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Illukkumbura – Knuckles Mountain Range

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02 Wheels

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March/ August

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Group Size

8 peoples

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English, Sinhalese


If you happen to be a lover of montane milieu, Knuckles mountain range shall be a quench for you. Intermediate climate, traditional local culture, spontaneous diversity, spectacular sights – all of these can be witnessed if you pick Knuckles as your next holiday spot. Knuckles Mountain range – ‘Knuckles’ in short or locally – ‘Dumbara Mitiyawatha’ got its official name after the discovery by the British surveyors that the physical look of the range resembles the five peaks of a clenched fist. Thus it is obvious that Knuckles has five peaks, namely Kirigalpoththa, Gombaniya, Knuckles, Koboneegala, Dotulugala. The local (Sinhalese) name was originated by the villagers due to the climate for almost all the times of the year. Dumbara stands for the haze of clouds covering the peaks and Mitiyawatha implies the beautiful valleys.

Knuckles is well known for the traditional Sinhalese villages which are still untamed by the urban developments. Due to the poor access for those villages from the suburban and urban cities like Kandy or Matale, many remote villages possess well preserved priceless old traditions. Meemure, Kayikawala, Kumbukgolla, Kobinillaa are some of the villages sandwiched between the mountains. Amidst this rural community multilayered vegetations of rice fields which are cultivated on stepped land or swidden, irrigation canals flowing up to the Mahaweli system, cattle sheds are some of the foremost sights to be witnessed.

Apart from the human life, it provides home for a wild variety of fauna and flora. This is made possible by the forest mostly dominated by Pine trees. Hasalaka Oya, Maha Oya and Heen Ganga are some of the main streams formed from the Knuckles forest and running into the Mahaweli River. It is estimated that the Knuckles forest contributes almost 30% of the water in Victoria, Randenigala and Rantambe Reservoirs. These water streams feed the cultivations of the human habitat as well including the commercial plants such as tea and cardamom plantation.

In fact out of 24 endemic species of Sri Lanka, 18 of them are seen here. Migrant birds, butterflies spiders, insects and amphibians of hill country can be easily spotted in the environment around the Knuckles Range.

Apart from the forest range, the neighbouring environment is also enriched with a lot of eye catchy landscapes. The ‘mini worlds end’, locally knows as ‘Pitawala Pathana’ provides a unique sight with the misty clouds. In addition to that, one may observe on the way to Knuckles Range, the scenic surrounding at ‘Riverston’ covered with an assortment of waterfalls and streams making way for a natural bath full of merriment.

All in all these factors mentioned above are apposite for sightseeing, hiking, natural bathing, researching etc.

Considering all the aspects of Knuckles range the government of Sri Lanka had declared Knuckles as a climatic reserve during the year of 1873 and consequently pronounced as a conservation forest zone covering 17500ha on April 2000. Recently this was added to the National World Heritage Site list and to the list of International/ National Man and Biosphere Reserve.

On the whole, well known for its novel eco system, depauperate native flora, mountainous misty surrounding and well conserved culture, the Knuckles Mountain Range is hence recommended as a must when it comes to a holiday visit.

In addition, the visitors should be mindful not to harm but to contribute to safeguard the rich biological diversity and to the system of rich cultural diversity preserved by the local community for centuries.

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  • Elevation : 3000ft above from the sea level
  • Average rainfall : is 5000mm per annum
  • Climate : Intermediate, Misty, Subjected to storms and wind during May - October

What you will do

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Traditional Sinhalese villages
Traditional Sinhalese villages

Knuckles is well known for the traditional Sinhalese villages which are still untamed by the urban developments. Due to the poor access for those villages from the suburban and urban cities like Kandy or Matale, many remote villages possess well preserved priceless old traditions.

Illukkumbura Forest Department bungalow
Illukkumbura Forest Department bungalow

can be reserved from Forest department office and the bungalow is 300m away from the illukumbura dormitory.

Dumbara wana niwahana
Dumbara wana niwahana

can be reserved from Forest department office at Battaramulla.

Thelgamu Oya
Thelgamu Oya

Thelgamuwa Oya is a stream that flows from the Knuckles Massif of central Sri Lanka,

Bambarakiri Ella
Bambarakiri Ella

This fall height is around 3m and set amidst the enchanting green forest of the Knuckles mountain range.

Suspension bridge
Suspension bridge

Suspension bridge near Bambarakiri Falls.


  • check-1 Accommodation
  • check-1 Private Transport
  • check-1 Entrance fees
  • check-1 Hiking
  • remove Liquor


What is the accommodation guarantee?

Need to reserve bungalows and camp sites in Forest Department (Illukkumbura Forest Department bungalow or Dumbara wana niwahana)

Illukumbura Dumbara surakinno organization two camp sites can be also booked

How can we find the food?
When the essentials are provided a cook will be at your service.
What is the best root?
Colombo -> Mathale -> Rattota -> Reverstan -> Illukkumbura-> Telgamu Oya-> Rathninda -> Etanwala -> Pitawala -> Mathale -> Colombo
how can we contact ?

Illukkumbura Office +94 60 268245

Forest Department (Baththaramulla) - +94 112 866 631 - for reservation of bungalows and camp sites in Forest Department


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Distance from Colombo
178 Km

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