Welcome to the Devil’s Staircase Sri Lanka, a mysterious and winding trail known for its twists and turns. Similar to scenes from a thrilling movie, this path is cloaked in darkness at times and lit by bursts of light. It’s a dream route for mountaineers and adventure seekers.
4000 ft - 5200 ft
Where is Devil's Staircase in Sri Lanka?
Devil’s Stair Case is located in Ohiya, Badulla. Long ago, it wasn’t just a regular highway – it served as a race track. Additionally, a cable car system once operated from Udaveriya tea factory. Back in the 1890s, when railway lines expanded past Pattipola, tea cultivation flourished in this region, leading to the construction of connecting roads that facilitated transportation. On one side, you’ll find the main railway road and Boralanda Road. On the other, this road linked Colombo-Badulla Cart Road to Uva Wellassa, Sabaragamuwa, South.
How long to climb Devil's Staircase?
We set off on an adventure on motorcycle ride along the Devil’s Staircase. If you’re not part of a team and have doubts about your fitness, we wouldn’t recommend it. The road is becoming difficult, lacking regular upkeep due to its ownerless nature. While this rugged trail offers a truly unique experience for professional mountain bikers, as this is hard it’s not suitable for beginners without a support team. Trail bikes are an option for those daring enough.
For a smoother ride, we suggest arranging a Bolero safari jeep from Kalupahane or Ohiya in advance, especially if you’re not familiar with the path. Phone signal is non-existent along the way. On weekends, groups often gather for this challenging journey. Considering it more like a demanding hike, proper footwear is essential. Plan for 10-12 hours to hike this 25 km route and enjoy the scenic beauty. Just a heads up, rain, and cold may surprise you, so dress and equip yourself accordingly.
How to get to Devil's staircases?
To reach Devil’s Staircase, you have two separate routes with entry points at Ohiya and Kalupahana. Opting for the Ohiya to Kalupahana route involves navigating a slope, while the Kalupahana to Ohiya route entails a mountainous hike.
If you prefer the train, you can alight at Ohiya station and then head towards the mountain side, walking approximately 2 km. Afterward, at a junction about 1.5 km away, take the right turn, and you’ll find a significantly worn soil road leading to Devil’s Staircase.
If you’re traveling by bus, your drop-off point would be Kalupahana. From there, continue along the Ohiya Kalupahana road.
We’ve selected this path because it offers plenty of enjoyable spots right at the start of the trip. Alternatively, if you decide to begin from Ohiya, you can experience these delights towards the end of your journey.
From this route, there is a viewpoint of Bambarakanda Falls, the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Additionally, within a convenient 30-minute distance along this route, we got a chance to reach Lanka Ella. When travelling on Ohiya Kalupahana rd, came across Kalu Dola, a secure bathing spot. we had taken a wonderful experience there. Following that, we reached Wali Wanguwa, an ideal location for camping.
Additionally, there’s a camping spot near the Hindu Temple that provides washroom facilities and water. If you head to West Udaweriya, there’s a shop where you can purchase dry foods such as biscuits and drinks.
The Ohiya-Kalupahana road has four parts. The first stretch, from Ohiya to Udaveriya tea factories, is an easy 5 kilometers for vehicles. Spanning from Kaluphana to Udaveriya, this road offers a thrilling journey, descending from 5200 feet to 4000 feet above sea level through 3 slopes and 3 poles. It’s a fascinating blend of three distinct geographical regions.
From the top of Udaveriya Hill, you can see far-off places like Wellawaya, Beragala, Dambethanna, Boralanda, Lokanthai, Wellawaya, Udawalawa, and Sabaragamuwa. On clear nights, Udaveriya offers a view of two lighthouses on the southern coast. As the sun rises, the South Sea becomes visible. This area is known for its fertile land, growing leeks, carrots, beans, potatoes, cabbage, and radishes—quite a sight!
Udaveriya also holds two abandoned tea factories, giving it a mysterious aura on the Devil’s Road.
(Note: There are two directions from Ohiya to the Lower Devil’s Stairs location. This is the main road. The short side route is tricky, lacking signposts, and easy to get lost on.)
The next part, after the turn near Udaveriya Christian Church, is quite tough and can be scary. It’s dark, covered in mist, and sometimes the road seems to vanish just 100 meters from the top of the western ridge. Even though it’s challenging, it’s a beautiful and delightful place, almost like a tiny piece of paradise. The area often has fog, which makes it feel mysterious, and the streams flowing down from the mountains sound sweet. When it’s not foggy, you can see faraway views that are pretty, even though a camera can’t catch all the beauty. This part ends with a cliff, and then you go downhill towards Neela Nilana Valley in Sabaragamuwa Province. As you go down, you’ll pass through a narrow passage between two mountains called ‘Buddle cut – Double cut’.
The third part starts at Kandumuduneni (double cut) in Udaveriya Watta, West Haputala. From here, you can see faraway places like Sabaragamuwa, Wellassa, and the Southern Province.
The steep slope ends about 7 kilometers from the v-cut position. The viewpoint is like a fancy painting in seven shades of indigo, a scene worth stopping and admiring. From the highest point, you can see the Kuragala Pagoda, Udawalava, and in the middle, the Handapanagala tank. The stone-paved and whitewashed road is still holding strong, with some stones visible. The British compared this mountain system to Aonach Eagch in Scotland.
The road goes down along the edge of two valleys that seem to drop off into the world’s end. The climate and nature in these valleys are different. You can stop at four big bends to take photos and relax your eyes. If you need a break, you can stop and rest at Sand Bend (camp ground).
Why is it called Devil's staircases?
The name Devil’s Stairs makes sense because the road seems to vanish at the mountain’s edge and reappear about 100 meters above, like a staircase painting on the mountain’s edge.
Travel Tips to Devil's staircases
There is no entrance fee for Devil’s Staircases.
If you prefer to start from the Kalupahana entry, you are lucky to have some fun time at Kalu Dola, Bambarakanda view, and Lanka Ella. However, if you start from Ohiya, you might get tired as you reach Kalupahana.
Solo travel is not recommended in this area.
You can travel by motor vehicle. Walking along the route will also make you tired, as it is a long journey.
- Camping is recommended near the Hindu temple.
|Temperature °C||16° - 22°|