A small rural village located in Badulla, in the hill country, Ohiya has quickly become a ‘go to’ destination due to the stunning sceneries it produces. A train ride or drive will take around 5 - 8 hours to reach the small village, however, the sacrifice will all be worth it since it is just one of the few places in Sri Lanka that offer a 360 degree view of undisturbed natural landscapes, dense forests and daunting mountain ranges.

Top Reason to Visit

With its lush green landscapes along with its unique flora and fauna, Ohiya can be considered a home for the nature lover looking for a unique nature trail, since it provides a great backdrop for trekking and hiking along the great mountain ranges, vast rain forests and the Bambarakanda waterfall that towers at 863 feet and is the tallest waterfall in the country.

While You’re There

Heaven on earth:

Ohiya serves as an entrance to Horton Plains National Park, which is one of the largest designated natural parks in the country and is home to majority of the endemic flora and fauna of the country. The nature trail of the national park will take you through most of the important sites such as the World’s end and Baker’s falls without disturbing the wildlife or biodiversity. The approach to Worlds end, a sheer cliff of about 4,000 feet, is arguably known to showcase some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the world.

Take on the devil if you dare:

If you are a person up for a challenging trek, the devil’s staircase is the place for you. Ohiya also serves as the starting point of the devil’s staircase which is a rugged nature trail that would take up to 6 hours to complete depending on how fast you are walking. However, the sheer magnificence of the sceneries it provides will make you forget your weariness. Furthermore, the staircase also takes you through the Udaweriya estate filled with lush green tea plantations and the Ohiya forest where you could indulge in some rain forest exploration or maybe even some bird watching as it is home to many endemic species.

Take a dip:

Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the end of the staircase will lead you to the Bambarakanda falls, which is 863 feet high and consequently the tallest waterfall in the country. It is the perfect place to take that much needed rest after an arduous 6 hour hike.

Insider Advice

Travel: Travelling to Ohiya is quite difficult due to its distance and limited ways of transportation, however, you could arrange for a private vehicle. If you are not in a hurry, the most relaxing way of getting there is by train, which will cost from LKR 250 - LKR 640 depending on the carriage class.

Meals and refreshments: Ohiya is home to only a few cafes and restaurants that are very reasonable and it is possible to get a good meal for around LKR 300.

Clothing: It is important to wear clothing and footwear that is suitable for hiking or trekking as the weather can be quite unpredictable and the terrain is uneven and rough. It is best to bring along some layers too as it can get a bit cold when trekking along the Devil’s Staircase.

Weather: The weather can be quite unpredictable due to the many cloud forests and rain forests that exist in the area, however, the period from January - March is recorded to have the least rainfall. It is best to double check on the weather of the area before travelling to Ohiya.

Backpack: Carrying a backpack with essentials such as water, snacks, medicine and even a small first aid kit is vital since there is very little human habitation for miles around. It is suggested to bring along a change of clothes with some swim wear as well if taking a dip near the Bambarakanda falls.

Safety: It is best to go in a group led by an experienced tour guide in order avoid any unnecessary calamities, especially when trekking the devil’s staircase to Bambarakanda falls due to the many sheer cliffs along the way.

In conclusion, Ohiya can be considered one of the most scenic places to visit in Sri Lanka closely associated with Horton Plains National Park and the Devil’s Staircase boasting the best of untouched and untamed natural splendour.

Title image by: Haaziq Reza
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