The natural wonders of Sri Lanka are impressive beyond words. Its golden shores, amazing cascades, extensive range of wildlife, and what so not? Yes, all of them are true marvels that allures any who visits them. Above all, the delight of the montane meadow and the cloud timberland of Horton Plains, can never be disregarded. And why not? Its wealthy biodiversity rich with endemic species, further enhances the value of this spectacular surrounding. It is additionally a prevalent traveller goal on this splendid island. Thus, we thought of sharing with you the delight of this nature’s fascination. Here we go!
Where is Horton Plains Located?
Horton Plains rests in a charming environment in the Central highlands of Sri Lanka. To be specific, it lies around 8 km away from Ohiya, 6 km away from the world-famous Ohiya Gap/Dondra Observe and 32 km away from Nuwara Eliya.
How do I Get to Horton Plains?
You can get to Horton plains via the following routes.
- Via Nuwara Eliya, Pattipola and Ambewela (32km)
- Via Welimada Haputaleor, Boralanda, Ohiya (38km)
- Hakgala, Rendapola, Ambewela, pattipola, Nuwara Eliya (38km)
What is the Best Time to Visit Horton Plains?
The start of the year, particularly from January to March, is the perfect time to visit Horton Plains National Park.
Most days of the year, the park stays shrouded with clouds and mist, but not at the start of the year. Therefore, the best is to visit Horton Plains in the course of January to March if you wish to get the best views. During this time of the year, the park is also less crowded. Also, make sure to go early in the morning and to hit your destination by 9 am.
The History of Horton Plains
This area was first known as ‘Maha Eliya Thanna’. Later on, it got the name ‘Horton Plains’, in honouring Sir Robert Horton, the Governor of Sri Lanka from 1831–1837. Besides, Horton Plains was proclaimed to be a nature reserve in 1969. Finally, it was designated as a national park on 16 March 1988. Besides, the Department of Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka governs this wonderful site at present.
Moreover, the Horton Plains is also significant as an archaeological site owing to the valuable history that it holds with it. Recent studies of buried pollen by Prof. R. Premathilake show that the present-day Horton Plains vegetation was stabilised as recently as 9,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age. Also, these data suggest that on-going global climate change could bring about significant changes in Horton Plains vegetation. Interestingly, these pollen studies led also to the discovery of evidence of cereal (oats and barley) cultivation on Horton Plains as long as 13,000 years ago, the earliest evidence of agriculture in southern Asia.
Significant Features of Horton Plains
Horton Plains is, despite its limited location, the home of a rich and special montane flora. A thesis that was led by the late Prof. S. Balasubramaniam showed that about half of all woody plants that occur here are endemic to Sri Lanka, with many others sharing only with the Southern Indian montane forests (e.g., the Nilgiri Hills). Several other species, such as the Arundinaria dwarf bamboo, densifolia are found nowhere outside the Horton Plains, abundant in exposed marshy areas. Similarly, about half of the endemic species of Sri Lanka are birds (about 90 species overall in the park’s bird inventory) occur here. Besides, on the plains, all classes of vertebrate animals have distinctive species.
Further, the fields of Horton include a tenderly undulating good country level at the southern conclusion of Sri Lanka’s central mountain extent. It is ruled by Mount Totupolakanda (2,357m) to the north and Mount Kirigalpotta to the west (2,389m). Two slopes filling the Horton Plain have altogether contributed to its awe-inspiring physiognomy, “End of Huge Universes” by 884m.
The charm of the mountain greenery encompassing the fields, as discontinuously darkened by fog, is escalated by the starting drop of Dough puncher. At the crest of Kirigalpotta, the park’s elevation shifts from around 1,800m to 2,389m. The most noteworthy tableland in Sri Lanka is the level at 2,100m.The region’s yearly precipitation is around 2540 mm, but it can reach 5000 mm for the Horton Fields. Rain happens for much of the year, but from January to Walk there’s a dry season.
Horton Fields is popular for its copious biodiversity and for its local greenery. It has been found that 5% of the species are endemic to Sri Lanka. The level bolsters prairies are bordered and scattered with thick montane cloud woodland regions. A wealthy herbaceous greenery, with different species of both mild and tropical beginning, flourishes on the patanas. A few decades prior, a critical extent of the patanas were part and put beneath potato development. There has long been contention approximately the beginning of the montane prairies. Some believe that the meadow is a fake community made by the clearing of woodlands and protected by occasional burning, whereas others consider it to be the normal vegetation of these uplands.
Expansive warm blooded animals are at times common within the Horton Fields. Samber is more often than not seen at nightfall and within the early hours of the morning. Kelaart’s long clawed vixen Feroculus feroculus slim loris loris tardigradus endemic to the montane toque macaque Macaca sinica, purple confronted langur Presbutis entellus, rusty-spotted cat felis rubigimosus, and so on, are still happening in reasonable numbers.
Horton Fields National Stop is domestic to 12 species of local winged creatures, with as it were Horton Fields enrolling the taking after fowls. Some of the bird species common in the surroundings are as follows.
- Sri Lanka white-eye Zosterops ceulonensis
- Dim obscure flycatcher Eumyias sordisa
- Sri Lanka wood pigeon columba torringtonii
- Sri Lanka blue jaybird Cissa resplendent
Apart from that, different species of harriers and buzzards are present in the Plains. For butterflies, this stop is additionally a heaven. Wind Aspidurabrachyorrhos and the wide extending Calotes Nigrilabris Agamid are among the reptiles. The angle is Salmo gardneri, the presented rainbow trout. It is suspected that the conveyance of the endemic Caridina Singhalensis freshwater shrimp is limited to a 10k extent of stream inside the park.
Things do at Horton Plains
Of course, there are several wonderful things for you to do in this mind-blowing surrounding. They are as follows.
- Observing wildlife
- Witnessing the affluent flora
- Hanging at Farr Inn with your friends and family
Planning to visit Horton Plains any sooner? Need more information on these activities? Nothing to worry about. Continue reading!
It is Horton Plains National Park’s best operation, where the plateau-like land comes to an abrupt end and features a deep dive of 4000 feet. Take in the sun-drenched beauty of Adam’s Peak when you are on your hiking trip. The hike to the World’s End is simple because without worrying about getting lost in the road. Yes, you can find a circular trail. The enjoyable trek of nine kilometres will surely unleash the beauty and mystery of Sri Lanka’s highlands.
2. Observing Wildlife
The park has more than 150 wild animal species and is home to purple-faced langurs, wild boas, and super fowl of Sri Lanka, otters, red slender loris, magpies, sambar deer, and leopards of Sri Lanka.
A few endangered and jungle-born species can be seen, and some of them are as follows.
- Rhino horn lizard
- Giant long-tailed squirrels
- Painted lip lizard
- Bear monkey
- Toque monkey
- Barking deer
- Stripe Necked Mongoose.
Besides, you can take a pair of binoculars to spot the following mighty birds!
- Yellow-eared Bulb
- Wood pigeon
- Dull-blue flycatcher
- Spot-winged Thrush
- Sri Lanka’s bush warbler
- Whistling thrush
- Brown-capped babbler
- Hill swallow
- Hill munia
- Pied thrush
- Black eagle
- Jerdon’s Baza
- Jungle fowl
- Hawk-eagle mountain.
Of course, this national park is a bird watcher’s paradise. And why not? If you are lucky enough to spot these mysterious creatures, you can even capture some beautiful shots of them.
3. Witnessing the Affluent Flora
With 5% of the plant varieties being endemic to the island country of Sri Lanka, the Horton Plains is worth a visit for its rich flora and biodiversity. Take in the beauty of the canopy of the forest that rises to around 20 meters and is dominated by the widespread Keena.
Maha Meewana ferns dot the openings of the jungle, while Nelu and Binara are native to this park and known for their striking blooms. Also, do not forget to take pictures of Bivitiya, another stunningly beautiful flower in this region!
4. Hanging at Farr Inn with your Friends and Family
It is the hunting lodge that is the most sought after and the best meeting point for trekkers. This place operated as a beautiful lodge for previously decorated British officials, but now it serves as both a cafe and a visitor centre. Until you start hiking, enjoy steaming cups of coffee and titbits with your loved ones here. Moreover, you can also find a small souvenir shop in this cafe,, in which you can find good books to explore the values of the national park and its rich history.
Places to Visit around Horton Plains
Of course, there are several other astounding places around the splendid surroundings of Horton Plains. Some of them are as follows.
- Bambarakanda Falls
- Baker’s Falls
- Ravana Falls
They are indeed true fascinations of nature. The following briefs would prove this fact for sure.
1. Bambarakanda Falls
The 800-meter deep plunge from World’s End will surely mesmerise you. And why not? Take in the views of the neighbouring tea gardens’ mist. It will surely amaze you. Besides, this is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. The fall is a sight-to-behold and it drops from a height of 263 meters.
2. Baker’s Falls
The misty, frothy water of the fall offers the perfect chance to take some beautiful pictures. It’s a fall of about 20 meters in height. To take a group selfie with plenty of plant life surrounding this spot, you can pose before Baker’s falls.
3. Ravana Falls
Ravana Falls is just two hours from Horton Plains. If you happen to visit Horton Plains National Park during the monsoon, you might be able to witness the awe-inspiring waterfall full of life. The waterfall got its name remembering the Sri Lankan Ruler Ravana, from the epic chronicle, Ramayana. Agreeing to legends, Ravana captured Ruler Rama’s spouse and stowed her away within the caves at the back of this waterfall.
Facilities and Safety around Horton Plains
Sometime recently you enter Horton Fields National Stop, guarantee simply utilise the washrooms near to the entrance because it’s the sole office accessible within the stop. The put too has paper packs in case you want them. Further, make sure to maintain a strategic distance from carrying plastic. Yes, you do not have permission to use plastic bags inside the stop. There are numerous places to capture a few amazing photographs. Yet, be careful close to the edges. There are various frightfulness stories and mischances close to the cliff edge. In this manner, take the desired safety measures, especially when taking photographs. Always remember, safety is first!
Few Things to Keep in Mind!
- Reach the stop by 9 am to urge the leading beautiful sees. In case you’re late, the fog cover will demolish your seeing involvement.
- Make beyond any doubt you have got around three or four hours for the trekking enterprise, which incorporates ends for taking pictures.
- Bring correct currency notes or little alter like coins in the event that you need to utilize the toilets close to the entrance for a charge.
- Don’t disregard the exhibition hall near the stop entrance.
- Don’t talk uproariously or yell when strolling around the stop since you’ll frighten off the wild creatures. Keep quiet on the off chance that you need to spot creatures and take photographs.
- Wear comfortable, solid strolling shoes, sunhat, shades and carry nourishment, water, and sunscreen moisturizer.
The Bottom Line
Of course, Horton Plains is simply a legacy that is worth exploring. Thus, we suggest that everyone at least once in their lifetime should visit Horton Plains National Park. It is that much of a fascination of nature, and a miracle home for endemic species, that would simply enchant you. So, if you ever arrive on this wonderful island, make sure that you do not miss this delight. It is really worth exploring it. Happy and Safe Travelling!