When I looked into the distance it felt like infinity where the sky and lands met. I was lost in the beauty of Mother Nature as the mountain range blended with the sky and the perfect clouds made it look mesmerizing.
The Devil’s Staircase is famous for its beauty throughout the trek and the attractions surrounding it such as Bambarakanda Falls, Lanka Ella and Yalhapana Ella. Yet it has a distance of 20 km from Ohiya to Kalupahana Junction. Distance won’t matter since it is a climb down all the way from the starting point, even though 20 km sounds like a long walk. I was able to climb it down within 6 hours on foot with my friend Haasiq. It will take around 8 to 9 hours depending on your speed. One can choose to come half way and camp and continue the trek next day.
Journey Planning Options: Hiking One day or Camping Night.
The best way to reach the Devil’s Staircase is taking the Badulla Night Mail which leaves at 8 PM from Fort Railway Station. I recommend arriving at the Fort Railway Station at around 7 PM in order to secure a seat for the journey. Still, you can choose to sleep on the floor like I did :P.
The journey to Ohiya is 9 hours long. The perfect way to kill that time is to sleep after enjoying the cold breeze. The train will arrive at Ohiya Station around 5’o clock in the morning. The mornings are usually cold (15 to 20 degrees).
The mist, the coldness and the natural beauty that surrounds Ohiya Station is the perfect combination for any nature lover. Even a small walk around Ohiya Station is all it takes to get away from stress.
The Breakfast and Lunch.
There is a restaurant in front of Ohiya Station called “Suwarna Lelee Rest and Cafe” owned by Mr Gamini (0574914226) which opens at around 5 AM. It is advisable to call him and order your breakfast and lunch. The options will be noodles or Pol Roti.
Ohiya to the Starting Point of The Devil’s Staircase
The path is 4 km of Uphill hike on the main road. Yet when I say the main road do not imagine a polluted road with a lot of garbage on the sides but imagine a scenic walk that you would see in movies with eye-catching landscapes.
Walk along the road opposite to the Restaurant that is in front of Ohiya Station until the sign board that says ‘Horton Plains (1.5km)’. Then take the road towards Horton Plains. There will be a road on the left-hand side which is the entrance to the Devil’s Staircase (Use Google Maps, it is there).
The Devil’s Staircase.
Then it is all about nature, beauty and a Magical World. There are no leeches, no hard terrains to pass but only a matter of the distance.
The Lanka Ella and Bambarakanda Falls are the two major attractions in this area. Bambarakanda Falls is the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and Lanka Ella has a pool with the shape of Sri Lanka, hence the name ‘Lanka Ella’. These waterfalls are simply breathtaking. Go through my previous articles to read more about these falls.
Another attraction is Wangedigala Rock. The rock has a beautiful view as I heard and it will be one of my next adventures.
With nothing but the memories and a refreshed soul, I looked back at Kalupahana Junction before I took the 99 Colombo-Badulla bus to come back home.