Sinharaja Rain Forest is a world heritage site and major eco tourism destination, which can also be described as a Tropical Lowland Rainforest or Tropical Wet Evergreen Forest . Whatever its ‘technical' name, it is undoubtedly a rich treasure trove of nature with a great diversity of habitats and a vast repository of Sri Lanka's endemic species found no where else in the world.
Bird Watching in this ecosystem is particularly interesting because it is home to 95% of the endemic birds of Sri Lanka ! Named as a world heritage site in 1989, this lowland evergreen rain forest is steeped in deep legend and mystery. The word ‘Sinharaja' means, Lion (Sinha) King (Raja), and it is popular belief that the legendary origin of the Sinhala people is from the union between a princess and the lion king who once lived in the forest!
The Sinharaja Reserve lies within the transition zone of two important groups of rock types, the south/western group which consist of metasediments-charnokites and scapolites bering calc granulites and the highland group comprising khondalites of metamorphosed sediments and Charnockites. The most significant geological feature of Sinharaja is the presence of a “Sinharaja Basic Zone” which comprises hornblend pyriclasts, basic charnokites pyroxene amphibolites and scapolite.
The soils of Sinharaja largely belong to the group of Red Yellow Podzolic soils, with clearly distinguishable horizons of varying soil depths. The soil is well drained with very little accumulation of organic matter.