Horton Plains National Park Horton Plains National Park tour

Horton Plains National Park


The Pearl of the Indian Ocean (Sri Lanka) is one of the best places in the world for Hiking and the Horton Plains is one of star hiking places in Sri Lanka! The park comprises the montane ecosystem of evergreen forest, grasslands, marshy lands, and the aquatic ecosystem. The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three main Sri Lankan rivers, the Kelani, Malweli, and Walawe.


The flavor of Horton Plains is most undiluted when accompanied by trekking; it is more accessible mainly because of the well-maintained paths. The plains are not only of scenic beauty but are also of conservation importance, containing most of the habitats of flora and fauna. The Horton Plains National Park is a 9 km looped track that leads you to the World’s End (the viewpoint). You will realize the name is well suited for the place when you reach the 2854 ft high precipice. The plains spread across 3169 hectares of the highest tablelands of the island.


While wandering on the plains of the National Park you will stumble across the beautiful Bakers Falls.


Arriving at daybreak when the sun rays slash through the mist there lays a very high chance of a deer grazing silently in the long grass. The very likely experience will leave you spellbound as Sambar Deer is the most commonly found animal at the plains. Additionally, 750 species of plants belonging to 20 families have been recorded from the park. The fauna of the region includes 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, 9 species of reptiles, and 8 species of amphibians. UNESCO declared Horton Plains as a world heritage site on 30th July 2010.


Location: Nuwara Eliya

Nearest Airport:Colombo

How to reach:by air/road

Famous for:Trekking and Scenic Panorama

Best time to visit: November to March


Witness the rich flora


Horton Plains


Bird watching


Ecological importance of the plains:


Horton Plains National Park together with its surrounding forest and the adjoining peak wilderness constitute Sri Lanka’s most important watershed area of almost all major rivers.

The park is of conservational importance as it is the home for many floras and faunas. Horton plains are grossly underexplored which in turn brings immense invaluable opportunities to those engaged in educational and research activities.





The original name of Horton plains was Maha Eliya Thenna translated as a Great open Plain. During the British period, the area was renamed after Robert Wilmot-Horton, the British governor of Ceylon. The Horton Plains also makes connections to the epic Ramayana. It is believed that the Thoupala mountain of the Horton plain is the spot where king Ravana landed his aircraft and where Hanuman set a fire that lasted for a very long time. In 1969 Horton Plains were declared to be a national reserve. In 1988 the status of the reserve was elevated to a National Park.


Wildlife in Horton Plains:


All the montane habitat of Sri Lanka are found in Horton Plains. There is a pretty good chance of capturing a glance at the Sambar Deers as they travel in herds and are highest in number. There are also other animals in the park such as stripe necked mongoose, long-tailed giant squirrel, wild boar, bear monkey, and toque monkey.


There are a countless number of birds whom you will hear singing almost at all times. The happiest animals in the plains are the Sambar deers. Because of the deers, the population of leopards has also increased.


The round-eyed small faced Slender Lois had a disappearing act for 65 years which led researchers to believe that they had been extinct. But some researchers never lost hope and after more than a thousand night time surveys, the creatures were rediscovered in this Sri Lankan forest. Now Slender Lois is commonly found in the forests of Sri Lanka and India.


Nearby attractions:

Nuwara Eliya: Nuwara Eliya is a city in the tea country hills of Sri Lanka. The city is one of the most exuberant places in Sri Lanka. Here you can spend time amidst rich greenery. Some of the places where you can enjoy a relaxing and stress-free time are Victoria Park, Pedro Tea Estate, Gregory Lake, and many more!



Other attractions:




Horton Plains National Park is one of the few parks in Sri Lanka that offers visitors to walk on their designated circular paths. The main focus of the park is on the World’s End, but don’t underestimate the glee of the walk across the grassland plains. The path is pretty easy to clear.But if you are a trekking enthusiast then you have an option to take up a challenge of climbing on Mt Kirigalpotta and Mt Totapola.


Hiking and Bird watching


The best activity you can do in Horton Plains is Hike your way up to the peak. Breathe the enlightening air atop of Adam’s peak while the adventure’s highest moment blesses your soul. The 9 Km fun hike will unleash not only the beauty and mystery of Sri Lanka but also your wanderlust side.If you are a bird enthusiast then this place is a paradise for you. It is highly recommended to carry binoculars and cameras with you so you can spot the beautiful birds and show off their pictures to your family and friends.