Horton Plains lies at 2535 meters (between 1500 m to 2524 m) above the mean sea level. It is the highest plateau in Sri Lanka. Before the British era Horton Plains was named as ‘Maha Eliya’. A British tea planter Thomas Farr rediscovered the potential of the area as a gaming hub at the beginning 19th century and named it after the British Governor Sir Robert Wibert Horton The extent of the Horton Plains is about 3159.8 hectares and the average temperature is about 13 Celsius. There are two mountains located in Horton Plains. They are Kirgalpoththa mountain and Thotupola Kanda mountain. Kirigalpoththa is the Sri Lanka’s second highest mountain with a height of 2393 meters. Thotupola Kanda is the third highest mountain in Sri Lanka with 2359 meters in height. Mahaweli river, Kelani river and Walawe rivers start from Horton Plains. In 1962 Horton plains was recognized as a biodiversity area. In 1988 it was named Sri Lanka’s first environmental friendly biodiversity area and in August 2010, a part of the Horton Plains was named as ‘Mixed Cultural and Natural Heritage Site’. Horton Plains has vegetation that belong to upper mountain rain forests, cloud forests and wet patina grassland. In between mountain rain forests and cloud forests there’s a narrow stretch of transiting zone named as ‘Ecotones’. There are 63 plants that are endemic to Sri Lanka , 14 species of amphibians, 52 endemic birds to Sri Lanka, and 11 other migrant birds, one endemic fish variety, sambar deer, mountain mouse deer, leopards, bear monkey, giant squirrels, wild cats and wild boars are abundant in this area. Baker’s Waterfall is created by Belihul Oya which is a tributary of Walawe river. It is 20 meters in height. The waterfall was discovered by Sir Samuel Baker and named after him. Small World’s End: It takes about 25 minutes to reach small world’s end drop from Y-Junction and it is about 2.25 km from the junction. Small world’s end drop escarpment is about 274 meters long. One can see a gorgeous view of lowlands below on a very clear day. Big World’s End: 1.7 km away from the small world’s end drop is the big world’s end. The big world’s
end escarpment is about 884 meters long. From here one can see Samanalawewa Reservoir, Non Perial estate and Rakwana hills. Farr Inn/ Horton Plains Visitor Information center: Farr Inn was built by the British planter Sir Thomas Farr as his private lodge in Horton Plains in 1900. He was very fond of hunting in the Horton Plains. Today the Farr Inn Lodge is used as the Horton Plains Visitor Information Center. Kirgalpoththa and Thotupolakanda trails are most famous nature trails at Horton Plains.