The “Worlds End” Nuwara eliya- Trekking in Horton Plains National Park Srilanka

To the Worlds End – Nuwara Eliya SriLanka DSCN0766May 4th. I was on a vacation in SriLanka. Our team has won an incentive trip for being on top slot in India Retail. From May 1st to 7th we were there and that has become an unforgettable vacation in my whole life. We were 11 people. Though all the seven days were extra ordinary I am quoting the moments of a one day expedition in SriLanka when we visited a place called Worlds End in Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya is a hill station situated in the Central part of SriLanka and on the third day of our trip we reached Nuwara Eliya by evening. It is a Cool and Misty hill station and of all the places we visited in SriLanka Nuwara Eliya was the best I would say . After reaching there from Candy in the evening we went for a quick city tour. Monsoon had already started its effect in SriLanka and hence almost all evenings were soaked in rain. We missed two three places as we were unable to move out of the Vehicle due to the down pour. It was Vikram who said about this place (World’s End) to us all which he read in some blogs about SriLanka. He said he read it is a very beautiful place and a good place to explore. We asked our tour operator whether they could take us to this place. Convincing his agency our guide has obtained permission to take us to that place in the morning.

Though everyone was willing to come I knew not all of them will make it to get up early in the morning for the trekking and some of them could not afford to walk this much. We need to walk almost 11 km to and fro for this trekking. Finally seven of us made it in the morning to get up and be ready for the trek. From the place where we stayed in Nuwara Eliya the Worlds End was 32 Km away and will atleast take more than an hour to reach as it was a hilly terrain. From the plane ground of SriLanka there is 24 hair pin curve to reach Nuwara Eliya and from Nuwara Eliya we need to do another 26 hairpin bends to reach the Worlds End. So you can imagine the height of the place. The road is a beauty on the way up. We can see endless grass land for the first few kms where there were cattle farms so huge as a golf ground. Cattles gazed all around. I have never seen such huge and unending grass lands.

On a long shot we could see the Adams peak which was the fourth highest in SriLanka. The pics didn’t come that clear as it was very distant but the peak was so beautiful with the elevation of it. It resembled the Chembra peak of Wayanad in its elevation to the top. Our guide said there are so many trails to reach the top and people used to go trekking there. Moreover it was a pilgrim centre as the top of the mountain consisted of a rock portion which was considered to be holy due to the belief that Lord Buddha once reached this peak and meditated on top of this mountain. I would have planned a trek to this place if it was somewhere in south Kerala. I always had a crush on peaks with such elevations. Still I deeply regret I couldn’t get on top of Chembra which closely resembled this peak for its elevation.

Look closely to the middle of the picture you can see Adams Peak

Look closely to the middle of the picture you can see Adams Peak

After the grass lands we entered into a thick forest cover. The road was good and hence the journey was somewhat effortless. For a few minutes we moved through lush green forest. And when the hike started i.e. when we started taking the hair pin bends the forest was only on the one side of the road and the other side was a range of hills which were so spectacular to watch and hence we stopped at some points to get a better view of the hills. We could see the mighty Pithruthalagala Mountain which was the highest in SriLanka.

The Pithruthalagala peak. View from the View point Enroute

The Pithruthalagala peak. View from the View point Enroute

The peak is more than 2500 mtrs and it is the only one in SriLanka above 8000ft. Though it is the highest peak the elevation of the peak is not that much and hence we won’t feel that it is the highest when we see it. There is a radio station situated on top of Pithruthalagala and hence entry to the summit is strictly restricted with govt permissions. The second highest peak of SriLanka is Kirigalpotha and it is situated in the Horton plains national park to where we are heading. The Worlds End is a part of this mountain and the fact excited me. The remarkable part of this journey was this that we could see all the three highest peaks on the top five during this trek. The Flora and fauna where beautiful along the stretch we could get a glimpse of a variety of monkeys which I haven’t see in India. Luckily I got a chance to camera them But they didn’t enjoyed our presence.

Will you please leave me alone?  Is he saying that?

Will you please leave me alone? Is he saying that?

Getting on top of the mountain we reached the entrance of the national park from where we need to take permission for entry. The place was well kept and most remarkably this place was a complete plastic free zone. Kudos to the SriLankan govt for their keen interest in keeping this place like that.

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The road after the entrance was like moving inside a protected forest area. There were some other tourists also there and we could see their vehicles parked outside the entrance for seeking permission to enter. One side was unending grass land and the other side was thick forest. On the way we spotted some deer and our guide said there is leopard also in this area.

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Five more Kms on the road through beautiful landscapes we reached the starting point of the trek from where we need to take the foot path only. There was lot of other vehicles also there which carried tourists who have already gone for the trek. There was a strict baggage check there. We are not allowed to take in cigarettes or liquor inside the national park. They not even allowed the plastic cover of the bottles inside and we were given paper covers to carry our food item. I felt so good in their intensions to protect Mother Nature as it is.

The initial trails

The initial trails

The initial trails

The initial trails

There was a stone laid fixed trail at the beginning of the trekking and after some distance it becomes a muddy path. The total distance we need to cover is 11 kms to and from and the main attractions on the way are Mini worlds end, Baker falls and the worlds end. The initial trail was through a lush green landscape. There was mist but it was not strong enough to blind our view. After walking for half a mile we came to a point where the trail divides into two one to the right and one to the left.

?????????? The right side trail was pretty plain and it went through grass lands and the left one was entering into a forest trail. We took the left one and in no time we were moving through dense forest. There was a clear trail on the way but both the sides where thick very thick forest. We couldn’t even see what is inside such was the thickness of the forest and due to heavy canopy over the head we were not having good light in the path. The path was muddy as it was raining in the evenings. We all moved in group of two and three as we need to cover a lot of ground we were moving fast and there were no such good ups and downs and hence the walk was little easier. We have already been in good heights after the 50 hair pin curves. DSCN0824

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There were some streams running in between the trail but didn’t crossed our path it went parallel to the path. The water was so clear. None of us had any notions to get into the water as it was inside thick forest.

View from the Mini Worlds end

View from the Mini Worlds end

 

Climbing up the Mini Worlds End for a better view

Climbing up the Mini Worlds End for a better view

After an hours walk we reached the Mini worlds end which was a steep edge of the mountain which we were passing through. The view from this point was spectacular. Mist covered some part of the steep valley but we could get a good glimpse of it. I wondered if Mini worlds end is so beautiful what would be the worlds end. Mist was passing over the valley due to heavy blow of wind. It cleared and becomes cloudy in a split of a second. After spending some time there we started moving ahead to the worlds end. It is 1.25 km from this point to the worlds end. No one was feeling such big tiredness as the climate was cool up there and the walk was also pretty easy through the plain grounds.

Trail leading to Greater Worlds End from Mini Worlds end

Trail leading to Greater Worlds End from Mini Worlds end

Panoramic view of the grass lands and Forest Covers on the edge

Panoramic view of the grass lands and Forest Covers on the edge

I would call it Golden Valley…I don’t remember how many times I clicked this shot

I would call it Golden Valley…I don’t remember how many times I clicked this shot

Walking through the green valley we again entered forest cover and this time it was getting more and wilder. I had to use camera flash even for getting some good pictures.

The canopy said no to sunlight…A pic taken in Flash

The canopy said no to sunlight…A pic taken in Flash

In another 45 minutes we reached the World end which was a sudden fall to the base of the mountain. The view was breath taking from this point. As it was somewhat a clear atmosphere we could see to the base of the valley and there was a stream (it looked like a stream from this height but actually it was pretty big) runs through the valley. We could see another mountain on the other side of the valley and clouds covered the top of the peak which was a beautiful sight. The wind was considerably strong and hence we didn’t venture to go very close to the edge. Wind took clouds to us and in some time the entire valley was under the cover of clouds we felt like stepping over the clouds from the heights. After a standard halt and a brief photo session there we moved to the baker’s falls

Breathtaking view of the valley from Greater Worlds End

Breathtaking view of the valley from Greater Worlds End

 

can i step over the clouds

can i step over the clouds

??????????There were clear indication boards everywhere on the trails so that we won’t get lost anywhere. The trail from this point was again through grass lands. We were moving through the side of a peak and where losing some good elevation. The views were so spectacular that I couldn’t turn off my camera at any point of time. I kept clicking on what all I could. The edge of the grass lands where thick forest and there where so many flowering trees enroute this path

Trail leading to Bakers falls from Greater worlds End

Trail leading to Bakers falls from Greater worlds End

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The green carpet… painting created by Mother Nature

The green carpet… painting created by Mother Nature

This is where we had a mishap. One of our team members Abhilash climbed up a tree for taking picture not noticing that there were honey bees all over the tree. Before we could take a pic he was attacked by the bees and he jumped down from the tree bruising his leg. It was not severe as he could walk after a short break. We tied a piece of cloth over the bruise and he was ok for continuing.

I am not a doctor… But I am also responsible

I am not a doctor… But I am also responsible

Though it was not a big deal we shouldn’t have done that. We felt ourselves sorry for what we have done. If it was a serious injury we would have struggled a lot to reach back the base station as we were almost 5 kms inside the park with no access to vehicle. The only way to get to the base camp was to walk down the distance we covered. I felt sorry for venturing such a risk. Thanks to Mother Nature for keeping the accident to a milder level.

I, Deepu and Abhilash was lagging behind others as they have continued when we stopped for caressing the wound. We could cover the distance slower than others as Abhilash was unable to do it fast. We took two three short breaks in between. The landscape was as wide as we could see.

The unending valleys

The unending valleys

Rest of our group had already been so far that we couldn’t see them. It started drizzling in between but as we had umbrellas with us we were comfortable. We entered the forest again after 30 more minutes’ walk. The forest cover was different through this trail. It was dense also and there were some ascends on the way.

How to cover up this mess

How to cover up this mess

15 minutes through the forest we reached the Bakers falls. The falls was not much big but was very beautiful. It was fenced and no one could get to the water. It is good actually as any mishaps there could go unnoticed for a long time. Took some pictures of the falls and rain started by this time.

Bakers Falls

Bakers Falls

 

Bakers Falls

Bakers Falls

We came out of the forest covers after some more time and by this time the rain has become stronger and wind was also blowing in all directions and we were getting drenched in the rain. I couldn’t take my camera out of my bag as it was getting stronger and stronger. We were not having any idea on the distance to be covered as we were moving through a different trail to the one we took while coming this way. The trail seemed unending and it was raining so heavily. I haven’t seen such a huge rain in so many years.

When Mom cried… We drenched

When Mom cried… We drenched

All we could do was to keep on walking in the rain as there were no places to take a hide. We thought rain would subside after some time but it was only getting stronger.  It was already half past 12 and we have been walking for almost 5 hours now. Finally by 1.30 we could see the stone laid trail which was an evidence for us reaching close to the base. The rain was still strong and we were all wet.  Straight away we went to our Vehicle and had to take a short break before starting. In another ten minutes the rain subsided to some level and mist started covering the whole area. It blocked our view and we started our return trip from the park.

It was very misty on the way back and we couldn’t see any view on the way. It cleared when we started ascending the peak. All of us were so tired of the 11 km walk and didn’t bother to get down at some places for photos or views. In one hour we reached back at our hotel where our friends who haven’t joined us for the trekking were waiting for us. We told them what they have missed was a huge loss. They also must have felt sorry for not coming.

This was my first trek outside India but was a remarkable one. Won’t be able to forget the vast grass lands and unending landscapes. Even after reaching our hotels I could remember the beauty of the lush greenery and thick forest covers. Yet another good day in the lap of Mother Nature and I enjoyed every moment of it.

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2 Comments
  1. Hi, lovely blog post and nice photos. I’m planning a trip to Horton plains from nuwara eliya and need your inputs on the following:

    1. Where did you stay at nuwara eliya
    2. How did you commute from nuwara eliya to Horton. Cabs? Bus? Cost? Any contact person?
    3. Did you take guide at Horton plains?

    Thnx in advance :)

    • Dear Friend

      It was an incentive trip arranged by a travel agent. So i dont have the exact detail on the stay. It was in some resorts kind of a thing in town itself. We were taken to Horton plain in cabs. The cost for entering the National park for foreign nationals were somewhere around 1500/- that time. We didnt take any guide as there is a clear trail to move and there is no chance that you get lost there. The agency guide contact number was 0775166170 and the Name I remember to be Priyatha. I am not sure that he may be able to help you out. Please give a try. Being a local he may have contacts.

      Have a good time

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