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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 valley.

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 squirrel.

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.

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