|Horton Plains is a unique natural attraction in Sri Lanka. It is located in the highest plateau of the country and its known for its beautiful landscapes and rare plant and animal life. The Horton plains is one of the most important catchment areas in Sri Lanka which acts as a giant sponge which store rain water and then feed several major rivers of the country through out the year. The vegetation mainly consists of wet grass lands and montane forest. The weather at Horton Plains is quite Dynamic. Average temperature varies between 5 degrees Celsius to 27 degrees Celsius.|
|Main entrance to Horton Plains National Park and the visitor center is located on the Ohiya – Pattipola road. There are two ticket offices at Ohiya side and Pattipola side of this road. View Google Earth Trail Map|
|Access By Road|
|Route1: Colombo -> Awissawella [58km on A4] -> Ginigathhena [53km on A7] -> Hatton [13km on A7] -> Thalawakele [17km on A7] -> Nanu-Oya [17km on A7] -> Black Pool [4km on A7] -> Ambewela [10km] -> Pattipola [6km] -> Pattipola Entrance [5km] –> Horton Plains National Park Visitor Center [5km]
Total Distance 185 km
|Route2: Nuwara Eliya -> Black Pool [6km on A5 & A7] -> Ambewela [10km] -> Pattipola [6km] -> Pattipola Entrance [5km] –> Horton Plains National Park Visitor Center [5km]
Total Distance 27km
Route3: Bandarawela -> Boralanda (Via Hputale or Diyathalawa) -> Ohiya [13km] -> Ohiya Entrance [5km] -> Horton Plains National Park Visitor Center [5km] | Discussion: Horton Plains via Boralanda on Lakdasun Forum
|Public Transport in only available up to Pattipola and Ohiya.|
|Access By Train On Colombo – Badulla line, get down either at Pattipola or Ohiya Railway station. The road connecting these two towns goes through the Horton plains and its visitor center is just 10km from both Pattipola and Ohiya.|
|A 4WD Trail You can drive a 4WD drive from Kalupahana on Colombo – Badulla highway up to Horton Plains [24km from Kalupahana].|
|Hiking from Belihuloya You can hike up to Hortan Plains from Belihul-Oya on Colombo – Badulla Highway [9km from Galagama] or hike up to Horton Plains from Dayagama Estate, Agarapathana [5.6km from the estate border]|
Weather and Season
|December to February||Temperatures are fairly low. Less chance of rain. Good time to visit Horton Plains.|
|March to May||Not too cold. Flowers bloom all over the plains. Less chance of rain. Best time to visit Horton Plains.|
|June to September||Strong winds. Less chance of Rain.|
|September to November||High possibility of Rain.|
Attractions and activities
- Beautiful Landscapes – The main attraction of the park is the beautiful landscapes it posses. Rolling hills, endless grass lands with tiny wildflowers, clean streams flowing through valleys, waterfalls and the scattered forest patches create endless diversity in landscapes. The dynamic whether, mist and sunlight makes is even more interesting and beautiful.
- Hiking: Horton plain is one of the most interesting hiking destinations in Sri Lanka. The popular hikes include Climbing Kirigalpoththa mountain second highest summit in Sri Lanka, Climbing Thotupola mountain the third highest in the island and World’s end, bakers falls circuit which cover the most popular attractions of the park.
- Camping: Camping at Horton Plains gives you the best opportunity to witness the true beauty of the park at dawn and dusk.
- Bird’s and other fauna / flora: A Horton plain is home to some of the rarest animals found in Sri Lanka. If you pay close attention you will be able to spot some of them and if you are really lucky you may even be able to see a “Leopard”.
Following are options even closer to Horton Plains;
- Maha-Eliya Department of Wildlife bungalow (Inside Horton Plains)
- Ginihiriya Department of Wildlife bungalow (Inside Horton Plains)
- Camp Sites of Wildlife Department (Inside Horton Plains)
- Forest Department Dormitory at Ohiya (9km to visitor center)
- Forest Department Bungalow at Kande-Ela (20km to visitor Center)
Look for more accommodation options in this area at Lakdasun forum accommodation options board
Notes, Tips and Special Remarks
- Horton Plains is a strict “no polythene”, “no open flames” zone. You are not allowed to carry any plastic bags, sheets, lighters or match boxes. Pack your snacks in airtight boxes if you want to take them along with you.
- Camp fires are NOT allowed inside the park. Please carry Gas/Kerosene burners.