Discover the Magic of Namal Uyana Ironwood Forest
Duration from Hotel : ~33 min
Distance from Hotel : 21 kms
Difficulty Level : 3
Namal Uyana, located just a 45-minute drive from Elephas Resort, is a serene forest reserve nestled in the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. This ancient Ironwood forest covers an area of 260 acres, and is considered the largest of its kind in Asia. The forest is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, making it a popular attraction for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts alike.
As you enter the forest, you are greeted by a calming silence, broken only by the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves. The thick canopy of trees provides ample shade from the tropical sun, making it an ideal place to take a leisurely walk and explore the forest’s hidden treasures.
The Ironwood trees themselves are a sight to behold. Towering up to 100 feet in height, these ancient trees are over 150 years old and boast a massive girth of up to 20 feet. The trees are believed to have been planted during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa, over 2,000 years ago, making them a fascinating relic of Sri Lanka’s rich history.
As you make your way through the forest, keep an eye out for the many species of birds that call Namal Uyana home. The forest is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 150 species of birds recorded here. Some of the more common species you might encounter include the Indian roller, purple heron, and painted stork. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a Sri Lankan junglefowl or a grey hornbill.
But it’s not just birds that call Namal Uyana home. The forest is also home to a variety of other wildlife, including monkeys, giant squirrels, and even some elusive leopards. You might also spot some reptiles, such as monitor lizards or even the occasional snake.
One of the highlights of a visit to Namal Uyana is the Lotus Pond. This tranquil pond is surrounded by lotus flowers, which bloom in shades of pink and white. It’s a popular spot for visitors to take a break and soak up the peaceful surroundings.
Another fascinating feature of Namal Uyana is the ancient ruins that are scattered throughout the forest. These ruins are believed to be the remains of an ancient monastery that dates back to the 3rd century BC. The monastery is said to have been built by King Devanampiyatissa himself, and was home to over 5,000 monks at its peak.
Today, the ruins provide a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the remains of the monastery, including the ancient stupa, meditation halls, and other buildings. It’s a fascinating look into the country’s past, and a reminder of the incredible history and culture that can be found here.
Overall, a visit to Namal Uyana Ironwood Forest is a must for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. With its ancient trees, fascinating wildlife, and rich history, it’s a truly enchanting experience that will stay with you long after you leave.