Sinharaja National Park
Sinharaja is a national park in the southwest of Sri Lanka, which is the remnant of an ancient forest that once covered the earth's proto-continent Gondwanna. The huge historical continent was fragmented, and only a small piece with an area of approximately 90 km2 preserved the appearance of the forests of that time. According to folk legends, the forest was formerly called "Sinhalei Makalana", which translated meant "forest with invisible boundaries", then it was called "Raja Sinhalei Vanaya", meaning "Royal Forest of Sinhale", and later it remained simply Sinharaja.
The Legend of Sinharaja
The name of the park literally means “lion” (sinha) and “king” (raja). According to legend, the Sinkh people were born in these forests through the union of a lion and a princess who lived in this forest. The ancestors of the Sinkhs are depicted on the country's flag.
Sinharaja is located on a picturesque ridge of 9 mountains, of which the most prominent is Sinhagala, and tourist guides often lead tourists to this mountain. Walking this route is easy and accessible to anyone; the only complication can be caused by excessive humidity, since up to 5000 mm of precipitation falls here. The views from the mountain will instantly cover all the hardships experienced during the ascent.
Flora and fauna of Sinharaja Park
Sinharaja National Park is surrounded by mountains with turbulent rivers, thanks to which a unique flora and fauna has formed here, far from everyone else. The forest here is multi-tiered, which are unique in their own way. The Sinharaja Forest amazes with its huge tree crowns, reaching a height of 50 meters. Over 60% of the park's trees are endemic and do not grow anywhere else. Here you can find eagles, bats, giant fruit bats, langurs, giant squirrels, and white-tailed ratufs. Due to the fact that the weather here is the same all year round, you can immediately see the plants blooming, flowering, and fruiting.
Between the edges of the trees and the forest floor is the middle tier. This tier is full of bird life. amphibians and reptiles. In the Sinharaja National Park, 21 bird species out of 26 rare for Sri Lanka have been recorded, including dark blue flycatchers, yellow-eared bulbuls, and racket-tailed drongs. In the forest there are many butterflies fluttering among the dusk, among the Vindula Eros, Elena Ornithopters, swallowtails - endemic. The leaves here are narrow, which is why water drains quickly and microbes do not multiply on them, and moss does not grow.