Udawatta Kele Sanctuary

Lying in the heart of the busy hill capital of Kandy, Udawatte Kelle Sanctuary encompasses the forested hill slopes behind the sacred Temple of the Tooth. The history of this forested area dates back to the period of the Kandyan kingdom, when it served as a pleasure garden for royals, with evidence of this still seen today in the Royal bathing pond which now lies cloaked in jungle. The area was declared a sanctuary under British rule in 1938, and numerous pathways were created leading through the forest and were given names such as Lady Horton Drive, Lady Torrington's Road and Gregory Path, after Governors or their wives. Most of these pathways still exist today, and are used to access and traverse the sanctuary. Udawatte Kele makes for an interesting break from the cultural sites in Kandy and is a haven for bird watchers with endemic species found here being Layard's parakeet, yellow-fronted barbet and brown-capped babbler. Other interesting birds found in the sanctuary include the blue-winged leaf bird, Alexandrine parakeet, forest eagle owl and the paradise flycatcher.

Written by Jonathan Roelofsz for TLC.lk

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