Knuckles Mountain Range

Deemed as Sri Lanka’s premier hiking paradise, the Knuckles Mountain Range is a treasure trove of endemic flora and fauna that plays a major role in sustaining the unique biodiversity of the central highlands. The mountain range’s importance is further immortalised by being a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, justifying its central role in sustaining the unique biodiversity of Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Apart from biodiversity, the Knuckles Mountain Range provides the perfect reward for the daring hiker too, as it serves to provide the ideal setting to witness the majesty of Sri Lanka’s lush green hill country at her finest. Therefore, making it all the more enticing to venture to the ‘off the beaten trails’ of the Knuckles Mountain Range.

Best Known For

  • The Knuckles Mountain Range is undoubtedly famed for its biodiversity of endemic flora and fauna that drapes the mountain trails in an evergreen splendour, catching the eye of not only the nature lover, but also the casual traveller. Therefore, making it a major eco-tourism hub of the country.
  • Many adventurous hikers flock to the mountain range as it boasts of a great many trails that teem with many surprises in store, as the majestic waterfalls, streams and wildlife certainly complement the awe inspiring sceneries of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Therefore, making it a hiker’s paradise.

Interesting Facts

  • The mountain range gets its distinctive name due to its reminiscent image of a clenched fist, hence the name ‘Knuckles’.
  • Traditionally though, the mountain range was called ‘Dumbara Kanduvetiya’ that literally translates to ‘Mist laden mountain’.
  • Although a colossal mountain range, the Pidurathalagala and Kirigalpoththa mountains dwarf the Knuckles range, as it is only 1863-metres above sea level.
  • The Knuckles Mountain Range may be quite small, compared to other mountains. However, a closer look into the scientific data proves that the mountain range is an important location of biodiversity.
  • According to official data, the range only covers about 0.03 per cent of the total area of Sri Lanka. However, the small area is home to 34 per cent of the country’s endemic trees, shrubs and herbs.
  • Due to its central role of maintaining the ecosystem of the country, the Knuckles Conservation Forest, located within the mountain range, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010.
  • Moreover, the range is famed for being an 18,512 hectare hiking paradise. Boasting of many trails that take you through soothing streams and cascading waterfalls, it really gives a surreal experience to many a traveller.
  • There are 4 popular trails, namely the trail to Mini World’s End from Deanston; trail to Dothalugala from Deanston; trail to Nitro Caves from Corbet’s Gap; trail to Augallena cave via Thangappuwa from Corbet’s Gap and the trail to Kalupahana from Meemure village.
  • There is even a possibility to trek more than 40-kilometres through to the conservation forest and camp too, however, that can only be accomplished with a guide of the area.
  • One of the more intriguing facts is that the range is also an important lifeline to 37 or so villages in the area that depend on the rice, cardamom and chena cultivation, near the range.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The mountain range can be visited throughout the year, however, the season generally lasts during the drier season that typically begins from June and ends in September.
  • The best time to go trekking is during the wee hours of the morning, since you can witness the endemic flora and fauna at their finest.
  • The Knuckles Mountain Range has quite a few trails that lead to many hidden attractions, such as the Mini World’s End and Meemure Village to name but two attractions. Due to this it is best to research on the specific trails that entice your requirements.
  • Do note that the popular trails do not have any entrance fee.
  • Should you be looking for a more extreme experience, that allows you to be one with nature, then it is highly recommended that you arrange a guide and head to the conservation forest.
  • Guides can be easily arranged by the hotels around the area, however, do note that the cost generally includes the entrance fee of LKR 650 to the forest.
  • Hiking the mountain range is certainly not an easy endeavour, thus making it imperative that you come prepared with the necessary clothing and equipment, along with essentials like water and food.
  • Make sure you wear thick socks and possess leech repellent, since the little insects can be quite troublesome if ignored.
  • When venturing across the Knuckles Conservation Forest, please be mindful to refrain from using polythene and other pollutants. After all, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Do bring your GoPro and your DSLR camera, as it is the perfect setting to record every single step of your adventure.

In conclusion, the Knuckles Mountain Range certainly fits the bill to many nature lovers and adventure lovers, as it is a kaleidoscopic wonder of surreal views and serene nature trails.


June - September


Entrance Fee
LKR 650

Tickets At


Nature and Outdoors

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