Monday, January 23, 2012

Knuckles Mountain Range

The Knuckles Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, north-east of the city of Kandy. The range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif which resemble the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from certain locations in the Kandy District.

Whilst this name was assigned by early British surveyors, the Sinhalese residents have traditionally referred to the area as Dumbara Kanduvetiya meaning mist-laden mountain range (Cooray, 1984). The entire area is characterised by its striking landscapes often robed in thick layers of cloud but in addition to its aesthetic value the range is of great scientific interest. It is a climatic microcosm of the rest of Sri Lanka. The conditions of all the climatic zones in the country are exhibited in the massif. At higher elevations there is a series of isolated cloud forests, harbouring a variety of flora and fauna, some of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Although the range constitutes approximately 0.03% of the island’s total area it is home to a significantly higher proportion of the country’s biodiversity.

One of the hill top of Knuckles, located in Matale district, 142 kilometers from Colombo. The middle of Rattota – Pallegama road. The path from Rattota, consists of 14 bends up to Riverstan. It is one of several hill tops in the Knuckles range being located in a windy gap on a range of scenic mountains with frequently changing climate; Riverstan was highly popular with foreign & local travelers. Two telecommunication towers were setup on the both summits of the Riverstan Mountain. The access road for them was a private one and no vehicles were allowed beyond the Riverstan gap. The climate was changed in every minute, Sometimes it brought little sun rays, and sometime cool wind, but most of the time with a thick mist & the wind was blowing briskly, really that was an amazing. The forest was consisted with pigmy trees. “Maha rewla” (Old man’s beard) and many orchids were driven out their loneliness. The mist was gained them a fresh & wet look for ever. It was an eye-catching view of Pitawala pathana & paddy fields of lonely villages in the Knuckles range. Since the surrounding was covered with a shawl of mist, there is a tiny waterfall in Bamarakiriella village close to Riverstan.

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