Kirigalpoththa Hike
Kirigalpoththa Hike
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM

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Traveltales
Battaramulla, Sri Lanka72 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Friends
It was a once in a lifetime experience with nature. Lovely weather, amazing views with a sprinkling of adventure.
Things to note:
It starts at the same place as the horton plains trail. You just need to take the path towards the right instead of the horton plains one towards the left.
The path is not as well marked or visible as the horton plains one. Hence, download the trail on Google maps before you start. Unless you are an experienced hiker who is used to navigating on your own it is better to travel with a guide or an experienced hiker. (We traveled with a friend who is a well known mountain climber).
In certain places you do come across large areas of muddy ground (It had rained the day before our hike) and we had to deviate from the trail in several places. (For context, the sole of one my sneakers came off when I was trying to take my foot off from on one such mud pool).
Take food, water and first aid. But there are plenty of very clean water sources which we used to refill our bottles. You will not be allowed to take single - use plastics. But I noticed the authorities were more lenient on the Kirigapotta hikers (than horton plains ones) on enforcing this rule.
What to wear: The weather is mild and there are no leeches or other insects. But covered clothing is recommended if you want to avoid getting scratches from tree branches.
Time taken: We started at 9.30 am and returned at 5 pm which included lots of snack/ photo breaks and spending one hour at the top. Start at early as possible so you can return before dark. If I remember correctly the forest office will not let you start after 11 am.
Difficulty level: It's 14 kms round trip. There is no clear path. But it's mostly flat land. You will have to climb only in the last 1 -2 kms and there is steep ledge right towards the summit. In certain places you have to cut across thick forest cover and cross a few small streams. We are not regular hikers nor are we regular gym - goers. It was mildly tiring but doable. (All the aches and pains came only on the day after;) For comparison I would say, I found climbing 5000 plus Adam's Peak much more strenuous.
Written February 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Charith Madushanka
Kandy, Sri Lanka32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
The Kirigalpoththa Trail is a rousing journey through Sri Lanka's stunning cloud forest. Starting at the same point as the popular World's End trail in Horton Plains National Park, the Kirigalpoththa Trail diverges to the right, offering an adventure for those seeking a more challenging and less-traveled path.

Distance: 14 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 250 meters
Terrain: The trail passes through plains, bog, cloud forest, and rock, providing a diverse and captivating landscape.

The path is not as well marked or visible as some of the other trails in the area.
Be prepared with food, water, and first aid. However, there are plenty of very clean water sources along the way where you can refill your bottles.
Please note that single-use plastics are not permitted on the trail.
Ensure you arrive at the starting point no later than 10:30 AM; otherwise, you may not be permitted to enter the trail.

The trail offers sightings of Sambar deer, with the possibility of spotting Wildcats, Leopards, Boars, and a variety of birds.
Due to the cloud forest, a clear view from the top is rare, but the joy of this hike is the adventure of getting there.
The trail passes across wetlands, grassland, and forest, providing a rich tapestry of biodiversity.
Written April 23, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Greshan
Colombo, Sri Lanka63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2013 • Friends
We started the hike at Horton Plains National Park at 07.00 A.M. 6 Members in our group. We were dressed in hiking outfits and were carrying back packs which was almost 15 to 20 Kg. The parks elevation is around 6900 ft and our destination was 7,838 ft above sea level. The hike was approximately around 1,000 ft. The distance is 7 to 8 Km one-way!. Many ascends and descends on the way to the summit. Within the first Km of our journey we unexpectedly came across the Sri Lankan Sambar Deer just 20 ft away from us. The Small Herd consisted about 4 female deer. Once they had spotted us one of the deer made a warning sound and fled towards the covers without permitting us an opportunity to capture their beauty in a photograph. Further towards the mountain around two km from the starting point there is a small stream. This is the junction which separates the path into two. One leads to the Kirigalpoththa Summit and the other leads to Bogowanthalawa about 4967 ft above sea level.

From that point on wards the hike is very challenging and has the most breath taking views. At some points we were amazed by the view we even forgot to take photographs. :(. After passing few plains we were almost lost due to a trail which was misleading us. Getting back to the track took us around one hour. Exhausted we continued our ascend through the correct path. We reached the summit at around 1.00 PM and Stayed there for 1 1/2 hours. With the greatest regret we started our descend promising to our self that we will return to relive the adventure once again. We reached the Horton Plains Nature park at around 5.15 PM.

This trail is the best trail that i have being so far. All hikers should make sure not to carry heavy back packs so that you could enjoy your hike. Be a careful observer so that you could get a glimpse of the enchanted wildlife in this terrain.
Written August 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ouud
Lucerne, Switzerland3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2017 • Friends
The trail starts from the Horton Plains Visitor Center. The first part leads through plains and some little woods from time to time. In the second part, when the ascent to the summit starts, these hills are all covered by wood. This is where we had an encounter with a big male Leopard. He came pretty close (about 8m) when we were taking a rest in the woody hills towards the summit. On the one hand, this was a nice encounter. On the other hand, (theoretically) an accident could have resulted out of this situation. The leopard left after some seconds (I was standing, shouted something & grabbed my hiking-sticks as a reaction). This is not about alarming or intimidating people! I thought, I should share this experience and inform that this kind of an encounter may be rare (I guess), but possible!
Written May 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amica R
Dubai, United Arab Emirates195 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2015 • Family
We set out to Horton's Plains at 5am. Visibility is quite low and We couldn't see more than 10m ahead. We started the trek at about 6am. Did not hire a guide. Just followed the trail. At the time we didn't quite understand why we were walking through the fog and mist.

It beings with a steep climb. The trail circles through the park. At the fork in the road, our guide back at the Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya suggested we turn to the left. This brings you through the forest. Its a gradual uphill climb. Trees on either side so not much to see around. At about 8 am we got to the Mini World's end. By this time the Sun was up and the skies clear. Breathtaking view of the surrounding mountains and lakes. We stopped here for about 15 minutes for pictures.

The next stop was the world's end. There's a climb higher up which is off the trail. Great place for pictures at the cliff. The view makes walking through the cold mist worth it!

The rest of the trek from World's end was through the plains. Picturesque gradual slopes and grass covered plains. The mist is unpredictable and disappears as suddenly as it appears.

There is a deviation off the trail to see Baker's Falls. Its a steep climb with a mixture of concrete stairs and tree roots as stepping stones. Stopped at the falls for about 20 minutes.

There is an alternative route from here which is along the river. We didn't go back to the point we deviated off the trail to see the falls.

Walking through the plains we figured we would have missed these magnificent views had we walked straight at the fork as the fog/mist would have swallowed the landscape. Back at the starting point at 10:30 am.

The terrain changes from flat and sandy to steep and rocky quite randomly. Would suggest wearing comfortable and strong shoes. It does get quite cold in the morning. But was warm when we were done.

The park does not allow any plastic (excluding water bottles) inside. So pack all food in paper bags or carry fruit.

The fog was back when we left the park at 11am. It's essential to get the timings and the route correct to ensure you get to the view points for a view and not just fog! A definite must do if you are in Nuwara Eliya
Written July 24, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Niranga A
Negombo, Sri Lanka94 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Friends
This hike is not for those who just want to have a casual visit. The trail is approximately 6-7Kms with a few steep climbs so the return journey would be 12-14kms.

For those who do make the attempt, the hike will be very rewarding. The trail takes you through the plains, valleys, streams, forest patches and hills until at the very end it starts ascending the Kirigalpoththa mountain. The final stretch brings you out to a place close to the top of the mountain with almost a 360 degree view. The final bit along a narrow path with extreme drops on both sides will have to be negotiated on all fours if you have a fear fo hights. Do not attempt this in wet weather!
Written July 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Berta46Adrienn46
Shenzhen, China767 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2018 • Couples
this was the worst hike of my life! local people pay 100 rupia, foreign people pay 7000 rupia.... the trail wasn’t marked and no signs at all. in spite of the 23 dollars entry fee, they provide no map and guidance at all.. we couldn’t see any animals.....
Written October 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

1LifeStand
Colombo, Sri Lanka5,290 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Friends
The hike up Kirigalpoththa which is the 2nd tallest mountain in Sri Lanka is not a popular one due to the distance and time it takes.

The Park opens at 6am. Try to start the hike as early as possible to avoid the mid day sun/ rain/ mist. Be prepared with shades, cap, hiking staff and rain coat and wear shoes which would get covered in mud if it rains!

The walk starts at the Farr's Inn and is 7 Kms one way. It takes approx 3 hrs one way. It is advisable to take a guide with you and the Park will provide one. We (party of 5) gave Rs.2000 to the guide as a "thank you".

The walk is through tall grass, small streams, places where water collects and can get swampy and thick jungle. The guide will explain the fauna and flora around.

Avoid getting late to return, specially if it rains as the streams swell and become rivers.

Fantastic view from the top! Be careful when walking up the last bit over the rocks, with the precipice on one side. Take the path through the jungle.

The Park is very strict on restricting polythene and plastic items, cigarettes, lighters. There are lockers to keep these items if you must take them up to the Park.

A shorter and easier walk is up Thotupola Mountain which is also within the Park.
Written April 13, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AmranAthas
Colombo53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Friends
This is one of the best hikes in Sri Lanka. Crossing savannahs, bamboo forests and dense eucalyptus forests you would climb the peak with never ending adventures...Come into contact with Leopard footprints and even a Leopard if you are lucky. This is a must do if you are a hiker and if you are not a hiker, then this hike will make you fall in love with hiking!!!
Written August 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tariq Shabbir Dole
18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Friends
By Far, the best Hike in Sri Lanka. Especially during a rainy weather. Brings out the best in you. Traveller's Paradise.

P.s. If your planning to stay overnight in the area make sure,
*Have Adequate Water
*Blankets and Sweaters to last the Night
*To keep in mind, Communication to the outside world is limited due to Signal Unavailability in the Area. (Take a couple of Walkie Talkies if you have any, saves a lot of trouble 😁✌🏽)
*Avoid going alone.
*Don't venture too far from the Trail Provided.

Cheers.
Tariq.
Written March 5, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Kirigalpoththa Hike - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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