A visit to Horton PlainsBack
The Horton Plains National Park, is a protected area covered by mountain grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 meters (6,900–7,500 ft.) and has been said by many to resemble the African savannah. The National Park is unlike any other in the island; it’s as beautiful as it is eerily, and offers a world that is oddly different from any other part of Sri Lanka. The Horton Plains National Park is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Maha Eliya Plains.
The Horton Plains National Park offers amazing hikes amongst the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second and third-highest mountains; Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2359m), each of which rear up from the edges of the plateau. The ‘plains’ form a plateau of rises and fall over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The plateau’s sudden end is famously known as ‘World’s End’, a stunning near 880m drop. Entrance tickets are sold until 2:30pm daily, and travellers must exit the national park by 6pm.
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