Udawattekele Forest being situated in the hill country within the intermediate climatic zone, the species combination has been complemented by both wet and dry zone species. Udawattekele Forest Reserve covers an extent of an approximately 104ha which is established as a forest reserve in 1856 and elevated to a sanctuary in 1938. Studies reveled that there are about 400 species of plants inclusive of herbs, ferns and orchids. The park is mainly covered with some introduced tree species, while the area around the lake is dominated by exotic Mahogany trees. The native liana called “Wewal” and other exotic creepers provided the forest a breathtaking beauty.
The rich vegetation of the forest is home to many wild animals. The park hosts 80 bird species including endemic birds like Sri Lankan Myna, Layard’s Parakeet, Sri Lankan Horn bill, Yellow fronted barbet etc. Apart from this 15 species of mammals, 32 species of butterflies and several species of reptiles and amphibians.
Kandy is considered as one of the main and historically important cities in Sri Lanka. In 1371 King Wickramabahu established his kingdom and named this city as “Senkadagala” in remembrance of the Brahmin called “Senkada” who lived in a rock cave in Udawattekele forest. Thereafter all the kings who ruled took appropriate measures to conserve “Udawattekele” forest and regarded it as a part of the Royal Palace. This resulted in declaring the forest as a property of the crown and a restricted zone for the public. (Known as Thahansi Kele) The Royal family used this as a pleasure garden. During foreign invasions and wars, this forest helped the royals to retreat and hide themselves and also as a passage for them to flee to other safer areas.
Available Nature Trails
- Nature trail of 10 K.M – Loop trail – Attractions – Royal Pond, Kandy City view point, Flag point (highest point of the park), Giant bamboo, Ironwood forest, Giant Liana’s, Hermitages and caves, bird species and mammal species.
- December to April
- July and August also recommended