Knuckles Mountain Range (නකල්ස් අසිරිය)

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A wonderful place for hiking and nature tours

In the central and southern parts of Sri Lanka, there are several peaks which are highly ecological and rich in biodiversity. These mountains are preserved as forests and are the starting points of many rivers.

Knuckles is one the most important bio-diversity environments with a range of mountains and a great water and wildlife resource.

Loved by travellers for its beauty Knuckles Mountains has become a hot spot in eco-tourism in Sri Lanka.

The Knuckles Mountain Range covers parts of the Kandy and Matale districts and is separated from the Central Hills by the Mahaveli Valley to the South and East and the Matale Valley to the West. Its name is derived from the shape of a clenched fist, which forms a scenic wonderland. What makes the Knuckles mountain range unique is the geographical character of its location. Perpendicular to the mountain range that runs from Laggala to Urugala runs three distinct but lesser ranges while there are other minor ranges running parallel to it.

There are a total of 34 clearly identified ranges within the 62 square miles that make up 3000-6500 feet in height.

In certain parts of Knuckles Range, within the Knuckles Conservation Forest, the natural vegetation occurs as a pygmy forest with trees just over waist high. A good part of the area in all three properties still retains its pristine vegetation cover.


Knuckles Mountain Range is important due to the historical value it carries and therefore it can be categorized as one of the valuable heritages in Sri Lanka. The story of Knuckles (Dumbara Hill) goes back to prehistoric periods. It is said that in ancient times it was referred to as Giri Divaina and as Malaya Rata and there is archaeological evidence that speaks of ancient Yaksha settlement in the area.

People believe that the name Lanka is derived from which much folklore has gathered over the centuries. The Knuckles Mountain Range is an invariable referent in any salutary appreciation of the last kingdom of the Sinhala Kanda Udarata.

The importance of the Knuckles Mountain Range is obtained from several factors. It has a quality to it because of the mountain peaks, the crystal clear and perennial waterways, the cloud forests and the exquisite fauna and flora. Pregnant with history running into several millennials and a veritable treasure house of cultural heritage, the Knuckles Mountain Range can be considered a mirror to the past.


A remarkable feature of this area is that most of the climatic conditions of Sri Lanka can be found within the extent of a mountain range. All these hanging climatic conditions can be experienced within half an hour’s walk through this valley. The location of the hills, the particular effect of the monsoons and the wind factor generate a certain climatic diversity in the area. In fact, in these hills, one can find characteristics of all the key ecological zones found in the country.


Average annual rainfall lies between 3000-5000ml, and the temperature of the region ranges between 5.5 degrees and 35 degrees Celsius. It is through a gap in the mountain that the winds of the Southwest Monsoon enter the Dry Zone. The average wind speed has been measured to be approximately 7.2km/hour and humidity in the range lies between 57%-90%.

Also See

Map of Knuckles Mountain range

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