For centuries man and forest have lived in close relationship. The forest fulfilled most of man’s needs. He collected resin, cane, timber, cardamom, cinnamon and bee’s honey. He tapped the palms for treacle. The fallen branch gave him fire wood and mushrooms in season. The trees gave him fruits and flowers. The forest yielded the most valuable medicines the barks, the herbs and the flowers. The curative powers were well known. One such treasure trove is sinharaja our own tropical rain forest.
According to legend this big forest was once the kingdom of the lion, So the name Sinharaja Adaviya the forest of the lion king. Is about 9000 hectares in extent reaching Kalutota to Adweltota in the Rathnapura district. The national Heritage Act of 1988 proclaimed it a national heritage protected by the Ministry of lands and this is included in the world heritage list.
Sinharaja is a forest with a high degree of bio diversity. It has a great many species of animals, birds and insects. Every inch of the forest is covered with vegetation. The trees have slender trunks which break out in a cluster of branches near the top. Their trunks are covered with climbing plants and ropę like creepers. The forest floor is dark and silent.
Researchers studying mosquitoes, spiders, butterflies ants and reptiles are frequent visitors to this rich store house of specimens.
You can see the sambur, porcupine, mongooses, the wild pig and many species of squirrels in their natural habitat.
Today Sinharaja is faced with many problems. Rare birds, butterflies and reptiles are lost to Sinaraja because of unscrupulous collectors of wild life specimens. Most protected animals and plants are smuggled out of the country.
So it’s our duty to protect this great treasure trove. We should not harm it. We should make it a point that we should pass it on to our future generations as it is today.