Sri Lankan Monkey

Monkeys of Sri Lanka

A total number of three (3) species on Monkeys can be found in the Island of Sri Lanka. Tufted gray langur and purple-faced leaf monkey are of Langurs species and Toque macaque is of macaque species.

Udawattakele Sanctuary
Monkeys at Udawattakele Sanctuary

Endemic to Sri Lanka are Purple-faced leaf monkey and Toque macaque, while gray langur can also be found in India too. In wet zone area jungles Purple-faced leaf monkey can only be found. And Gray langurs can only be found in dry zone of the Island. Toque macaque shows island wide distribution.

Purple-faced leaf monkey

Purple-faced langur

Purple-faced leaf monkey is also known as purple-faced langur, a species of Old World monkey and is endemic to Island nation of Sri Lanka.It is mostly brown in appearance and dark face and a very shy in nature. Once a highly widespread species found in many parts like suburban Colombo and the “wet zone” villages, but rapid urbanization has led to a considerable decrease of their population.

Monkeys of Sri Lanka can be found of family groups which include six (6) to ten (10) members. A group consist of related mature females, sub-adults, juveniles and infants of both sexes, with dominant unrelated male. The dominant male will lead the group and keep an eye on all activities and movements done by the group members.

Most Islanders consider monkeys as pests since they tend to destroy crops all around the island.

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Udawaththakele Forest Reserve

Udawaththakele Forest Reserve

Udawaththakele Forest Reserve is a historic forest reserve with a Royal touch and located on a hill in the hill capital city of Kandy. It covers an approximately 257 acres of area. (104 hectares)  The reserve is famed for its wide-ranging avifauna. The forest reserve contains a huge variety of plant species, especially lianas, shrubs and small and giant trees.

Source : Wikipedia

Udawattakele was known as “Uda Wasala Watta” in Sinhalese which means “the garden above the royal palace”. It was used as a pleasure garden by the Kandyan kings and the Royal family. The pond in the forest was used by the crowned heads for bathing. It was a “Forbidden forest” for the general public as they were restricted from accessing the forest.


A study has revealed that there are nearly 400 species of plants inclusive of ferns, orchids and lianas. Around the lake is mostly covered with exotic Mahogani and Myroxlion balsamum and most of the forest reserve is covered with some introduced species of trees. A breathtaking beauty is added by native liana, which is called as “Wevel” and other exotic creepers.

Mammals & Birds

The reserve boast of a rich vegetation and it helps many wild animals. Udawaththakele hosts 15 different mammals, 32 species of Butterflies and more than 80 species of Birds and many varieties of reptiles and amphibians. Among the large mammals, Barking Deer, Wild-boar and Toque-monky  can be seen inside the Park. Dark fronted babbler, Gray horn-bill, Hill myna and Layard paraquet can be seen as well. Other commonly found birds are Owls, Eagles, Kingfishers, Wood-peckers and Fly-catches.

Aquatic Animals

Fresh water turtle species named Black Turtle and fish species of Thilapia also found in the pond at the Udawaththakele forest reserve.

Puss-wel (Giant liana)

A giant liana named Pusswel (Entada puseatha) is spread across nearly 2 hectares can be found and it is estimated to be 200 years old.

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