Rain, mist, sunshine, blustery winds and all of it at the same time? Must be Devils Staircase!
Devils Staircase is long way journey to Kalupahana through magical landscapes of the hill country of Sri Lanka. Commonly its known as a jeep track but one of the most exhilarating hiking trails in Sri Lanka.
It was one of the ends of the busy week of work in December. So we decided to have some rush in adrenaline for the weekend. Devils Staircase was popping out of our minds from a long time but hadn’t a time for going there. Like most of our Friday nights, we rushed into the Pettah bus stand to catch a bus to Haputhale since we missed the train to Badulla. We were planning to get a train to Ohiya and start the journey from there. But it happened to get a bus to Haputale and then going to Ohiya by train.
Even it has several paths to enter to the Devils Staircase, we took the path above Ohiya Railway station. In the middle of the route, it divides into two, leading to Horton plains national Park.
It was around 8.30 am when we started the journey to Devils Staircase from Ohiya Railway station. The path behind the Railway station can be easily recognized as the entrance to the trail. It runs along a shady way across the tea estates and Pinus forest making beautiful sceneries. Although the trail is nearly 23 km long, we enjoyed every bit of the journey with the mind-blowing beauty of the surroundings.
It was almost half the way of the trail once we reach the extreme challenging part of the journey. We walked through the mist on the gravel roads until we meet the estate workers’ houses. We had to stop there, relax and have our lunch since we were too hungry and tired by that time.
From there you will definitely meet some workers and kids waving at you. And sometimes you might be able to exchange a biscuit packet for a freshly removed carrot from a garden.
The Devils Staircase is entering to a private property of Uduveriya Estate from West Haputale Division in the end. The trail goes through some dangerous bends and steeper slopes all the way. So we had been more careful to walk aside at that points with the heavy wind sometimes.
End of the trail it leads you to the top of the Bambarakanda waterfall, the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. We crossed the gravel road and entered the Pines forest to reach the top of the waterfall. It was too slippery on the leaves on the ground and mist was also getting down the forest slowly. It made us feel like we are in the middle of a horror movie.After walking more than 23 kilometers, we reached our destination on the top of Bamabarakanda waterfall with tired bodies but trilled souls.
Bone freezing cold of the soft wind in the forest made us sleep tight in the campsite next to waterfall very soon right after having some simple meal of the help of a campfire. So we dug into blankets under the tents to avoid the creepy sound of the forest in the middle of the night.
And yes! next day morning we woke up to the amazing view of the sunrise over the mountains, golden sun rays kissing the planet!