For a refreshingly trekking experience pack you back pack and head off with your guide and naturalist to the knuckles mountain range and trek through villages, dense forests and cultivated land. This trek requires good physical fitness levels for a chance to capture panoramic views from the knuckles massif.
A good starting point for trekking in Sri Lanka are the central hills where the climatic conditions are ideal for prolonged treks. You can experience nature, its bio-diversity and panoramic views from moderate to rugged terrain in the Knuckles massif. Your trekking and hiking journey will pass through some of the untouched terrain of the mountain range.
The region’s thick forests, the lush green rice fields, sliding muddy slopes and glimpses of native birds and animals that whizz past you are memorable moments that you will encounter. A knowledgeable guide is recommended for these trekking expeditions. You must book your trekking tour through your travel agent or tour operator.
Venturing on your own could land you in heaps of trouble; firstly because you do not know the terrain and secondly if you get lost, it will take days for someone to find you. Also, keep in mind there are many wild animals in these areas that could pose a danger to you.
The Knuckles Mountain Range
Knuckles mountain range or knuckles massif as it is called belongs to part of the hill country of
Sri Lanka. Standing majestically 3000 ft above sea level it covers 23 sq. meters of land area. You might want to know why it is called “Knuckles” the reasoning behind this name is because it looks very much like a clenched fist when seen from a distance. The Sri Lankan description “Dumbara Mitiyawatha” meaning “Misty Valley” is more appropriate in the sense that it is relative to ”Misty valley” when translated to English.
The knuckles mountain range is off the bitumen and hence remains an un-spoilt nature reserve. There are a few major routes to these ranges, mostly unfrequented routes which require the visitor to make an extra effort to reach these reserves, now listed as a UNESCO heritage land.
The unfrequented roads I am taking about are the routes leading to the mountain range from Loolwatte, Corbets Gap, Bambarella and Laggala. These routes offer different spectacular views of the mountain range making, your trekking experience the best of a memorable journey.
There are 9 peaks in the mountainous terrain that are 4000 Ft above sea level. The main water streams that start from Knuckles are Mimure Oya, Kalu Ganga and Kote Gange. The highest peak is Gombaniya (Known as the mini-Alps)
Rainfall in this region varies during the year. Maximum rainfall is from October-January and minimum rainfall is from February-September. From February-April you will experience dry weather. Cloud forests covering the area make the atmosphere cold. You will encounter Montane grasslands and pygmy forest, many streams and water falls.
As you climb down from Riverston on to the motor way you will see several peaks of the mountain range from areas such as Gombaniya,Yakungala, Kirigalpota, Dorakulugala and kobonilagala.
Access Routes to Knuckles
Kandy via Wattegama
High fitness levels required
Pass through the town of Kandy and follow the road to Matale via Wattegama through to Panwila and Madukelle until you come across Hulu Ganga falls. There is an old bridge built in 1859 named by the villagers as “Kalu Palama (Black Brige). Quite an appropriate description as the bridge is black.
Kandy via Teldeniya/Hunnasgiriya Route
Moderate fitness levels required
Entering the Knuckles Range from the Hunnasgiriya town is the most sought after trail. This trail offers fantastic picturesque views throughout your trekking journey till you reach Meemure village.
On this route you will come across the Deanston Conservation Centre of the Forest Department, where the trail to Mini World's End starts. Pass the town and head off towards Corbets Gap and Meemure.
Popular Trekking Places in Sri Lanka
Groups interested in Trekking and Camping expeditions in Sri Lanka can send their queries to:
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