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Knuckles also known as “Dumbara Mitiyawatha” among Sinhalese is one of the Unesco’s World Heritage sites for its rich flora and fauna including more than 34 percent endemic plants. It’s undoubtedly one of the most challenging places for hiking, trough craggy vertical climbs, rocks, gravel & mud trails. Be prepared for the wet weather and carry out leech protection.
As the west part of the massif resembles a closed human fist early British surveyors have named it as “Knuckles”. The massif also is the house for a significant amount of the island's biodiversity including endemic flora and fauna, this creates a great deal of scientific interest.
The area is still preserved, and heavily untouched by tourism, there are small villages where you can walk in freely. If you are planning to hike through Knuckles, especially the higher peaks, its best to contact a knowledgeable English speaking tour guide. Most of the hotels around the area organise tour guides. For the higher peaks it is required to purchase a ticket from the forestry department, your tour guide will arrange this.
Mini Worlds’ End
Mini Worlds’ End is a spectacular view point of the Knuckles Mountain range. It is situated towards the southern end of the massif and 1192m high. It can be misleading for some as there is another viewpoint in the Horton Plains called “Little World’s End”, the two are not the same. It’s fairly easy to reach Mini World’s end from Kandy, followed by a 30 minutes trail.
There has been archeological evidence that speaks for ancient Yaksha settlements in this area. The area was called “Malaya Rata” and “Giri Divaina” in ancient times. While the country underwent a famine named “Baminitiya Seya” it was believed that monks went to “Malaya Rata” for their survival during Anuradhapura Era 3rd-century BC.
Climate in Knuckles
Knuckles gets an average annual rainfall of 3,000 to 5,000ml, the temperature varies from 5.5 degrees to 35 degrees celsius. The humidity levels are about 57% to 90%. The rainy season is during June to September.