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Sinharaja Forest

Inside the Sinharaja Forest Complex

  • It is situated in the South Western part of Sri Lanka and is spread over an area of 11,187 hectares. It is a biodiversity hot spot and a national park in Sri Lanka. It borders 3 districts of the island, namely Ratnapura, Matara and Galle districts. Sinharaja Forest Reserve includes Massif with its mountain ranges. UNESCO has nominated it as a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve.
  • There are some fascinating details on the formation of the Sinharaja Rain Forest in Sri Lanka and how it came in to being. The existing rain forests in the world are a growth of the earlier rain forests. At that time there were only 3 areas of big rain forest lands called Far Eastern, African and Amazon. However these big areas of rain forest were later reduced in area and were restricted to smaller areas. Then roughly 140 million years ago, in the Paleosoic era, a portion of land from the Southern hemisphere, where present day Sri Lanka and India were also located, began its sluggish procedure of splitting from the main land. Approximately 55 million years ago in Cretaceous era that land mass, where present day India and Sri Lanka were situated separated from the Southern hemisphere, began shifting to the equator and joined the Northern hemisphere.
  • Because of this new atmosphere, the Animal and Plant life of that land mass changed to develop its own features making way to exclusive biological and botanical types. Later about 20 million years back, because of the sinkage and changes of the Sea water level Sri Lanka detached from the Decan plate. These days the Sri Lanka Rain Forests are limited to the Southern part of the country nearest to the equator. Forests in other parts of the island differ with Sinharaja Forest Reserve to a great extent. It is a remarkable fact that the plant and animal lives are similar in Sinharaja rain forest and the other rain forests in African and South Eastern islands, Mascarene Islands, Andeman Islands and Madagascar Islands.