Time Required : 3 hours (one trek)
Knuckles Mountain range is an unusual terrestrial landform located in Matale and Kandy, in Central Province, Sri Lanka. The name was given by the British, and the locals call this range 'Dumbara Kanduvetiya', which means mist-laden mountains. Knuckles Mountain Range is called so because of its uncanny resemblance to the fingers of a clenched fist. The range is a World Heritage Conservation Area and is relatively untouched. The range features 34 peaks, ranging between 900 metres to 2000 metres. Five of these mountain peaks make the formation of a clenched fist.
The range, with its grasslands, rugged peaks, meandering roads and cascading streams and waterfalls are a vibrant biodiversity zone. Despite being only 0.03% of the country's area, this zone consists of 34% of Sri Lanka's endemic vegetation. The forest cover of the region includes dry evergreen forests, montane forests, sub-montane forests, dry and wet savanna etc.
The range faces two significant threats: constant cultivation of cardamom has deprived the forest of its vegetation cover, and a plant species called Mist Flower, which spreads into the woods and destroys the vegetation. However, there are some local and global initiatives to preserve and restore the cover. Currently, watershed conservation and restoration project is being undertaken here full-fledged.
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