East of Kandy, the vistas are dominated by the Knuckles Mountain Range, named by the British military to its five peaks’ alleged resemblance to the knuckles of a clenched fist. The hills here are some of the wildest and least spoilt in Sri Lanka, with huge, largely unexplored, trekking and wildlife-spotting opportunities, and are surrounded be numerous tea estates. It’s a striking region to explore on foot, with an incredible biodiversity and range of vegetation. This is ideal for trekkers as the terrain ranges from riverine to montane forests, from savannah grasslands to semi evergreen woodlands.
The southern edge of the Knuckles Mountain Range leads to the Mahaweli River (the largest in the country) and the Victoria Reservoir with its huge dam, which is now the source of a significant amount of Sri Lanka’s electricity. Here there are views across the land once inhabited by Sri Lanka’s aboriginal tribes, known as the Veddhas.