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Jathika Namal Uyana

One of the more intriguing attractions of the Cultural Triangle, the Jathika Namal Uyana or ‘The National Ironwood Forest’ is considered to be the largest Ironwood forest in Asia and a hotspot for various endemic fauna and flora to thrive in, including special herbal plants. Coupled with the rather, out of place Pink Quartz Mountain, the National Heritage site is a haven for the nature lover and the adventure seeker.

Best Known For

  • The Jathika Namal Uyana is famed for being a biodiversity hotspot that serves to be an idyllic setting for endemic floral species to take refuge in, especially the National Tree of Sri Lanka, the Ironwood Tree.
  • Another highlighting feature is the Pink Quartz Mountain that possesses a history of more than 550 million years and has become a stomping ground for the adventure traveller, as it boasts of stunning views of the distant mountain ranges and valleys in the Cultural Triangle.

Interesting Facts

  • The Jathika Namal Uyana is a 260 acre forest of Ironwood Trees, making it one of the more unique forests in Sri Lanka and the largest Ironwood forest in Asia.
  • Although covered by the covered by the Ironwood trees, the forest is also host to various other floral species too.
  • In particular, 102 species of which 82 are special herbal plants that are known to cure an array of ailments.
  • It has been recorded that a total of 18 species of birds and a number of mammals dwell within the park, including elephants, leopards, monkeys and deer.
  • The Pink Quartz Mountain being another highlighting feature of the forest proves to be the largest type of mountain in the whole of Asia.
  • The distinctive mountain of quartz has even connections to the Moghul Empire of India, as it is believed that Emperor Shah Jahan completed his masterpiece of the Taj Mahal by milling quartz from this very mountain.
  • 60 acres of the forested land has been dedicated to 11 ancient historical and religious monuments that date back to the 8th and 10th centuries, during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa and King Dappula IV respectively.
  • Due to the abundance of Ironwood Trees or ‘Na’ trees, as the locals call it, along with its healing properties, the tree has been officially declared the National Tree of Sri Lanka.
  • A feature of interest that entices quite a number of travellers is the summit of the mountain that gives you a 360 degree view of the Cultural Triangle and is further accentuated when the sun is setting in the distance.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The Jathika Namal Uyana is open daily from 7.00am to 5.00pm, however, it is best to visit the natural reserve during the early mornings and evenings, so you can avoid the crowds.
  • The season to visit the forest typically occurs during the months of January and May, since the weather is dry, making it easy to traverse through the forest.
  • Do keep in mind that, although not really a difficult walk to the Pink Quartz Mountain of the forest, it still is quite a long walk.
  • Moreover, the surface of the rock can be quite sharp and could lead to fatal injuries, if feet are left unprotected.
  • Considering all these, please come prepared with snacks and water, along with hiking gear, namely hiking shoes.
  • Please do not litter the natural surroundings and refrain from bringing polythene to the forest.
  • It is also best to note that this is a religious site, as there is a large statue of Buddha at the summit of the Pink Quartz Mountain and could get very crowded during the late mornings and afternoons.
  • Due to the sunset occurring after the forest is closed to the public, it still can be accessed on special occasions. Just give a call and let them know of your arrival. The authorities will be happy to oblige.

In conclusion, the Jathika Namal Uyana is one of the more unique and unusual heritage sites of Sri Lanka, as it boasts of an endemic fauna and flora, along with some intriguing natural features in the form of the quartz mountain. Therefore, making it perfect for the traveller looking for the ‘road less travelled’ in the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka.

Season

January

May

Tickets

Entrance Fee
LKR 800

Tickets At

Type

Nature and Outdoors

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