Horton Plains National Park

The sinhala name for the park is Maha-Eliya. The area was named in British piriod later as Horton Plain in 1834 after Lady Anne Horton, wife of Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton, then-governor of Ceylon. It lies at a height of more than 2,000 m in the central highland, the highest platue in the country. This altitude means that it has a much cooler and more windy climate than the lowlands of Sri Lanka.

The annual temperature of 16 C rather than the 26 C of the coasts. In the winter months it is cold at night, and there can even be frosts, although it rapidly warms up as the tropical sun climbs higher in the sky.

The park can be accessed by from Nuwara Eliya or from Ohiya. Both roads has differnt ticket counters. Nuwaraellia access road passing pattipola railway station is the populer. Other access road start from Ohiya. It is a small town with a railway station on Badulla railway line.

A road starting at the Ohiya station leads up to the park. On the way to Horton Plains, come accross another trek named devils path down to the highest waterfall of Sri Lanka Bambarakanda. The Ohiya access road to Horton plains continues across the park to Nuwaraellia access road.

In the center of this Ohiya- Nuwaraelliya road is situated the enterncess to Bakers fall-worlds end trek, Kirigalpottha trek and Thotupola Kanda treks.The Bakers falls is fantastic and the World's End is a sheer precipice with a 1,050 m drop. Early morning visits are essential, both to see the wildlife. Kirigalpotta is the second highst peak and Thotupola is the third highest peak in in Sri Lanka situated in the Horton Plains.

The park covers 31.60 km, and is a mixture of highland forest and wet grassland.This is a key wildlife area. Species found here include Leopard, Sambar (Sri Lankan Sambar Deer) and the endemic Purple-faced bear monkey etc. All six highland endemic birds are found here, including Dull-blue Flycatcher, Sri Lanka White-eye, Sri Lanka Wood Pigeon, and Sri Lanka Bush Warbler.

Yellow-eared Bulbul and Black-throated Munia are widespread throughout the highlands. Also lots of other endemic spicess of founa and the flora is there. Horton plain is the only walking national park in the island. One of the other highlight is no snakes other than a worm snake.

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