29 January 2009
Ohiya to Kalupahana via Devil's Staircase
This is an exciting hike route which takes an entire day but I would suggest readers to take more than one day for this route and try camping out for one night. This will give more time to enjoy the hike and to admire the breathtaking beauty all the way down.
The entire track is about 20km. There is a road (Actually 4WD or Jeep track) from Ohiya railway station to Kalupahana on the A4 road. This is the same road you travel from Ohiya to Horton Plains but there is a 'Y' junction after about 5km. The upper road goes to the plains and the lower road directs you to Kalupahana via Udaveriya Estate.
At Udaveriya you will come to the infamous 'Devils Staircase' (Yakage Padipela in Sinhala) which has a very steep descend. You can cut across tea estates and explore short cuts but you have to be careful not to lose your path. In the process you will come across number of small streams of water which are actually small tributaries of Belihuloya. You can camp either at Udaveriya or further down closer to Kalupahana. I once camped on top of Bambarakanda falls and that was an experience of its own!
The view throughout the hike is simply amazing and I particularly prefer the wonderful sight of Bambarakanda falls and the panaromic view of the hills with entire Southern Province in the background!