Horton plains national park is a protected area in the central highlands of srilanka and is covered grassland and cloud forest (fog forest). This plateau at an altitude of 2100-2300m, is rich bio diversity and many species are found here endemic to the region.
Horton plains are the headwater of three major srilankan rivers, the mahaveli, kelani and walawe.
Horton plain was designated as wildlife sanctuary on 5th December 1969.and because of its biodiversity value named as national park on 18 march 1988. The peak wildereness sanctuary which lies in west is contiguous with park. The land area covered by Horton plains is 3160 hectares. On july 2010, the central highlands of srilanka which incorporate Horton plains national park, peak wilderness sanctuary and knuckles mountain range was inscribed on the world heritage list.
Nearly 750 species of plants belonging to 20 families have been recorded here.
The fauna of the region includes 24 species of mammals, 87 species of birds, 9 species of reptiles have been recorded. The srilankan elephant disappeared from the region in the 1940 at the last. At present the most common seen mammal is the samba deer which population around 1500-2000. Red slender loris, Toque macaques, purple faced langurs, rusty spotted cats, Eurasian otter, srilankan leopards are some of other animals.
Horton plains contain 21 bird species which occur only on srilanka. Sri Lanka blue magpie, dull blue flycatcher, srilanka white eye and srilanka wood pigeon occur only in Horton plains.
Horton plains is popular tourist destination, with world end being key attraction.world end is a sheer precipice(pallama) 870m(2854)ft. it is situated at southern boundary of the park. Another cliff known as the lesser world end of 270m is located not far from world’s end.
Baker’s falls, a waterfall formed by belihul oya, a tributary of Walawe river is named after sir Samuel baker who attempted to establish a European agriculture settlement at Nuwara Eliya.