Horton Plains

This misty grassland plateau is a National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. It sits at an elevation of more than 2,000 m (6,500 ft) about 20 km from Nuwara Eliya, and is home to some excellent walking tracks.

This plateau gives rise to Sri Lanka’s second and third-highest mountains: Thotupola Kanda (2,357 m) and Kirigalpota (2,389 m). The grassland is interspersed with patches of forest and some unusual vegetation that grows only at high altitudes. The trees are encrusted with lichens, and giant ferns and rhododendrons also flourish.

The dense forests are home to deer, jackal, the shaggy bear-monkey, sambhur (a large deer) and the occasional leopard. The plains are also popular with birdwatchers.

The most amazing feature of Horton Plains is World’s End, where the southern part of the plains drops almost vertically for 700 m. The ideal time to view this site is at dawn, when the mountains are free of mist and the sun is just rising.

  • Hortan Plains