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Knuckles Mountain Range

The Knuckles Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, in the Districts of Matale and Kandy. The range takes its name from a series of recumbent folds and peaks in the west of the massif which resemble the knuckles of clenched fist when viewed from certain locations in the Kandy District. Whilst this name was assigned by early British surveyors, the Sinhalese residents have traditionally referred to the area as Dumbara Kanduvetiya meaning Mist-laden Mountain Range (Cooray, 1984).

The higher montane area is often robed in thick layers of cloud. In addition to its aesthetic value, the range is of great scientific interest. It is a climatic microcosm of the rest of Sri Lanka as the conditions of all the climatic zones in the country are exhibited in the massif. At higher elevations there is a series of isolated cloud forests, harbouring a variety of flora and fauna. Although the range constitutes approximately 0.03% of the island’s total area, it is home to a significantly higher proportion of the country’s biodiversity. The isolated Knuckles range harbours several relict, endemic flora and fauna that are distinct from central massif. More than 34 percent of Sri Lanka's endemic trees, shrubs, and herbs are only found in these forests.

Knuckles Massif or the Knuckles Mountain Range is part of the Hill Country of Sri Lanka which is also above 3000 Ft or 915 Mts. from sea level and covers an area of about 90 Sq.Miles or 234 Sq.Km of land extent. This is also called as Knuckles Range or Knuckles Peaks or simply as Knuckles. The reason to call it Knuckles is because,there is a mountain with five peaks in itself, that looks like the knuckles of a clenched fist when seen from Kandy area ( or the SW direction of that mountain named as Knuckles with a height of 6112 Feet ). The Sri Lankan name for this mountainous area is " Dumbara Mitiyawatha " which means " The Misty Vally ". Since this inner mountainous area is off the motoring roads, it remains as an unspoilt nature reserve even today.

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