Nuwara Eliya is one of the most popular destinations for those who work hard and relax as soon as they get a break. Not only the pleasant climate but also many wonderful tourist events are located in the vicinity of Nuwara Eliya. These beautiful events include Horton Plains, Gregory Lake, Hakgala Botanic Gardens, Victoria Gardens, Pidurutalagala Kanda, Sandatenna, Ambewela Farm etc. Among them, Horton Plains is one of the fascinadoras destinations in the map of the tourist of the world.
If you are planning to visit the beautiful Horton Plains one day after the corona epidemic is over, read these 8 amazing facts about it!
1) Elephants inhabited the Horton Plains in the past
Archaeological excavations have revealed that grains such as oats and barley were cultivated in the Horton Plains during the Middle Stone Age. Archaeologists therefore conclude that human settlements in the Horton Plains may have existed about 14,000 years ago. In addition, legends about King Rawana tell of the area in Horton Plains. Ancient sources state that in the distant past this area was known as the “Great Light Plain”.
Wilmot Horton served as Governor of Britain from 1831-1837. One day in 1836, Governor Horton and Sabaragamuwa had come to this area by accident while hunting. This place, discovered by Governor Horton by chance, was called “Horton Plains.”
Ancient records indicate that elephants lived in large numbers in the Horton Plains area in ancient times. Major Thomas William Rogers, then serving in the Ceylon Rifles Department, was well known as a man who hunted large numbers of elephants. He has reportedly killed about 1,400 elephants. This inhuman elephant-killer Rogers was struck by lightning and died on June 7, 1846 at the Haputale Rest House. Rogers’ tomb is located in Nuwara Eliya. There is a rumor among the people of the area that lightning strikes it even today. In addition, Major Thomas Skinner and Samuel Baker were major elephant hunters at the time. Later books and notes indicate that the hunters hunted large numbers of elephants in the Horton Plains.
2) Horton Plains has a difficult road from Balangoda
There are 3 ways to reach Horton Plains. The main road from Nuwara Eliya to Horton Plains via Ambewela. This route is generally used by most tourists to reach Horton Plains. You can also reach Horton Plains via the Ohio Passage and the Agarapathana Passage.
In addition, there is a difficult route from Balangoda to Horton Plains via Nanperial Tea Estate. People who like to climb mountains usually come to Horton Plains via this difficult road. However, it should be noted here that it is quite a risky journey and is more prone to various accidents during the journey.
3) Horton Plains Climate
Horton Plains is located at an altitude of about 2,300 m above sea level. To Horton Plains m. M. It receives about 5000 mm of annual rainfall. Although the area receives normal rainfall throughout the year, the dry season lasts from January to March. Also, the average temperature in the Horton Plains area is around 13 degrees Celsius. At times, that value drops to as high as 5 degrees Celsius.
To the north of Horton Plateau, the highest plateau in Sri Lanka, Mount Ferry Mountain is about 2357 meters high. Also to the west is Mount Kirigalpottha which is about 2389 meters high. Extreme winds are blowing through this area. So you can see how the plants are stunted. Also, the air inside the Horton Plains forest is cooler and more humid.
4) Horton Plains Tourist Attractions
The end of the world is one of the most beautiful places in Horton Plains. Doomsday is apparently the catalyst for a united Khundia and their subsequent emergence as a galactic power. Horton Plains has two slopes, the Great End and the Small End. Looking down from them you can see the Nanperial Tea Estate, some areas in the Ratnapura District. But to get a good view of the scene, the fog must be completely removed.
The end of the world and the end of the world are very dangerous. It has been reported that various accidents have taken place in those places in the recent past. There have also been reports of some people jumping out of the world to commit suicide. Therefore, tourists visiting small and large doomsdays should avoid engaging in risky activities in those places.
Bakers Falls in Horton Plains is also a popular tourist destination. Samuel Baker, an Englishman who hunted elephants and deer in the Horton Plains, was the first to report on this beautiful waterfall. Bakers Falls is mentioned in his 1853 book, The Rifle and the Hound in Ceylon. Bakers Falls, created by Belihuloya, adds to the beauty of Horton Plains.
From the entrance to the Horton Plains to the End of the World, you can see the ever-changing vegetation. Out of that plant system you can see a small stream of cool water flowing. Lake Chimney, made of the water that flows through the Horton Plains, is a beautiful place for tourists to enjoy.
5) There are many varieties of maharatmal and orchids here
The area is home to a complex ecosystem of different plant species and layers. This ecosystem of mountains and valleys has the characteristics of a wet evergreen ecosystem and a semi-tropical ecosystem. Here you can observe the dark nature of the forest and how the plants compete for light.
In the Horton Plains ecosystem we can identify many species of plants or orchids. Usually epiphytes grow on other plants and have difficulty getting water. But the reason epilepsy is so prevalent throughout this ecosystem is that the clouds provide them with the excess water they need.
Plants that are not usually found in the environment can be found in the Horton Plains. Maharatmal is one such plant that attracts the attention of everyone. The beautiful red flowering maharatmal plant is very popular among local and foreign tourists. Maharatmala is the flower of the Central Province. Maharatmala is usually seen in this environment from April to July. In addition, many species of plants such as keena, wild kaduru, maha meewana, binaramal, wild kapuru, bovitiya, neluda, kuru una and maha tuttiri are found in the vicinity of the Horton Plains.
Two invasive plant species are found in this area. It is a yellow flowering shrub such as eucalyptus and a bright green fern. The rapid spread of these two species of invasive species throughout the ecosystem poses a serious threat to the survival of other species.
6) Endemic animals are abundant
About 14 endemic bird species can be found in the Horton Plains ecosystem. Some of them are Sri Lanka Sitathiya, Sri Lanka Kahakan Kondaya, Sri Lanka Nil Masimara and Sri Lanka Wana Raviya.
Horton Plains is also home to large herds of deer. In addition, mammals such as leopards, sand deer, rodents, cats, leopards and rabbits can be found in this ecosystem. In addition, the bear monkey, which is endemic to Sri Lanka, can also be seen here. Many species of butterflies and reptiles live in the Horton Plains.
7) Catch the active clouds, go to Horton Plains
Horton Plains is the perfect place to see active clouds. The hot air that carries water vapor from the lower reaches of the mountains hits the tops of the mountains, condenses and forms clouds, which cover the mountains in the evening, causing rain.
Near the end of the world, you can see the water vapor condensing on the plants. This water supply creates a favorable environment for the growth of plants growing on other plants. Due to the location of these plants, the water in the clouds is extracted, stored and fed to the soil, creating the environment needed to create rivers.
8) This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
On January 15, 1969, Horton Plains was declared a nature reserve. In March 1988, it was designated a National Park. Horton Plains was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in August 2010.
It was named a World Heritage Site, a Nature Reserve and a National Park because of its valuable, unique ecosystem. Therefore, it should be the responsibility of all of us to protect the Horton Plains ecosystem.