Being a rich country of natural bio diversity, Sri Lanka elaborates and proves it many times. Udawatte Kele located north of kandy lake is a eco tourism site which expands over 103 hectares. The park was once a forbidden forest called Uda wasala watte (the garden above the royal palace) during the kandiyan kingdom. Visitors can tour the sactuary everyday from 7 am to 5 pm. Though the entire garden was declared as a forest reserve in 1856 and upgraded as a sanctuary in 1938.
This garden has an exclusive collection of avifauna. Other than that it is one of the beautiful bird sanctuaries in sri lanka.
Udawattakele sanctuary houses to varieties of birds like yellow fronted barbet, black capped bilbul, emerald dove, Sri lankan hanging parrot, chestnut headed bee eater and native three toed kingfisher, Sri lanka hill myna (approximately 80 species of birds can be seen). Therefore for the bird experts armed with binoculars, is a great place to explore the bird life. Annual rainfall is recorded about 1615 mm and temperature is around 24 c. The sanctuary is a good location for panoramic photographs of Kandy city and butterflies, mammals which comes very close to you. Endemic animals like toque macaque, jackal, porcupine and mouse deer seems to be common. Obviously 460 species of plants, especially lianas,. Shrubs, herbs and small plants are survived in the jungle.
Many travelers come to Sri lanka and miss this sight that can be compared with the expanse of sheer beauty. You can choose easy level paths, forest walks under the greenery canopy. It will be a lovely and a pleasant tour if you could visit the forest on a sunny day when the trees provide you shade. The forest reservation is an important clinch area for the supply of water to the kandy.
Later Udawtte kele was used as a pleasure garden by the Kandyan kings. Therefore it was prohibited to be travelled by everyone during the Kandiyan reign. But with the transformation to the colonial era, a part of the land was donated to build the Kandy Garrison cemetery. Even today you can visit the Cemetery whereas you will find tombs and chapels of British people who met their deaths in Sri lanka due to diseases, locates in the border of the Udawattekele sanctuary. Never the less 3 Buddhist meditation centers’ and a rock hermitage margins the border. Today the forest is maintained by the Department of Wildlife conservation. A nature education centre opened for public, tourists and especially for school children can be visited at the south eastern entrance to the forest.