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).