Devils Stair is a short but steep zigzag road somewhere in the middle of this tour. On top is the Haputale West Pass. The climate between Udaveriya and Devils Stair is cooler, sometimes misty and more windy. The hills have less trees, sharp gras and bushes. Altitudes are from 1600-2000 m. From Haputale West down to Bambarakanda and Kalupahana is warmer area with altitudes between 1850-770 m.
Estate lorries and tractors come here rarely. Sometimes there are busses pendling between Ohiya railway station and Udaveriya Estate factory. Some 3-wheelers for hire are near the Ohiya railway station. First 4.5 km of the road are good but from Udaveriya to Devils stair and Bambarakanda is a terrible, stony cart track. We made it once on the back of a tractor. A feeling like to ride a crazy wild horse. Never again! Mountain bikers will have more fun on this ride. Our first cache at the cable car house is easy to reach but at Haputale West and Bambarakanda waterfall you have to climb some hundred meters in slippery, steep forest. No chance to ride a bike there.
Udaveriya Estate. Pond, temple, tea picker homes, estate bungalows and road to Haputale West. Blue dot: Devils Stair.
We have started this tour by 7:35 morning train from Haputale (1431 m). We arrived 8:30 AM to Ohiya (1774 m), crossed the rail roads to get a breakfast and some lunch parcels. 3-wheelers and some rooms are her for those who missed the last train or like to start early morning. This few shops here are the last chance to have a good choice of food, drinks and other needs.
2 km after the railway station comes a junction. Right side up to Horton Plains. With 2000 m highest landscape of Sri Lanka, became famous cause of places like World´s End, Bakers Fall and 2nd and 3rd highest mountains Kirigalpota and Tottapola. Lot of Sambar deers, monkeys, wild pigs and leopards can be seen there. Security guards do very strict controls to avoid any kind of polution. Plastic bags and bottles, fishing and wood cutter knives are forbidden.
The road to the left goes up to Udaveriya estate, Haputale West, Bambarakanda waterfall and Kalupahana (A4). 1.25 km after the junctions comes an old ruin from which locals sad, somebody had the idea to build a cable car there - but not so far. After another 260 m begins an estate road. This corner is an excellent viewpoint to overview the roads and shortcuts down to Udaveriya high valley and westwards to Devils Stair and Horton Plains. Cloudless views are mostly in the morning hours. The 3 mountain crests to the west are 1. Udaveriya, 2. Devils Stair and 3. World´s End.
Udaveriya tea factories 302 and 301, church and estate bungalow (manager).
Follow this estate road about 120 meters to the next right turn bend but turn left inside the green and walk 1 km on a path. It passes some farm houses and vegetable gardens and ends on a road. Little bit up is the round, octagonal church. Downwards, counter clockwise under this church ia the the second factory. This factory location is an amazing place directly on an 1000 m deep abyss. You can see this building from the A4 Colombo highway near km 174 (Double Bridge Kalupahana). It looks like a large white building on top of a mountain crest. Ask the factory watcher for permission to watch down from behind the tea factory.
Acacia Inn Bungalow, pond and managers bungalow.
Downroads is the Acacia Inn Bungalow, a pond, a kovil (temple) and some estate bungalows with nice green gardens. Next junction turn left side down to the Udaveriya Hospital. 40 m left side up is a cooperative shop. Last change for some refreshments or sweets. Right side is a bridge and a road to the west.
View from Devils Stair to Udaveriya. Haputale West pass and ride on a tractor.
Cross this first bridge and walk 1.4 km around a mountain to a second bridge. Fresh water comes down from the mountains. 50 m behind is a giant rock. Next 1.4 km comes a village, a bridge, the Kingslyn Estate factory and a junction. Walk down to the left side.
Giant rock, village kovil, a rock tree shortly after Haputale West pass.
Nearby is the steep zigzag road called Devils Stair. The eastside of this hill is a steep cliff wall (1. photo, blue dot). The top of this road is the pass to Haputale West. There is a terrace on the left side. A path begins in the left corner. Hereafter follow the additional hints.
Cache rock and strange animal with perfect camouflage. Please send me the name if you know it.
Our cache is a big white box. It contains a notebook, a pencil, a welcome message and some trade items. Please send us a photo from your tour.
One of my children is worried about Jimmy-Blue. He is a hungry beatle with blue wings, white body and yellow dots. Jimmy likes to travel to one of our next boxes. If somebody will find him?
Common needs: Walking stick, bush knife, food parcel, 2-3 l water, tool knife with scissor and saw, torch, umbrella, jersey, good shoes, long shirts and trousers - cause of thorny bushes, bur and sharp gras. Weather and climate will be very different on this tour. From ice-cold to hot, from sunny to windy, misty and rainy. So better to keep all weather dresses with you.
Cache problems? Please report to Shirodh's White Monkey at 3-km-post, Dambatenne Road, Thotulagala, Haputale.