Visiting Srilanka’s highest peak- Piduruthalagala

Piduruthalagala, also known as Mount Pedro is Srilanka’s highest peak. The highest point is 2524 meters above mean sea level. Piduruthalagala is about 8 kms from Nuwara Eliya town and is controlled by Army but accessible to public. This post shares my experience visiting the Piduruthalagala peak.
Internet information said Pidurutalagala is open to public from 8 AM and can be accessed only by vehicle. No trekking allowed. I planned accordingly. Our hotel guys said it opens from 8.30 AM.  We first stopped to view Lover’s leap waterfall which is near Piduruthalagala entrance and then headed to Piduruthalagala. We reached there by about 8.35 AM- there was a ticket counter but it was closed. We waited for few minutes- there were already 5-6 other vans ahead of us. Piduruthalagala is controlled by Srilankan army- they have a communication centre, a mess and few other facilities on the top of the hill. As I inquired with a soldier, he asked us to get ticket from the ticket counter first. We waited for another 10 minutes but no one was there at the ticket counter. Meanwhile they were allowing vehicles with Srilankan nationals through- no tickets for them I guess.
Few more minutes passed, no one came to man the ticket counter- it was close to 9 AM now- I asked the security if we can go now and buy tickets on our way back. He discussed something among his colleagues, spoke with our driver and then they decided to let us through- after taking our names, driver details and noting how many males and how many females in the group.

The drive to top of Pidurutalagala is about 6-7 kms steep uphill drive from the check post. Lots of mist made it fun. I totally missed being in driver’s seat. The drive was through dense forest. After about 30 minutes of drive we reached the top. Unfortunately we couldn’t get any view due to fog. On top of Pidurutalagala are some army establishments- mess, quarters etc. A small temple and a tea shop was all there was to be seen. A tall watch tower was present but not open to public (not sure permanently or because it was foggy that day and no point going to top of watch tower.
Toilet facilities are available. Due to zero visibility nothing much could be done. We spent about 30 minutes in chilling weather and began our decent. If the sky is clear, one can reportedly see Gregory lake, Horton Plains, Adams Peak and other attractions surrounding Nuwara Eliya from top of Piduruthalagala.

On the way back our driver enquired if we should pay anything- the guards let us through.

Overall it was a good visit- I enjoyed the drive and chill weather at Piduruthalaga, though our pray for a few moments of clear sky weren’t answered during the 30 odd minutes we spent on top. I would say certainly worth a visit when in Nuwara Eliya- you might want to plan it on a clear sky day/afternoon so that you have higher chance of getting a good view from top of Piduruthalagala peak.
Nearby: Horton Plains * Seetha Eliya  * Gregory Lake * Damro Tea Factory *

Standby for more posts from Srilanka trip.
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