Thangamale Bird Sanctuary

Nestled high in the lush green hill country of Sri Lanka, the Thangamale Bird Sanctuary may be one of the lesser known nature reserves in the country, however, it certainly does not lack in giving the wildlife junkie and adventure thrill seeker a unique experience. Boasting of some of the more endemic and rare birds of Sri Lanka, along with other wildlife, the bird sanctuary serves to be an idyllic setting for the hardcore birder and wildlife enthusiast. Coupled with some of the more serene views of the central highlands draped in a cascade of lush greenery, the sanctuary also serves to be ideal for the one looking for that perfect scenery, making it all the more enticing for the wide eyed traveller.

Best Known For

  • Located high in the hill country and off the beaten trail, the Thangamale Bird Sanctuary experiences a temperate climate, ideal for a number of exquisite plants and wildlife to thrive in, thus making the nature reserve a popular one for those wildlife junkies and hardcore birders looking to experience an adventure along the way.
  • Another highlighting feature of the Thangamale Bird Sanctuary is the awe inspiring images it produces of Sri Lanka’s colossal mountain ranges. Draped in the evergreen cloud forests that the country is well known for, the sanctuary proves to be an idyllic setting for the traveller looking for that perfect image of the Sri Lankan hill country.

Interesting Facts

  • The bird sanctuary was established a protected area in 1938 and expands up to 131 hectares, which also takes up land from the Glennanore Tea Estate.
  • Moreover, the sanctuary also takes up most of the Thangamale Mountain, a haven for plants and wildlife to thrive in, thus the name ‘Thangamale’ (Gold Mountain).
  • At present the sanctuary is known to be a haven for 12 species of bird species, most notably the Yellow-eared Bulbul, the Sri Lankan Hanging-Parrot, the Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl and the Sri Lanka White-eye, along with other exquisite flora.
  • Accentuating the sight of the exquisite birdlife is the breathtaking views of the hill countryside of Sri Lanka.
  • Along the pathway it is possible to witness the colossal mountain ranges of Thotupola, Hakgala, Piduruthalagala, St. Catherine's, Dambetenna and Namunukula, making it quite the treat for the traveller looking for that perfect shot for his/her gallery.
  • The sense of adventure too is very real, as the pathway is not really discernible due to the overflow of nature, making it quite a test even for the experienced adventure junkie.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The Thangamale Bird Sanctuary is open throughout the year and does not charge a fee for entering.
  • Moreover, the bird sanctuary’s plants and the birdlife, really takes shape in the months from June to September, when the weather is just so. Thus making this period the perfect season for visiting the nature reserve.
  • Although free to access for anyone, it is still quite a difficult one to explore, as its pathways and trails are often taken over by nature, making it more of an off-the-beaten trail.
  • There are 2 known ways of accessing the sanctuary; the first being the pathway that starts from the historical monastery Adisham Hall. Starting from the left of the monastery, the pathway takes you through the jungles of the sanctuary, along a ridge and eventually ends at the Idalgashinna Railway Station.
  • The second way is really the same way, just in reverse. However, it proves to be tricky, since the sign board indicating the pathway, especially along the rail tracks is quite hidden. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you have a local guide or ask directions beforehand.
  • Due to the relative emptiness, even during peak times, it is important to be clad appropriately to partake in some off-the-beaten jungle trekking and come equipped with essentials, like snacks and water.
  • Please keep in mind that it is strictly prohibited to leave any sort of pollutant in the sanctuary. Therefore, please refrain from bringing any polythene in the area.
  • As always, bring along your camera, as the jungle teeming with wildlife, along with some breathtaking views of the hill country of Sri Lanka, make it perfect to indulge in some wildlife photography.

At first glance, the Thangamale Bird Sanctuary may look like an insignificant nature reserve due to the fewer number of bird species that dwell in the area, when compared to the likes of the Kumana Bird Sanctuary and the Kalametiya Bird Sanctuary. However, the Thangamale Bird Sanctuary still has a trump card up its sleeve, in that it provides some of the most spectacular views of the central highlands of Sri Lanka, along with being one of the more off the beaten nature reserves of the country, making it all the more enticing to visit.

Title image by: KNOWSL The information displayed is provided by Thangamale Bird Sanctuary

Location info



June - September


Nature and Outdoors

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