How to arrive at Thunhisgala
Thunhisgala is situated at knuckles forest reserve. Tough for beginners. If you are not an experienced explorer you should take a guide with you. First, you have to come to Waththegama town. Then you have to catch the Bambarella bus from Waththegama Bus Stand. The bus will leave from the stand at 6.15 am.
Get off the bus at "Gomara bridge”. It will take around 2 hours to reach there. The last bus in the evening is at 5.00 pm but better to ask and know exactly from the conductor. There’s a road for Rathnagiriya shanty houses complex also known as Lebanon Estate. It’s around 10km from the estate to the mountain.
You’ll pass one or two beautiful water streams on your way. After you reach the housing complex ask the way to the Kalupahana / Thunhisgala from estate workers and they will help you. They are very kind people. The road is not very much clear from the estate to the entrance of the knuckles forest reserve.
You will pass "Rathnagiriya Mountain” on your way. After you reach the entrance there is a clear trail to the KMP Wadiya (hut). It is better to download the offline map of this area on google maps before you enter the forest. Your trail will split into two trails in one place and you have to choose the left one. The right one is for the "Kanna’s Place Nuckles” which is a campground according to the google maps.
After you reach the KMP Wadiya, you will see the trail is continuing forward. Go through it. The main trail will divide into two trails. Left one is for Hemachandra Wadiya and the right one is for Thunhisgala Mountain.
Most of the time there will be 3 – 4 villagers including "Mahathun Maama” in KMP Wadiya. Ask them and they will show you the way. There is a small trail near KMP Wadiya which is continuing to the top of the mountain.
This area was cardamom estates in the past and all these "Wadiya” are huts that estate workers get rest but KMP Wadiya is the only one now operating. Due to Kalupahana being a Cardamom processing area in the past there are many paths leading to those abandoned Cardamom huts.
The Forest Department has destroyed those huts except KMP. Now, many footpaths are invaded by forests. So there is a high risk of getting lost. That’ s why I mentioned above "you should take a guide with you”. Basic sanitary facilities are available here in KMP Wadiya. There is a clean and clear drinking water source.
The name "Thunhisgala” is due to three peaks/three ridges meeting together to form the mountain and Kalupahana is the highest one. When you come to the top you can enjoy the beautiful scenery with a wind blow. There are special shrubs that are only high enough to your hip. You can watch many butterfly species, bird species, and rarely deer on your way to the peak.
Don’t hike alone because there are leopards and venomous snakes. Also there\’s a common poisonous plant called "Maussa” once get contacted person gets severe itching. You are not advised to hike in the rainy season. So many leeches are on your way so use a leech repellent.
Great experience for your day-to-day busy life. Come here, enjoy the environment. Feel the natural beauty. Don’t ruin it. Don’t throw garbage. Don’t disturb the balance of nature.