Pidirutalagala Mountain 2534 m

Sri Lanka’s highest mountain which is 2534 m above sea level,will take you through some exciting and anxious moments because of the difficulty of getting to the top, but the climb is worth the effort, because it will take you through some beautiful scenery that is unforgettable. One will come across beautiful small waterfalls, because many waterfalls begin at this mountain.

Knuckles Mountain 1515 m

Knuckles is one the most important bio diversity environments with a range of mountains and a great water and wild life resource.
Loved by travellers for it’s beauty , the Knuckles mountain has become a hot spot in eco tourism in Sri Lanka.
This is one of biggest mountain ranges in Sri Lanka.
It is located in the middle of the country, in Kandy and the Matale district, locals callt his as “Dumbara Mitiyawatha “, meaning, ‘ Misty Valley’, because this place is always covered with mist.
It covers up to 21,000ha, with 35 mountains rising up to 900m above the sea level. The highest mountain is Gombaniya, it’s about 1900m. The people living around this range get about 60% of their supplies from the forest for their day to day living.

Namunukula mountain 2035 m

Namukula is one of best mountains in Sri Lanka for an eco adventure. From the top you can see the flat plane of the eastern forests that include Udawalawe and Yala.
Namunukula is the name of a mountain range in Sri Lanka’s province of Uva. Its main peak is 6600 feet high. The name means “Nine Peaks”. It also the name of a town near it which is sometimes called Namunukula Town (6ø 52’ N 81ø 7’ E).

Haputale Mountain 2351 m
Totupala Mountain 2351 m

Gongala Mountain

Situated in the Rakwana mountain range Gongala is a great place for an eco experience of Sinharaja. From the west side you can see the Sinharaja Rain Forest Mountains and the Canopy.
From the Nothern and Eastern side you can see Rakwana and Balangoda as well as the Udawalawe forest in the distance. The Southside view is spectacula. Matara the sea town of the south can be seen from this mountain The drive to the mountain to is breathtaking.

Worlds End

One of the attractions of Horton plains is Worlds End, where one could see the fall to the tea estates down bellow.
You can see a dramatic drop of 1312m from Worlds End and a fantastic view of the surrounding hills and the mountain ranges wreathed in mist and clouds. On clear days, even the Indian ocean which is about 81 km to the south is visible.

Sigriya

Sigiriya is a giant rock peak where King Kashayapa build his citadel and is now a world heritage and declared as the worlds Eeighth Wonder.Tthe Sigiriya frescoes and ancient architectural master pieces of the Sri Lankans are the main attractions in Sigiriya.

Mihintale

This sacred mountain peak was where Arahat Mahinda met King Devanampiyatissa which changed Sri Lanka’s history and established Buddhism.

Batalegala Mountain

Named as Bible Rock by the Europeans, this fascinating mountain is seen from Kadugannwa pass on the Kandy-Colombo Road. Situated in Aranayaka, it is an ecologically important area in the central hills.

Hunnasgiriya Mountain

A fascinating mountain of the Knuckles Range is a climbers’ paradise with it’s ecology, water streams and surrounding scenes.

Hantana Mountains -Kandy

Famous among local climbers Hantana can be seen from Kandy dressed in mist. A great place to go when you are in Kandy.

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