The protected area known as the Namal Uyana is situated in the village of Madatugama, on the Colombo Anuradhapura road. It consists of 972 hectares of forest cover, of which 260 acres are covered with Na trees.
Another unique feature of this area is that it is the location of the biggest pink quartz mountain, not only in Sri Lanka, but in the whole of South Asia. This mountain is said to be over 550 million years old.
The mountain range is located 1,050 metres above sea level, and comprises seven hills. Legend says that pink quartz from this area was taken to India to build the Taj Mahal.
The Namal Uyana is described as an ideal site to carry out educational and research activities, and is suitable for environmental, geographical and archaeological studies. The Namal Uyana is home to 62 varieties of local herbs and 18 species of birds. It is also the abode of one out of the 14 rarest chameleon species of the country. Another commonly observed creature in this area is the Monalusca, the snail-like animal that used to be consumed by humans over 5,000 years ago.
It also depicts the characteristics of both the wet and dry zones. Although the water in the Rajarata area is usually brackish, the water in the Namal Uyana is not so. According to the folklore, this was the original site earmarked for the establishment of the Mahamevna Uyana in Anuradhapura.
The monks’ quarters and the hospital, which are now in a ruined state, are proof of the glory days of ancient Sri Lanka. The Kala Weva, Avukana, Vijithapura, the Knuckles mountains, Dambulla stadium and Sigiriya are just some of the scenery one gets treated to, if one gets onto the top of the mountain.