The project site is located in the South West wet zone of Sri Lanka in the village of Hindurangala near Kiriella, in the Ratnapura district. Its proximity to the World Heritage site, the Sinharaja Tropical Rain Forest is of considerable significance. A two hour drive from the capital city takes you to Mahausakande which is 70 Kms away.
Nestled beneath a stretch of conserved forest (250 hectares) known as the Bambaragala Mookalana, Mahausakande has an altitudinal range of 80-1100 m above msl covering an area of about 16 hectares (40 acres) of neglected rubber (Hevea brasiliensis). Part of the estate (10 acres) is currently being managed, while the rest has been abandoned. It receives an annual rainfall of over 4000 mm. Several streams run across the estate and sustain man made ponds.
The village community in the neighborhood is dependent on gemming, farming, involving subsistence (i.e. paddy cultivation) and commercial agriculture (i.e. tea and rubber). Gemming for precious stones has been a traditional past time and more of a gamble rather than an income generating activity. Most of them earn an income through sale of tea leaf and tapping rubber latex on estates belonging to absentee landlords.
The increase in tea small holdings in the area, illicit logging, gemming, and poaching, soil erosion and pollution is seen to cause a severe threat to the task of forest conservation. With the setting up of this small project site, Mahausakande is expected to take up the custodial functions for the Bambaragala Mookalana, on a voluntary basis.
GIS map of the land use of Mahausakande
How to get there:
Reach Kiriella at the 49th mile post on the Panadura-Ratnapura main highway.
- When you reach Kiriella inquire for the road leading to the historic Nedun Raja Maha Vihara. Turn on to this road and look out for the project sign board.
- Proceed for .08 Kms and turn left to reach the Nedun Viharaya.
- Drive past the Nedun Viharaya and proceed straight through up to 4.2 Kms. You are now in the village of Hindurangala.
- Turn left to Mahausakande which is sign posted and climb up the hill till you reach the Galge (Stone House).
Residential facilities for 12 persons are available at the Galge. Only one group will be accommodated at any one time.
Beds, mattresses and pillows are provided. Toilets and in-house bathing facilities for those who may not enjoy a dip in the dola (stream) are also available. Visitors must bring their own linen.
Pantry and cooking facilities with gas are available. Visitors must bring their own dry goods to rustle up a quick meal. Fruits and vegetables in season may be purchased. A cook is available on request from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. for Rs. 1000/= per day.
A minimum of Rs. 12,000/= per night is payable on confirmation (whether your group is 3 or 12). Payments to be deposited at any People’s Bank in Sri Lanka to the credit of Mahausakande and the bank slip produced at the time of arrival.
Additionally Rs. 1000/= per day for a guide who will remain with you until you leave.
Entry fee of Rs.500/= per person. A guide will be allocated to each group and Rs. 1000/= is payable.
If certified by head of institution, may use the facility at half rates but during the week only.
Please contact +94716587322 for further details on bookings and to obtain a brochure.