Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve (රිටිගල දැඩි ස්වභාවික රක්ෂිතය)

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Size1,528 hectares
Main attractionRitigala Archeological Site

Ritigala is a lone mountain range between Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa which were the capitals of Sri Lanka for 2000 years. Due to its rich vegetation and biodiversity, this mountain range has been declared a Strict Nature Reserve on 7th November 1941 as a Strict Reserve covering an area of ​​5.29 sq. Km (1528 ha). Part of this mountain range is declared an archaeological site.

The Ritigala Strict Natural Reserve (SNR) located in the Anuradhapura District of Sri Lanka offers a diverse range of environments, with altitudes reaching up to 766 meters. This variation mimics a transition from dry to wet climates and sustains a considerable number of species that would typically inhabit a much larger area.

A total of 417 lower and higher plant taxa have been documented within the reserve, comprising 337 flowering plants. Among these, 54 species (16%) are exclusive to Sri Lanka. The abundance of flora and the significant proportion of endemic species are attributed to the favorable environmental conditions, particularly conducive to the survival of various wet-zone species.

Even though this area was declared as a SNR it is also facing many illegal activities. The identified threats due to anthropogenic activities are illegal encroachments, logging, collecting None Timber Forest Product (NTFP) and allow cattle for grazing inside the protected area.

Despite being designated as a Strict Natural Reserve (SNR), this area is plagued by numerous illegal activities. Identified threats stemming from human activities include unlawful encroachments, logging, collection of honey, medicinal plants, wild fruits and firewood, and the unauthorized grazing of cattle within the protected area.

Ramayana legend has it that Hanuman was asked to bring a particular medicinal plant, to cure Rama, from the Himalayas. When he got there he forgot what the plant was and so he uprooted a whole patch of the forest and brought it back. On the way, he dropped a piece at Ritigala and another at Rumassala in Galle.

Also See

Map of Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites

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Travel Directions to Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve

Route from Colombo to Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve Route from Anuradhapura to Ritigala Strict Nature Reserve
Through : Kelaniya – Ambepussa – Kurunegala – Habarana
Distance : 190 km
Time to spend : 2 – 2.5 hours including the climb
Travel time : 4.5 hours.
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Maradankadawala
Distance : 50
Travel time : 1 hour.
Driving directions : see on google map

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