Horton Plains National Park in Ohiya is a protected area as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Making the coldest and windiest location in Sri Lanka, Horton Plains consists of an ecosystem such as montane evergreen forests, grasslands, marshy lands and aquatic ecosystem. This plateau at an altitude of 2100 – 2300 meters is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. Horton Plains spread across over 3169 hectares of the highest tableland of the island. Horton Plains was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 30th July 2010 because of the large number of endemic flora and fauna species of Horton Plains National Park.
The montane forest of Horton Plains is the source of three major rivers of Sri Lanka, river Mahaweli - the longest river of Sri Lanka, river Walawe and river Kelani. Also Horton Plains is bounded by the country’s second and third highest mountain peaks of Sri Lanka. Kirigalpoththa Mountain with the height of 2388 meters making it the 2nd highest mountain and Thotupola Mountain with the height if 2357 meters making it the 3rd highest mountain in Sri Lanka.
The speciality of The Horton Plains lies on its southern edge at an altitude of 2140 meters, The Worlds End an escarpment that fall sheer 900 meters. Most hiker’s target of hiking is the Worlds End. The main trek taking a circular route can be enjoyed within 3 hours and the trail opens up with an expansive panoramic view of flora, bare patina grassland, densely wooded cloud forests. At a distance of mere 200 meters beyond World’s End, the trek turn off the ridge inland to another lovely attraction: Baker’s fall named after Samuel Baker. The most often site of wildlife at Horton Plains are herds of Sambar Deer among the other mammals in the park are Strip-necked Mongoose, Long-Tailed Giant Squirrel Wild Boar, the endemic Bear Monkey and Toque Monkey. When the hikers reached the summit of Worlds End, they can enjoy the panoramic view of mountain ranges and also when they look down from Worlds End they can see Balangoda Town, another ancient city in Sri Lanka.
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