Hanthana Mountain Range | Place to Hike & Camping in Sri Lanka

Hanthana Mountain Range
Hanthana Mountain Range (Sinhala: හන්තාන; Tamil: ஹந்தனை மலைத்தொடர்) is located in the Hantana area in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. This area presently has become a popular tourist site suitable for hiking and camping.

Hanthana mountain range is located within the humid tropical climatic zone in the Central Highlands (Weerathunga et al., 2019). It is mainly divided into two major peak regions, namely the Upper Hanthana mountain area including Katusu Konda [1,322 m (4337.27 ft. amsl)] and the Lower Hanthana mountain area [1,140 m (3740.15 ft. amsl) Chathuranga & Ranawana, 2017; Weerathunga et al., 2019]. Presently, the lower Hanthana area is heavily disturbed due to human activities but the Upper Hanthana area remains intact (Chathuranga & Ranawana, 2017; Weerathunga et al., 2019).

The mean annual temperature of the Hanthana area is 26° C. while the mean annual rainfall is about 1,840 mm (Chathuranga & Ranawana, 2017). The area receives rain from both monsoons (North East, South West) and inter monsoons (Chathuranga & Ranawana, 2017). The area encompasses high plant diversity including trees, vines, shrubs, herbs and grass.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, some parts of this forest had been cleared to establish plantations of tea (Camellia sinensis) and rubber [(Hevea brasiliensis) Weerathunga et al., 2019]. However, these plantations were economically failed by the mid-20th century and therefore abandoned (Weerathunga et al., 2019). In the 1960s and 70s, Pinus was planted in the cleared parts of the mountain range as a means of establishing a perennial tree cover to arrest soil erosion and allow the gradual development of a natural forest ecosystem (Weerathunga et al., 2019). During the early 1990s, some of these Pinus plants were partially removed to introduce several selected indigenous tree species into the ecosystem  (Weerathunga et al., 2019).

The mountain range was declared as an environmental protection area (Gazette Notification No. 1641/28) on 17 February 2010 under the National Environment Act (Environmental Protection Areas, 2013).
1) Chathuranga, W.G.D. and Ranawana, K.B., 2017. Spider fauna (Arachnida: Araneaa) of Upper Hanthana mountain area, Central Sri Lanka. Indian Journal of Arachnology, 6(1), pp.1-14.
2) Weerathunga, W.A.M.T., Athapaththu, A.M.G.K. and Amarasinghe, L.D., 2019. A preliminary investigation on the dependence of arthropod diversity on vegetation diversity across four contrasting ecosystems in Hanthana mountain range of Sri Lanka. bioRxiv.

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This page was last updated on 30 July 2023
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