Your travel guide for Sri Lanka

Welcome to our comprehensive travel guide on Hulangala, Sri Lanka. This guide aims to provide you with an in-depth exploration of Hulangala, a hidden gem in the heart of Sri Lanka's scenic landscapes. We'll cover everything from the intriguing Hulangala Mini World's End to the various activities, attractions, and practical tips to make your visit memorable.

About Hulangala

Hulangala is a remarkable destination that stands out for its unique hiking experience and its stunning views. It is located at the intersection of the Kurunegala and Matale districts, making it accessible from multiple regions. The area's most notable feature is its position at the southern end of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Knuckles Mountain Range, which is renowned for its diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity.

Hulangala gets its name from the combination of the Sinhalese words 'Hulan' and 'Gala,' which translates to Wind Rock or Windy Rock. This is due to the strong wind conditions at the peak. Hulangala resembles a ship with sails from a distance. Because of this, it is also known as Navgala, 'Nav' meaning ship and 'Gala' meaning rock in Sinhalese.

At an elevation of 1025 meters, Hulangala's summit provides a vantage point that offers breathtaking views over a vast expanse of Sri Lanka's landscape. The area is characterized by a wide variety of flora and fauna, attracting nature enthusiasts and wildlife researchers. This rich natural environment is a crucial habitat for many species and plays a significant role in the ecological balance of the region.

The Hulangala Mini World's End is a highlight for visitors. It presents a unique perspective of the surrounding valley and distant terrains, making it a prime spot for photography and nature observation. 

Hulangala is surrounded by tea plantations, which are integral to the local economy and lifestyle. The tea estates not only contribute to the region's economic development but also add to its scenic beauty. The traditional practices associated with tea cultivation are a window into the local culture and heritage.

Activities and Attractions

Hulangala, with its lush landscapes and serene environment, offers a range of activities for visitors, making it an ideal destination for those seeking both adventure and relaxation.


The area's terrain provides excellent opportunities for hiking. Visitors can trek to the Hulangala Mini World's End viewpoint, a journey that offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, including the Knuckles mountain range and the Mahaweli River. The climb to this viewpoint is a well-walkable path, though steeper than the initial trail from the entrance. Once you reach the Mini World's End, you can also hike up to the summit of Hulangala.


Hulangala has become a sought-after destination for overnight camping, attracting groups of travelers and solo hikers alike. Many visitors choose to hike up in the evening, set up camp, and then wake up to the spectacular views that the area is renowned for. It is usually not too crowded, offering you the freedom to select your ideal spot to unwind in peace. Imagine starting your day with a refreshing cup of tea as you soak in the serene beauty of the sunrise.

However, it's essential to stay alert to the local weather conditions. The area can experience sudden and severe changes, including heavy rain and strong winds. Being caught unprepared in such weather can ruin your camping experience. It's advisable to check the forecast before setting out and to always be prepared with suitable gear to ensure your adventure remains enjoyable, regardless of the weather.

Exploring Waterfalls

Near Hulangala, you'll find enchanting waterfalls like Yatawatta Biso Ella and Udagama Ella, along with smaller cascades perfect for a refreshing dip close to the camping site. Yatawatta Biso Falls, in particular, is a must-see for its serene beauty and photographic opportunities. Keep in mind, though, that these waterfalls might dry up in certain months, so plan your visit accordingly for the full experience.

Scenic Drives and Motorbiking

The journey to Hulangala itself is scenic, with roads flanked by tea plantations and mountains. For those who prefer a less strenuous approach than hiking, motorcycles, tuk-tuks and 4x4 vehicles can reach the viewpoint, allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of the environment effortlessly​​.

Photography and Videography

With its breathtaking views and serene landscapes, Hulangala is a photographer's paradise. The viewpoint at Mini World's End, in particular, offers a vantage point for capturing the stunning vistas of the Knuckles Range and beyond. Hulangala is especially beautiful during the early morning and late afternoon. During the golden hour, the orange glow of the setting sun reaching through the distant mountain peaks and clouds create an ethereal landscape.

If you decide to camp overnight at Hulangala, make sure to wake up early. The early morning hours unveil some of the most spectacular views this location has to offer. As dawn breaks, you'll witness a breathtaking display of fog nestled among the mountain peaks, creating a serene and almost mystical landscape.

Hulangala is also an ideal spot for drone videography. You can focus on flying around the Mini World's End as well as capturing the Hulangala rock from a distance. The scenic surroundings, combined with the amazing atmosphere makes for some dramatic shots.

Hulangala Mini World's End

A highlight of any visiting Hulangala is the Mini World's End. This spot, perched at an elevation of 760 meters above sea level, is a part of the majestic Hulangala Mountain, which rises to 1025 meters. The Mini World's End provides a panoramic view that encompasses the extensive Knuckles Mountain Range, the sprawling Mahaweli River, and the wide plains of Kurunegala. On days when the sky is clear, visitors can gaze out towards the distant coastline, capturing a holistic view of Sri Lanka's diverse landscapes.

Location and How to Get There

If you're setting off from Colombo, head on the E04 towards Kurunegala and continue for about 12km in the direction of Matale until you reach Yatawatta. A handy tip: rather than searching for 'Hulangala' in Google Maps, which often leads to inaccuracies, input 'Selagama Tamil Maha Vidyalaya'. This school marks the correct pathway towards Hulangala, guiding you from there.

You'll soon encounter a distinctive ironwood tree ('Na tree') beside a sign for 'Elkaduwa Plantations Ltd: Selagama Estate'. Follow this road upwards and you'll be welcomed by the entrance of Selagama Estate. A bit further along, the Selagama Tamil Maha Vidyalaya school appears, with clear signage directing you towards Hulangala. Also, keep an eye out for the path leading to Biso Ella waterfall, located halfway along this route.

Continue ascending and you'll reach the ticket booth. Here, you have the option to park and hike the remaining distance. However, if you're on a motorbike or in a 4x4, you can drive directly to the top. It's approximately 2km from the ticket counter to Hulangala Mini World's End.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Hulangala is during the dry season during December to March when the trails are more accessible, and the views are unobstructed by mist. However, the region has a charm throughout the year, with each season bringing its unique allure.

If you are planning to camp overnight, it would be a good idea to visit during the late afternoon and set up camping. The evening and sunrise offer the best scenery, so make sure to target those times during your visit.

Weather in Hulangala

The weather in Hulangala is tropical and can vary significantly with elevation and time of year, making it crucial for visitors to be well-prepared for their journey. During the dry season, which typically runs from December to March, the area experiences less rainfall, making it an ideal time for hiking and outdoor activities.

On the other hand, the wet season, spanning from May to September, brings heavier rainfall, which can transform the landscape into a lush, vibrant green but also make the trails slippery and more challenging to navigate. Rainfall is more frequent and can be quite heavy at times, particularly in the afternoons and evenings.

Hulangala changes drastically based on the weather. On a sunny day it is clear and pleasant, while during rainy weather it has a mystical atmosphere with fog and lush greenery. Both of these have their unique appeal. Both these scenarios can even occur on the same day as the weather is a bit unpredictable.

The intensity of the wind in Hulangala, particularly around the Mini World's End, can be astonishingly strong, due to the prevailing weather conditions. On days when the wind is at its peak, it has such force that if you were to toss a lightweight object, such as a piece of wood, off the edge of the Mini World's End, it could very well be swept up and returned right back to you. This shows the powerful and unpredictable nature of the wind in this area, adding a thrilling dimension to the experience of this remarkable location.

Ticket Prices and Facilities

The ticket price for Hulangala for overnight camping is 5000 rupees for up to 10 people.

To enhance the comfort of your visit to Hulangala, essential facilities have been thoughtfully provided at the summit. Visitors will find a tap at the top of the mountain, ensuring access to drinking water during their stay.

Additionally, toilet facilities are available, catering to the basic needs of travelers and making extended stays and camping at the top more comfortable.

Tips and Advice

When visiting Hulangala, consider these tips and advice for a smooth experience:

  • Wear Comfortable Footwear: The terrain can be uneven, so sturdy shoes are a must.
  • Protect Yourself Against Leeches: The natural landscapes of Hulangala, are home to leeches, especially during the wetter months. Make sure to take precautions and protect yourself.
  • Stay Hydrated: Carry enough water for your hike, as it can be strenuous.
  • Prepare for the Weather: The weather can change rapidly; pack for both sun and rain.
  • Respect the Environment: Avoid littering and stick to marked trails to preserve the area's natural beauty.
  • Beware of Strong Winds: Hulangala is known for extreme winds, especially at higher elevations like the Mini World's End. Approach edges with caution.
  • Seek Permissions: Some areas may require permission for access; check in advance.
  • Plan Your Visit Timing: Early morning or late afternoon offers the best light and milder temperatures for your visit.
  • Choice of Vehicle: If you plan on reaching the top of Hulangala in a vehicle, make sure to use a motorbike or a 4x4 as the terrain is rough. You won't be able to reach the top in a car.
  • Alcohol Prohibition: Keep in mind that bringing or consuming alcohol at the Hulangala premises is strictly forbidden by the estate, particularly for safety reasons.

Nearby Attractions and Activities

You can visit several notable destinations during your trip to Hulangala. But most of these are at least an hour's drive away. So it's a good idea to include Hulangala as stop on the way to a destination with more attractions packed closer together. Some attractions near Hulangala are:

  1. Yatawatta Biso Ella: A picturesque waterfall located within the Selagama Estate, offering visitors a serene spot for relaxation and photography.
  2. Knuckles Mountain Range: A UNESCO World Heritage site known for its diverse ecosystems and rich biodiversity, ideal for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife observation.
  3. Matale: A city renowned for its spice gardens and cultural sites, offering a glimpse into Sri Lanka's rich heritage and natural beauty.
  4. Dambulla: Famous for the Dambulla Cave Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site with intricate murals and statues, reflecting the area's historical significance.
  5. Riverston: Riverston is known for its breathtaking views, endemic flora and fauna, as well as the stunning grassland at Pitawala Pathana.

Hulangala, with its Mini World's End and surrounding natural beauty, is a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka. It offers a blend of adventure, tranquility, and cultural exploration. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, Hulangala promises an experience that is both enriching and unforgettable.

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