Around 15 km away from the historical town of Dambulla Jathika Namal Uyana is undoubtedly unique amongst Sri Lanka’s many attractions. Jathika Namal Uyana has the enviable distinction of being the largest ironwood forest in all of Asia, and perhaps the largest rose quartz mountain, too. The area also houses the remains of a Buddhist monastery, stupa and other structures, and a small but stunning waterfall.
A national forest reserve, the ironwood forest at Namal Uyana spans about 250 acres; the Sri Lankan ironwood tree is endemic to the region, and the national tree of the country. The tree also has considerable significance in Buddhism. The rose quartz mountain has an interesting Indian connection. It is widely believed that the rose quartz mined here was used for embellishing the windows in the famed Taj Mahal! The area also harbours a plethora of diverse flora and fauna—more than a hundred, and ranging from medicinal herbs to elephants and leopards.
From Sigiriya take the Inamaluwa – Sigiriya Road and go past Kimbissa, Inamaluwa, Dambulla and Madatugama up until you reach Galkiriyagama. From there take the Madatugama – Pubbogama – Andiyagala Road and go on this route for about 7 km to find the Jathika Namal Uyana.