Udawatta Kele – Royal Forest Park of Kandy

Year and Month 2016 December 26th
Number of Days One
Crew Two
Accommodation N/A
Transport Public Transport
Activities Scenery, Photography,Hiking, Nature trail, City Viewing
Weather Sunny
Route Gelioya -> Peradeniya -> Kandy -> Udawattekele -> Kandy Lake –> Return Home
Tips, Notes and Special remark
  1. Start early as possible. Park Opening hours 8am – 5pm
  2. Bags/Polythene not allowed.
  3. Unmarried couples are not allowed.
  4. Do not;
    • remove or damage any plant
    • Trap or disturb any wildlife
    • Vandalize structures, lades or sign
    • Litter the area
    • Follow the direction in the map.
Author Ramzy

History

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 Senkanda’ who lived in a rock cave in Udawattekele forest. Thereafter all the kings who ruled took appropriate measures to conserve `Udawatte-kele: 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 (Thahansi Kele) for the public. The royal family used this forest 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.

Biodiversity

Udawattakele forest being situated in the mid country within the intermediate climatic zone, the species composition has been complemented by both wet and dry zone species. Studies revealed that there are about 400 species of plants inclusive of ferns, herbs and orchids. The Park is mainly covered with some introduced tree species, while the area around the lake is dominated by exotic Mahogani (Sweetenia macrophylla) and Myroxlion balsamum. The native liana called “Wevel” (Calamus sps.) and other exotic creepers provide the forest a breathtaking beauty. The rich vegitation of the forest is a home to many wild animals. The park hosts 15 defferent mammals, more than 80 species of birds, 32 species of butterflies and several varieties of reptiles and amphibians. Among the large mammals, Barking Deer, Wild-boar and Tree living mammals species called Toque-monkey are commonly seen in the area. Birds including Black-rumped Sharma and endemic Sri Lankan birds, Dark fronted babbler, Grey horn-bill, Hill myna and Layard paraquet are found in the park. Other bird species such as Owls, Eagals, Kingfishers, 44k4, Wood-peckeres and Fly-catchers are also common. fresh water turtle species called Black Turtle and fish species called Thilapia are common aquatic fauna in the Royal pond.

Attractions of Udawatta Kele;

  1. Lady Horton’s Road
  2. Royal Pond
  3. Giant Bamboo
  4. Senkada Cave
  5. City View Point
  6. Information Centre
  7. Hermitages and Caves
  8. Kodimale (Flag Point)
  9. Pus-Wel (Giant Liana)
  10. Iron Wood Forest

Lady Horton’s Road

This 3km long road was constructed in 1834 by the governor Wilmot Horton and named after his beloved wife as a remembrance and it is the first and main road passing through Udawate-kele. Among the few other smaller walks, which branch off from the main road, Lovers Walk encircles the Royal pond. Lady Gorden’s drive which was constructed by governor Gorden in 1881. This track ideal for bird watching, many bird species including Fish-owl can be seen at all-time of the day.

Royal pond

According to the legendary information It is believed that the pond located within Udawatekele forest was used by the Royal family for bathing purposes. People also believe that a gold pot carrying valuables belonged to King Keerthi Sri Rajasinghe is hidden at the bottom of this pond. They also believe that there was a tunnel connecting the pond with the Kandy Lake.

Giant Bamboo

This large bamboo tree called Giant Bamboo (Dedrocalamus giganteus) is an introduced species for ornamental purposes which is native to southeast Asia. It can attain a height of about 35 meters and a diameter of about 35 centimeters.

The Senkanda Cave

A hermit by the name ‘Brahmin Senkanda’ has lived in this cave during the tenure of King Gajaba who ruled the country from 114 to 136 AD. Nearly 1200 years later, human settlements started in Kandy. In 1371 AD, King Wickramabahu established his kingdom here and named it as “Senkadagala” in memory of the Brahmin Senkada who lived in the cave.

City view point

This place provides fantastic panoramic view of the Kandy city and Lake. The close view of Hantana and Alagalla Rocky Mountains also can be seen.

Information Center

The Information Center in Udawattekele Forest provides all information regarding the forest to the visitors.

Hermitages and Caves

There are two hermitages located within the forest named “Senanayaka Aramaya” and German Temple. They function as meditation centers. Two rock caves named “China Visuddhi lena” and “Maithree lena” are also used for meditation by Buddhist monks.

Kodimale (Flag point)

There is a ridge-way leading to a point which is about in height.This is the hieghts point within the Udawatte kele Forest. During the period of Kings rule National Flag had been raised in this point.

Puss-Wel (Giant Liana)

A giant liana called Puss-wel(Entada puseatha) which is 200 years old an spreading over an area of nearly 2 hectares can be found within the Udawatta Kele Forest. In spite of its enormous length, it carries a large pod which is nearly 5 feet long.

Ironwood Forest

Ironwood tree (Mesua ferrea) which is locally called as “Na” is the national tree of Sri Lanka which belongs to the family Clusiaceae. A patch of forest consisting of this species are found within the forest which is relieved to be planted in 1926. It has beautiful foliage consisting of bright red young leaves and fragrant white flowers. Timber of this tree is very hard and used for beams when constructing sacred buildings.

We spent around 3 hours within the Forest park and returned back to home. On the way we did a quick visit to the lake.

Thanks for reading..

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