Ambuluwawa Tower and Biodiversity Complex

Ambuluwawa has become a famous tourist spot in the country due to its super biodiversity and scenic landscape including the unique winding tower.
Ambuluwawa Tower
Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Complex

Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Complex (Sinhala: අම්බුළුවාව කුළුණ හා ජෛව විවිධත්ව සංකීර්ණය) is located on the Ambuluwawa hill situated near Gampola town in Kandy District, Sri Lanka. The site has become a famous tourist spot in the country due to its super biodiversity and scenic landscape including the unique winding tower.

Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Area

Located in the centre of the Gampola Kingdom, the height of the Ambuluwawa peak from the mean sea level is 1071 m (Alahakoon & Samarawickrama, 2004; Herath & Ranaweera, 2017). Its biodiversity is a highlighted component which presently attracts thousands of local and foreign tourists to the area. The hill is surrounded by other major mountains including Piduruthalagala from the East, Bathalegala from the West, Adam’s Peak from the South and Knuckles Mountain Range from the North. According to research works, there are about 200 varieties of plants belonging to 80 plant families in the Ambuluwawa area (Herath & Ranaweera, 2017). Also, researchers recorded a total of 126 fauna species (29 endemic) including 11 mammalian species, 59 avian species, 30 reptilian species, 13 amphibian species and 13 butterfly species (Alahakoon & Samarawickrama, 2004).

Due to the high biodiversity and several other important factors, the Environment Act of 5th June 1996 declared an area of 337 acres of the Ambuluwawa mountain forest as protected (Herath & Ranaweera, 2017). The total extent of the original forest had been about 223 ha but presently, the relatively undisturbed natural forest at Ambuluwawa is restricted to 4 ha (Herath & Ranaweera, 2017). 

The Biodiversity Complex

The founder of the Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Complex and the multi-religious sanctuary is D. M. Jayarathne (b. 1931- d. 2019), a Sri Lankan politician who was Prime Minister of Sri Lanka from 2010 to 2015. The construction work of the complex started in 1997 and finished in 2006.

Ambuluwawa Tower

The Ambuluwawa trigonometrical station consists of a large winding tower and it is the main tourist attraction at the site. Rising to a height of 54.55 m, the tower resembles the shape of a stylized Buddhist Stupa. It is known as "Govi Jana Seya" in Sinhala.

Ambuluwawa Tower
Ambuluwawa Biodiversity Complex

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Journal Articles

1) Alahakoon, A.M.O.B. and Samarawickrama, V.P.K., 2004. Butterflies and vertebrate faunal diversity of the Ambuluwawa biodiversity complex. In Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium.
2) Herath, N.S.K. and Ranaweera, R.M.K.S.R., 2017. Bio Diversity depletion in Ambuluwawa Nature Reserve due to tourists arrivals and the effectiveness of Bio Diversity Complex. Samodhana. The Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences. pp.13-23.
3) Herath, N.S.K. and Ranaweera, R.M.K.S.R., 2017. Management of a common pool resource with the adaption of a co-management procedure; a case study in waste dumping site, Ambuluwawa, Sri Lanka. Bhikkhu University of Sri Lanka. pp.506-510.

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