An overview of the Knuckles Mountain Range
If you are the adventurous type and are enthralled by the occasional hike, the Knuckles Mountain Range is a spot you need to check out. Lying in the hilly region of central Sri Lanka, spanning across the districts of Matale and Kandy, this mountain range draws its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif that resemble the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from various parts of the Matale and Kandy districts. The range’s name was originally assigned by early British surveyors who were exploring the land, however, the range’s Sinhalese name, or at least what the locals refer to it as, is “Dumbara Kanduvetiya”, which means the “mist-laden Mountain Range”. This name excellently depicts the signature appearance of the Knuckles Mountain Range in the way that at any given time of the year, you can expect to see it covered by clouds – especially the higher areas of the range.
While the range undoubtedly adds tremendous aesthetic and visual value to the region, its significance goes well beyond than what just meets the eye. The range is a source of great scientific interest within the island, given that it encompasses a unique atmosphere and biodiversity. Many environmentalists and ecologists claim that the range is a direct microcosmic model of the entire island’s climate – all attributes of the climates you will find across Sri Lanka can be found here. This is incredibly unique given that the range only takes up 0.03% of the island’s total area. It is also important to highlight that, at these heights, the range’s forests are also home to a variety of the country’s fauna and flora – a large portion of the island’s biodiversity resides within this isolated area and the forests within it. More particularly, the isolated Knuckles range is a protected scientific site due to the fact that it is home to many relict endemic flora and fauna – more than 34% of Sri Lanka’s endemic trees, shrubs, and herbs are only found within these forests. Therefore, if you consider yourself an avid fan of the great outdoors, and the beautiful fauna and flora that are found within it, the Knuckles Mountain Range will be a real delight and we are confident that it will exceed your expectations. However, upon visiting the site, please be mindful of the regulations and guidelines put forward by regional authorities and your guides – even the slightest disruptions may result in an imbalance within the fragile ecosystem, which may result in harmful consequences for the flora and fauna living within the range.
The region is already experiencing disruptions given that the site is home to the large-scale cultivation of cardamom – the forests provide the best conditions for this. Unfortunately, the overcultivation poses a major threat to the region’s fragile forest ecosystem, which is something many environmentalists of late have flagged. Therefore, when you pay a visit to the Knuckles Mountain Range, be sure to bask in the region’s raw beauty and bliss, while understanding the challenges and conservation efforts taking place within it. You may run into a few very insightful local and international conservationists, so, be sure to have a chat with them and see how you too can play a role in such efforts – not just in Sri Lanka, but around the world!
There is so much to check out in Sri Lanka – especially the Matale and Kandy districts! If you plan on visiting the region, expect to be amazed by the natural picturesque landscape and the overwhelming biodiversity. If you would like more information about the region, please get in touch with us or check out the other sections below!