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Timings : Hiking from 09:00 AM to 03:00 PM

Hanthana Mountain Range, Kandy Overview

Mountains have the power to uplift your spirits; a reason why mountains are the most sought after destinations for all kinds of tourists. One such spot in the heart of the island country, Sri Lanka is Hanthana mountain range. The spectacular view that you get of the entire Kandy city from Hanthana mountain range will keep you awestruck for your entire journey.

Acclaimed in 2010 as an environmental protected area, Hanthana mountain range is located in central province of Sri Lanka and south west to the main Kandy city. A perfect spot for nature lovers and hikers, the Uuru Kanda peak, the highest peak of Hanthana, is the most visited peak along with six other peaks located in the same range. The flora and fauna, be it the occasional bushes, wildflowers, chirping birds or the dozens of butterflies that one will discover on the way towards Hanthana, is refreshingly heart-warming.

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Timings for Hanthana Mountain Range

The Hanthana Mountain Range provides one with a wonderful experience if the journey starts early in the morning. Allot 3-4 hours in a day to just explore the beautiful frames of the surrounding. If one aspires to engage in hiking, then allocating an entire day is more fruitful. However Hanthana Mountain range is open for hiking from 09:00 AM to 03:00 PM because after that it might be difficult with regards to the safety of travellers, tourists and locals.

Best Time to Visit Hanthana Mountain Range

Although Hanthana Mountain Range is open to all at any time of the year, the best time to travel around the paths of this range is from December to February. The weather might accompany you with a little bit of mist, clouds and breezy winds, adding to the beauty of the backdrop.

Things To Do in Hanthana Mountain Range

Hanthana Mountain Range allows you to do a whole lot of things. 

1. Hiking
Hanthana is a major spot for hiking in Sri Lanka’s central province. There is not just one route to the top, but depending on the hiker’s capabilities, roads and routes are chosen. No doubt, every route is exciting to explore. 

2. Bird Watching
You can go for bird watching in Hanthana Mountain Range. You can see a lot of endemic birds and raptors hovering above your heads. Along with this, the chirping of the birds is equally pleasant to hear. 

3. Mana Bushes
Mana bushes spotting is another very interesting part of Hanthana Mountain range. Whenever you reach a peak, you will first come across thick wild bushes. These are mana bushes. The scenery is beautiful and appealing to butterflies all around.

Hiking in Hanthana Mountain range

Hanthana mountain range is often regarded as one of the best spots for hiking for beginners. They are routes even for advanced hikers which are difficult and more challenging. If you are interested in hiking the range, the following routes are:
  • One of the most common and explored hiking routes is the one which starts from the upper Hanthana circuit bungalow of University of Peradeniya and Udawela. You can use the Kandy- Udaperadeniya buses, which will leave you upto Upper Hanthana road junction. From there walk up to Hanthana circuit bungalow. Then you can start hiking up to the peak by following the path which is  slightly being formed due to frequent usage of the road. 
  • One can hike from Sarasavigama to Udawala, the starting and ending points of the range. This is one route that is moderately difficult and long as well. You can reach Sarasavigama from Kandy city via bus, a 12.5 KM ride,  and then start the trek. There is no well defined foot path in the entire hiking. You will be occasionally revealed to forest areas surrounding you with mist, mystery and joy. 
  • Another route which you can try for is from the ‘Amaya Hills’ hotel. There are direct Kandy-Dangolla buses which will leave you near Amaya Hills. From there on you can start hiking the range. There is already a structured path which will prevent you from getting lost. The path also follows a waterfall that is scenically adoring.

Environment of Hanthana Mountain Range

Declared as an Environmental Protected Area (EPA) in 2010, Hanthana mountain range is rich in biodiversity. The sustenance of flora and fauna is observed in this region with proper management plans. Sitting beside University of Peradeniya, hanthana’s top view is soothing and mystifying. As the mother of the seven peaks, this range is a major hiking spot, too.

While trekking on the slopes of Hanthana, occasional break off by the tributaries of Mahaweli river on the range, can be observed. Scenically, this 3800ft. high range is adorned with wildflowers and colorful birds. When you look around, you can get a clear and wide view of the entire Kandy city and the small city lights and car lights, twinking every now and then.

Tips for Visiting Hanthana Mountain Range

During the visit to Hanthana Mountain Range and hike to the mountains, few important things that one must keep in mind:
  • Always wear comfortable clothes for hiking.
  • Do not forget to carry clothes for warm, windy, cold and rainy conditions.
  • Carry hiking materials as per your requirement.
  • Hiking shoes and boots should also be carried. 
  • Carry insect repellent lotions and sun lotions, as per requirement.
  • Water bottles, food and refreshment must be carried by yourself as no shops are available nearby.
  • If you are a photograph-enthusiast and love capturing moments, carry your camera with you comfortably.

How To Reach Hanthana Mountain Range

You can reach Hanthana mountain range through different routes. Situated on the south west of Kandy city, you first need to be in Kandy for convenience of travelling. Nearest airport to Kandy city is the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo city. And the nearest railway station is Kandy railway station in Kandy city. From there you can avail bus or tuk tuk or can also rent a cab for reaching Hanthana mountain range. You can either arrive at the University of Peradeniya or near Amaya Hills hotel or Sarasavigama.

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