By Vikas Kakwani
“Horton Plains… Anything but “plain.”
(Vikas and his wife and son travel regularly with The Wanderers and here’s his post from Horton Plains, Sri Lanka)
“In the name of Ravan, what would you do in Sri Lanka for 8 days?” was the question posed to us when we planned the travel. How absolutely wrong could that turn out to be?
Each day offered us something new, from heritage sites to high rises, from hill stations to pristine beaches, from idyllic resorts to maddening shopping and from tea plantations to Horton plains.
It was Horton plains that got my fancy. Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka at an altitude of approx 2,200 metres and is situated 32 km from Nuwara Eliya where we stayed at The Grand Hotel that was the residence of Sir Edward Barns, Governor of Sri Lanka, till 1850 (to write about just the hotel will be another blog).
We started off from the hotel at 5:30am with packed breakfast and drove for just over an hour to the entry of the national park. It was cold till we started walking. The total trek circuit is of 9 km and it offers three major scenic location viz the World’s end, the mini- world’s end and the Baker’s fall but more than just that, the experience is simply awesome. The terrain changes from normal hilly tracks to forest trails to rocky grooves. One can be carefully treading the slippery rocks at one moment and in the second moment find oneself atop the open hills and soon after climbing the tree roots while holding on to the branches. Bird watchers are treated with a vast variety of beautiful birds and the fauna lovers with exotic plants. The world’s end is truly breathtaking. The fall is steep so one doesn’t see anything down below and the cloud forest is thick so one can’t see anything ahead giving an impression of being the end of the world. It took slightly over 4 hours to complete the trek. The iPod nano recorded the exact distance and steps that we walked. Just as an advice, wear comfortable walking shoes and carry a water bottle.
Finally, if you are not one of the fitness freak, you might need to go in for a foot massage after the trip but in the end, all the pain will be forgotten thanks to the wonderful memories that you would carry forever… In all, a trip to Sri Lanka will not be complete without the fabulous experience on the Horton Plains.