The garden above the royal palace
The Udawattekele Sanctuary is a 257 acre large forest reserve in Kandy, famous for its extensive avifauna. It is a paradise for trekkers and nature lovers to explore and indulge in the tranquil beauty of nature. Udawatta Kele Sanctuary is situated on the hillside behind the Temple of the Tooth Relic. It was known as “Uda Wasala Watta” meaning the garden above the royal palace which was frequented only by the royalty. The highest point of the ridge is 635 meters above sea level. Udawattelkele was declared as a forest reserve in 1856 and in 1938 it was declared as a sanctuary.
Udawattakele is a famous birdwatching site where around 80 bird species have been recorded. A wide variety of plant species are found in northern and eastern parts of the forest. A survey record reveals 58 indigenous tree species, 61 indigenous shrub and small tree species and 31 indigenous herbs. The forest has an emergent layer, a canopy and an understory The giant Sea Bean climber known as “Pul Wel” are the most notable among the many species of climbers and lianas.
The significant sights in Udawatta Kele are the water Pond, “Kodimale”, The Senkanda Cave, and Garrison cemetery. The sanctuary contains three Buddhist forest monasteries and three cave dwellings. The Kandy Lake gets it’s water resources mainly from the catchment areas.
Take a trek through this forestland which is home to a large amount of fauna. You may even spot endemic animals like toque macaque, jackal, porcupine and mouse deer. You can choose one of the many trails marked on the map. The trail is about three miles long. If you like being around nature or in need of a relaxing getaway, you’ve got to visit this nature’s heaven.