Camping in Central highlands of Sri Lanka Always Relaxing Experience. Being with nature is mind soothing as always. There Are Great Places for Camping in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. If you are familiar with our blog you might remember our trips to Gonmolliya Kanda or Balathuduwa. Those places are great and incomparable with this place called Chariot path. In My Opinion, This Unpopular Hidden Place Is the Best Place for Camping and Spend Some Relaxation time away from distractions of modern lifestyle. There is another reason, I love this place. This place is entangled with the Ravana – Sita Love Story, The Epic Of Maha Bharatha. So I invite you to come with us to Travel to Chariot path and Experience the Beautiful Nature Of Sri Lanka. And I promise you to tell the Story of Ravana – Sita along the way 😍.
Where & What is Chariot path?
Chariot Path is a pigmy forest and grassland located in Pussallawa Sri Lanka. This Place is 1900m – 2100m in attitude. Due to its attitude, this place faces to heavy winds and rain most of the year.
Vegetation around the area is well adapted to these harsh conditions. Some areas are covered in Montane Grasslands with mostly Lime Grass, Arundinella villosa and Chrysopogon zeylanicus other areas covered in pigmy forests with Nelu trees (Strobilanthes viscosa), and Rhododendron arboreum. The Trunks and branches are covered with ferns, lichens, and orchids. This area is rich in wildlife. These forest home to mammals like sambar deer, purple-faced languor, rusty-spotted cat, Sri Lankan Spotted Chevrotains and rarely mountain leopards .and also some endemic species like Rhino horned lizard and Sri Lankan white eye are common to this area.
This Place is called chariot path because the montane grass strip stretching through the pigmy forest is sort of a chariot path. The Locals of this area tells a great story of King Ravana and Sita and how this unique geographic scene come to exist. Well for that story you have to continue reading. 😊
Things to keep in mind before you visit the chariot path (FAQ).
How long is the track to chariot path?
the trip is about a 10km walk and will take 2 days to complete. You can’t visit and come back to this place within one day. So you will need to prepare to spend one night in the jungle.
Chariot path weather?
weather is misty and rainy in most parts of the year. Temperature is around 10°C – 24°C. But the conditions of the grassland could change within hours dramatically, so you need to be prepared for heavy wind and rainfall and mist. Sometimes of the year the mist is so thick and you won’t see a thing through it.
Best Time Of The Year to visit Chariot path?
the chariot path gets rainfall most of the year. Heavy Monsoon Rain Falls between October – January. The best time of the year to visit Chariot path is between February – April months. Between these months most days are sunny and get the lowest rainfall.
What should I wear to chariot path?
prepared for cold weather. And wind conditions at night. And also take a hoodie or cap for sunscreen. And also wear a long sleeve shirt or t-shirt. Since you have to pass through the grasslands wearing long sleeves will prevent cuts & scratching due to the sharp grass.
Chariot path camping gear?
will need proper camping equipment and hiking gear. Take a good tent that could withstand wind and rain. And making campfire is on the site is possible. You can easily find some dry wood from the area if there is no rain. But you can’t be sure about the weather conditions. So, take a gas cooker or burner if you want to cook. But I advise you to stick with fast foods, or canned food it is much easier and reliable.
Chariot path Food and water
need to take a water bottle for the trip and you can find water near the camping site. So you do not need to carry water for cooking. As I mentioned before taking fast food area much easier.
Most Importantly Remember to Protect Nature.
taking polythene to trip. Bring back everything you take. Do not put polythene, plastic, or paper in the area. Burry the leftover food and organic material. Do not put away cigarette filters in the jungle at any circumstance. The Grassland could easily ignite and could lead to wildfires. Do not damage the flora along the way. Do not extract plants from the area.
How to get to Chariot Path?
If you start from Colombo, you can either choose the train or bus to Reach Gampola town. Traveling by train is much easier. You can easily take a train to reach Gampola. I have Put the Train Schedule from Colombo to Gampola below.
|Train Name||Departure Station||Departure Time||Arrival Station||Arrival Time|
|Podi Manike (Express)||COLOMBO FORT||6.00 am||BANDARAWELA||9.33 am|
|Denuwara Manike||COLOMBO FORT||6.45 am||BANDARAWELA||9.20 am|
|Udarata Manike (Express)||COLOMBO FORT||8.30 am||BANDARAWELA||11.36 am|
|1007 (Express)||COLOMBO FORT||9.45 am||BANDARAWELA||12.56 pm|
|Night Mail||COLOMBO FORT||8.30 pm||BANDARAWELA||11.56 pm|
After reaching Gampola you need to take a bus to Pussallawa village. From there you will need to hire a vehicle to go to Frotofot estate. The Roads are not in good condition so make sure to hire a suitable vehicle for a bumpy road. Or you can take a bus, But the buses to the Frotofot State is not consistent, and frequent. So Hiring a vehicle is much easier. You need to reach the Old hospital building of the Frotofot state and the Trailhead Start there. Taking A tour guide with you is always advisable.
The Epic of the Ravana And Sita.
This Place chariot path, Entangled with an epic love story of Ravana, Sita, Rama & Hanuman. Rama is a god in Hinduism and he is married to the goddess of Sita. While the Ravana is the King of the “Lankapura” today Sri Lanka. He was a very wise king and a knowledgeable person. Legends days he had 10 heads. Which means that he knew 10 skills. There are Ayurveda books whose authorship still stands in his name. At the beginning of the story, Rama cut off the nose of the Ravanas Sister “Surpangai”. She was a charming, lovable person and this made Ravana so angry. So He decided to kidnap Rama’s newly wedded wife Sita. He kidnaped the Sita, while Rama is away. And took to Lankapura from his “Dandu Monara” (A flying machine called “vimana” Read more here, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vimana,). He held Sita captive in different palaces of Lankapura. Sita was a beautiful queen, she was kind and passionate. She was devastated by this unexpected kidnapping. She was sad and weeping. While Ravana was a fierce king. But with time Ravana fall in love with Sita. He wanted to win the heart of Sita. Make her happy. So He took Sita to show the beauty of his kingdom. Lankapura was beautiful and heaven on earth. He took Sita from his capital Lankapura to Ashoka Vitaka (Now Nuwara Eliya ) From a Chariot. The Road they took called Chariot path. They say the Pond in the middle of the path born with the tears fall from Sita. However, Rama Wanted to Take his wife back and he invaded Sri Lanka with an army of monkeys who lead by Hanuman and defeated Ravana in Battle. However, this is one version of the story. However for us, Sri Lankans, Ravana is a great king and hero, whilst the Ramayanaya Explains him as a devil king.
Chariot path overview
You need to begin your walk from the trail near the old hospital building. This trail leads to the dense pigmy jungle. when the time we enter the jungle, there was a thin mist whilst the sun was peeking through the clouds. Mist and random sunrays though the forest vegetation made spooky view. From here and there we heard a song of a bird and Sometimes we spotted a rare Rhino horned lizard. After traveling about one hour we reached the open grassland stretching through the mountain range. It was a memorable view that I will never forget. The wind through the grassland was a bit high and the only sound you hear was the sound of the wind and sound of the grass. There is a clear camping area in the middle of the grassland and we decided to spend the night there. We collected some firewood from the around vegetation. Fortunately, the following days were sunny, So the firewood was dry. We Faced tents each other and made a campfire middle of the tents. The Sun was setting with burning red in the sky. The Burning red color painted beautiful scenery on the grassland. One of my friends bought a ukulele with him and we sing while preparing the diner. The sky was clear in the night and full of stars. I spend the night under the starry roof and it was quite an experience. The night was cold and windy. We heard the barking of the sambar deer sometimes. I slept in peace until dawn.
I didn’t want to get up from the tent. Because it was so cold and the temperature is around 8°C. But there was some strange color around the tent and I was curious. I slowly opened the tent door came out. The Morning sunray on the grassland was a spectacular view. I ran across the grassland to the nearby hilltop with amazement. I will never forget the scenery I saw there.
Later we ate breakfast, cleaned the camping site and start the journey back.
Explore Chariot Path With Sri Lankan Vibez Team
Day 1 –
It starts at 7.00 am from Gampola. We take you to the travel start and we will provide all the necessary camping gear. At about 10.00 am we start to head to the jungle. We will provide you the lunch and we will camp at the chariot path camping site. In the evening we will set up camp and bonfire. We are going to prepare you the diner.
Day 2 –
We will prepare the Morning meal and awesome Ceylon tea. We will depart from the chariot path after taking some great clicks for your Instagram. And we will reach Gampola by midday, And We will prepare your lunch at Gampola town.
See If you can Spot these Flora and Fauna
(Chariot Path Animals and plants)
Rhinoceros-horned Lizard – “Kangamuwa Ankatussa”
This Lizard Is Endemic to Sri Lanka and can easily identify with the striking horn. These creatures are widespread in the montane grasslands of central Sri Lanka. These Slow-moving arboreal Species mostly found in Cypress trees one or two meters above the ground. These trees offer perfect cover to hunt small invertebrates on the ground. These beautiful creatures disappearing from the world due to habitat loss and urbanization.
The Sri Lankan sambar deer or Indian sambar deer ගෝණා (gōṇā) in Sinhala, is a subspecies of sambar deer that lives in India and Sri Lanka. This subspecies is one of the largest sambar deer species with the largest antlers both in size and in body proportions. Large males weigh up to 270–280 kg. Sambar lives in both lowland dry forests and mountain forests. Large herds of sambar deer roam these grasslands. These shy animals often get spooked by noises and a bit hard to spot soo close.