Knuckles, home to many endemic plants and animals
The Knuckles Mountain range situated in the Matale district derived
its name 'Knuckles' because it appears to resemble a set of knuckles in
a closed fist. It is a beautiful and a wonderful place with a cool
climate in 155 sq km. It is a paradise for those who love to hike or
mountain bike. It is also known as Dumbara Hill.
The Knuckles Mountain Range is important due to its historical value.
The story of Knuckles goes back to the prehistoric period.
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.
The importance of the Knuckles Mountain Range is due to several
factors. The crystal clear and perennial waterways, cloud forests and
exquisite fauna and flora gives the Knuckles its beauty. A remarkable
feature of this area is that most of the climatic conditions of Sri
Lanka can be found within the mountain range. Different climatic
conditions can be experienced within a half an hour walk through this
The Knuckles Range is an ideal natural laboratory for the study of
biodiversity, ecological zones, natural processes, botany and zoology.
Knuckles holds a wide variety of fauna. Most importantly it is home
to many endangered and endemic species. Two hundred and fourty seven
vertebrate species have been recorded in this area where 26 percentage
are endemic to Sri Lanka, including 14 birds and nine fish species. More
than a 100 resident and migrant bird species can be seen at different
times of the year.
The Knuckles Mountain Range is home to most of the mammals found in
Sri Lanka. In addition to elephants, leopards and sambhurs there are
also wild boar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer and giant
There are 1,033 flowering plants in the Knuckles Mountain Range. One
hundred and sixty are endemic to Sri Lanka. Knuckles consists almost
one-third of the island's flowering plant species.