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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 10, 2019
Headline for Top 10 Reasons to Visit Udawatte Kele in Kandy – The Hill Capital Wonders of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 10 Reasons to Visit Udawatte Kele in Kandy – The Hill Capital Wonders of the Pearl of the Indian Ocean

The forest reserve of Ancient Kandyan Kings, its ancient name translating to "Forest above the Palace" – the Udawatta Kele, situated well within town limits, accessible only on foot after a certain point, but far more enjoyable that way, here are ten reasons why Udawatta Kele should be a part of your itinerary on your Kandy trip.

1

The History

The history of the Udawatta Kele is as long as the rule of the Kandyan Kingdom. The forest reserve, located geographically above the palace premises, used to belong exclusively to the King and its flora and fauna belonged to Royalty as well. Designed as a recreational space for the royal family, the reserve expands from the premises of the Temple of the Tooth Relic, which is where the old palace was to the area behind present-day Trinity College Premises. The brown furred monkeys that are such a part and parcel of Kandy life find their refuge in this reserve.

2

The Birds

The Udawatta Kele is home to several indigenous types of avifauna and is a top spot for ornithology enthusiasts. The reserve also is home to several migratory species of birds as well. So don't forget to take your binoculars when you go there. It would also make sense to an amateur bird enthusiast to pick up their own copy of G.M. Henry's "A Guide to the Birds of Ceylon" for reference.

3

The Moderate Trek

Udawatta Kele is not a difficult trek, and it is definitely not a very challenging trek. It is a trek that can be undertaken with ease. Moreover, while the trek is an upward one, it slopes gently enough not to have to exert yourself too much. This is, therefore, one hike you can do with the whole family, kids and all, without too much effort.

4

The Ruins of the Last Kingdom of Sri Lanka

Since the ancient royalty of the last kingdom of Sri Lanka used the Udawatta Kele as a recreational space, there are many structures that have survived from the days of yore. The structures left over from the complex of ponds that they used, to the Marble Seat and other structures used by royalty.

5

The Senkada Cave

The Kingdom of Kandy was a Buddhist Kingdom and the hills in an around Kandy were home to many ascetics who chose to stay away from civilization to pursue a life of spirituality. The Senkada cave was home to one such monk and is a landmark that trekkers come across in Udawatta Kele.

6

The Religious Sites

While the Senkada Cave is the most famous Buddhist Landmark in the reserve, there are several other religious sites that you would encounter as you take the trek upward. Three Monasteries and several Rock dwellings are still used by some monks who prefer to stay away from society and focus on their spiritual journey.

7

The Flora and the Fauna

Birds aren't the only ecological wealth that the reserve guards for posterity. Over 450 species of plants and nearly 135 species of trees are found in the Udawatte Kele reserve. Moreover, nine of these are endemic to the region and the country. There are also many species of mammals found in the reserve and quite a number of reptile species found in the reserve.

8

The Spiritual Experience

While the Udawatta Kele is well within city limits of Kandy, not many people are aware that it exists. Therefore, if you're looking for a quiet trek where you could be alone with Nature and your own thoughts, then the Udawatte Kele is the perfect destination for you.

9

Why not indeed?

The best reason that can be given to visiting Udawatta Kele is indeed why not? While you're in the world heritage city of Kandy and are looking for things to do in Kandy, Sri Lanka as you enjoy your stay at a hotel like Earl's Regency, Kandy, this is a wonderful thing to do.