Knuckles mountain range, situated in the north-east of central hills in Sri Lanka, is one of the most important natural sites in the country. The vast mountain range consists of 34 peaks in total, with five peaks resembling the shape of a knuckle. The unique location of this mountain range places it in the path of both monsoons. Coupled with the presence of a large number of mountain peaks and valleys, the entire region is unbelievably diverse in terms of climate, terrain, vegetation and obviously, animal life.
One of the access routes available to explore this unique site is to enter the southern region of Knuckles from Hunassgiriya, the highest point of the Kandy – Mahiyanganaya road [A26]
|Entrance to this part of the Knuckles range is through Hunassgiriya pass located on the Kandy – Mahiyanganaya road, 52km from Kandy. View Google Earth Trail Map|
|Directions: Reach Hunassigiriya via Colombo – Kandy[A1] – Hunnasgiriya[A26] , take the left turn from Hunassgiriya towards Loolwatta. This narrow road winds through the knuckles range and go deep in to it up to Meemure village.|
|Total distance from Kandy to Hunnasgiriya is 52km. From Hunassgiriya to Meemure there is 34km. Hunnasgiriya –> Deanston[8km] –> Loolwatta[7km] -> Corbett’s Gap[4km] -> Meemure[15km]|
|Roads are paved all the way from Colombo. Condition of the road stretch from Hunnasgiriya turn off can vary from good to bad depending on the level of maintenance. Generally this stretch can be tackled by an ordinary car up to the Corbett’s gap. A vehicle with reasonable ground clearance will have not problem all the way up to Meemure village.|
Weather and Season
|December to February||Moderate chance of rain. Good time to visit This area of Knuckles.
|March to May||Lower chance of rain. Good time to visit This area of Knuckles.|
|June to September||Strong winds particularly at Corbet’s Gap. chance of Rain is very low. Good time to visit This area of Knuckles.|
|September to November||High possibility of Rain.|
Attractions and activities
- Beautiful Landscapes – Just walking or driving along the Meemure road from Hunnasgiriya will give you an ample opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of the mighty Knuckles range from many different angles. Several special scenic locations worth mentioning are the Corbet’s Gap, Deanston, Kobonilla Village and Meemure Village. View Scenic locations in Google Earth Trail Map.
- Hiking: Experiencing climate change as you walk. “Walking” through different “climate zones” may sound odd but that is something you can experience in Knuckles. Start from the high altitude of Corbett’s gap and walk up to Meemure village. This 15 km walk will take you though from cool, high-altitude climate to dry low altitude climate. You will be surprised to see the vegetation changing around you as you walk. Popular hiking trails in the area include Trail to Mini world’s end from Deanston, Trail to Dothalugala from Deanston, Trail to Nitro Caves from Corbtt’s Gap, Trail to Augallena cave via Thangappuwa from Corbett’s Gap, Trail to Kalupahana from “Meemure” village.
- Camping: There is a forest daprtment camp site at Dothalugala. Apart from that, there are many locations in the area where you can setup a nice camp blending with nature. Always speak to local people and inform them about your presence if you chose to camp near a village.
- Natural Bath: Cool Bath in crystal clean waters of rivers and streams such as “Deanston falls at Dothalugala”, “Heen ganga at Kayikawela village”, “Meemure Oya” in Meemure village.
There is a forest department facility located at Deanston (8km from Hunassgiriya) where there is a basic forest lodge and a camp site.
You can also set up your own camp in one of the traditional villages. Meemure Village and banks of Heen Ganga River at Kiyikawela are two such location.
There are a number of private Eco Lodges scattered in the area.
Look for more accommodation options in the area at Lakdasun forum accommodation options board
Notes, Tips and Special Remarks
- One of the important points to remember when visiting this area is that even though this area of knuckles is a protected zone it is shared by the people of the area. Please make sure that you do not disturb them just as you would not disturb the flora and fauna of the area. Follow this thread on Lakdasun forum for more practical ideas and experiences.