Udawattakele Sanctuary, or Royal Forest Park, is a wildlife sanctuary in Kandy city. You can observe this sanctuary behind the Temple of the Tooth Relic. It covers almost 104 ha (257 acres). Udawattakele was declared as a forest reserve in 1856 by the British government. Then it became a sanctuary in 1938. Today, travelers can enter this forest park, which can be described further as ‘ a nice place to trek in the Kandy area’.
Udawattakele Royal Forest has a long history. It runs when the Kandyan Kingdom starts torment. It runs when the Kandyan Kingdom starts in the 14th century. In those days, this was a large forest area, which was considered a rainforest. Later, this was called the “Udawasala Watta’ during the Kandyan era. The British captured the Kandyan kingdom in 1815, and the forest area became destroyed because of the cutting of trees. However, today it is a conservation area that is a habitat for many wild plants and animals.
You can see the canopy, sub-canopy, and underground forest covered here. The dense forest cover doesn’t allow sunlight to penetrate to the floor. Therefore, you can experience a very cool climate. As we mentioned earlier, you can observe many types of plants. Sources say that Udawattakele Sanctuary is home to 405 plant species, and almost 100 of them are endemic to Sri Lanka. Apart from that, it is home to 81 bird species and 21 snakes. The forest area is also a water source and it supplies essential water to the Kandy Lake.
You need to buy a ticket to enter to the forest and it is open between 8am to 5pm.But you are not allowed to take plastics and polythene. This is certainly a fabulous place to do a relaxing walk with fresh air. You can further experience a stunning view of the Kandy City from here. Giant Pus Wela is key attraction of the Udawattakele Sanctuary. Waterpond, Kodimale, Senkada Cave and Garrison Symmetry are the other major attraction of this forest.
(Udawatta Kele Image Source: I Love Kandy facebook page)