Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ecotourism - Sri Lnaka


Sri Lanka is the Pearl of the Indian Ocean and it is the one of the 25 Biodiversity hot spots of the world. Sri Lanka has the highest Biodiversity per 10,000 square km in Asia.

Fifteen distinct bio regions in an area of 62,500 square km each offering different landscapes and wildlife opportunities - with an ancient civilization contemporary to that of the Greeks and Romans and numerous cultural sites of antiquity, including six world heritage sites - Sri Lanka has an exotic and vibrant resource base of Eco tourism.

Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja is the most famous rain forest in Sri Lanka. Bio diversity of the forest is very high and a large proportion of the flora in this forest is endemic to the country and some endemic to the Singharaja Forest itself.

It was declared a National Heritage Wilderness Site in 1988 and a World Heritage Site in 1989. This is spreading over the districts of Rathnapura, Matara and Galle and Covering a total area of 118425 acres. In past the forest was known as “Sinhalaye Mukalana” and Sinhalaye Raja Vanaya. There are many points of entry into Sinharaja. One could come through Kalawana; by way of Veddagala, from the Eastern side; through Rakwana Morning Side Estate; from the Southwest, the Beverley Estate in Deniyaya; from Northeast through Daffodil Estate, Rakwana; and from the Southeast, through Kosmulla along the Hiniduma-Neluwa Road.

Sinharaja lies 90m above sea level with its highest point being 1170m above sea level. The forest is 21 kms long and its maximum width is 7kms. At the narrowest point the width is 3 kms. The annual rainfall lies between 3000-6000 mm, while the average temperature ranges between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius. The total density of flora belonging to each category is around 24,0000 per hectare. The forest has tall trees growing in close proximity, but winding paths make it easy to walk along the forest floor.

It is aboded by water monitors, torque macaques, leopards, giant squirrels, purple-faced leaf monkeys and leeches.

If consider about bird life , it is includes Ceylon Spurfowl, Ceylon Junglefowl, Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Sri Lanka Hanging Parrot, Layard's Parakeet, Red-faced Malkoha, Green-billed Coucal, Chestnut-backed Owlet, Ceylon Grey Hornbill, Yellow-fronted Barbet, Ceylon Small Barbet, Black-capped Bulbul, Spotted-winged Thrush, Brown-capped Babbler, Orange-billed Babbler, Ashy-headed Laughing-Thrush, Ceylon Blue Magpie, Ceylon White-headed Starling, Ceylon Hill Munia, Ceylon Hill Myna, Malabar Trogon, Black Bulbul, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Green Imperial Pigeon, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch and Yellow-browned Bulbul.

Sinhagala (742 Mtrs.) is the most prominent of all the nine peaks that are found in Sinharaja. Other peaks are as follows.
Hinipitigala Peak (1,171Mtrs.) , Dotugala Peak ( 769Mtrs.), Mulawella Peak( 760Mtrs.), Kosgulana (797Mtrs.), Hinipitigala West( 1170Mtrs.), Hinipitigala East (1168 Mtrs.), Pathinigala (605 Mtrs.), Tibbotagala( 904 Mtrs.) and Kohilarambe (757 Mtrs.)

Map of the Sinharaja Rainforest

A - Kudawa Conservation Centre
B - Jeep track from Kudawa Conservation Centre to Kudawa Research Station
C - Mulawella Peak
D - Kudawa Research Station
E - Gal Yen Yaya
F - Sinhagala Peak
G - Pitadeniya Conservation Centre
H - Pitadeniya Ticket Counter
I - Track from Mediripitiya to Pitadeniya Conservation Centre
J - Kohila Aramba
K - Kekuna Ella
L - Patan-oya Ella
M - Duwili Ella (Kosmulla)
N - Morningside Conservation Centre
O - Natural Pool
P - Duwili Ella (Morningside)
1 - Wathurawa- Mulawella
2 - From Kudawa Conservation Centre to Nawanda Tree
3 - From Sinhagala Trail to Gal Len Yaya
4 - Sinhagala trail from Kudawa
5 - Kohila Aamba Trail
6 - Kekuna Ella and Pata-oua Ella Trail
7 - Sinhagala Trail from Pitadeniya
8 - Duwili Ella Trail from Denuwakanda
9 - Duwili Ella Trail from MCC
10 - From Morningside to the natural pool
11 - Trail from Kosmulla via Duwili Ella to Siththara gal lena (cave)

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