Idalgashinna Mountain is situated in Idalgashinna which is a small village in the Badulla district. It is a popular hiking area and is home to one of the most scenic treks in the Sri Lanka, the railway track extending from the Idalgashinna Station to the Ohiya Station. Hiking Idalgashinna is quite a challenge and reaching the top gives amazing views of several mountains including Kalupahana, Wangedigala, Balathuduwa, Gommoliya and Bambarakanda Waterfall.
Idalgashinna – Ohiya Railway Trek
Idalgashinna ,nestled a little way off Haputale, is Idalgashinna — a small and sleepy village tucked in the hills. When we say ‘small and sleepy’, we mean it, because stepping off the train leaves you with nothing but views of a few scattered buildings, lots of pine trees, and rolling hills and valleys.
The hike’s incredibly straightforward, really. Nothing to climb or stumble over, just follow the rail tracks until you hit the Ohiya Station some 8 kms away. Yes, that’s a bit of a long walk, and yes, it takes all of three hours.
However, you’re walking in near-complete isolation, with nothing but acres and acres of pine and eucalyptus forests around you, with the occassional shrubs peppering the way.
You also get the excitement of walking through 13 tunnels, in which you can hear the bats clickety-clacketting above you, and where the walls are slimy and damp and moist. You need to keep an ear out for incoming trains, because if you’re caught in the tunnel when one’s coming you need to scoot into one of the manholes in the walls of the tunnel (if you can find one), or turn around and run as fast as you can back out.
Because seriously, most of the tunnels didn’t look like they had enough space to hold a person and a train both, without a layer of skin (in the very least) being skimmed off the former.
When you finally reach the Ohiya Station, you’re accosted by friendly greetings from literally the only two kadeys in the area. They can make you a nice cup of tea or coffee, which you can have with the milk biscuits you purchase from the aforementioned kadey.