Knuckles Dothalugala Camping Experience

By : Dinesh Deckker

Contact the Author : 0716 – 818740 |

Year & Month Number of Days Crew Weather Transport
January 2008 3 Day Trip 6 Sunny Van
Trip Route
Colombo -> Kandy[A1] -> Hunnasgiriya[A26] -> KCC (On Hunnasgiriya – Loolwatta (LooLoo watta) Road
Dothalugala Camp Site
Travel Tips, Travel Notes and Special remarks
  • Be sure to carry lanterns and kerosene oil because there is no electricity
  • Be ready for Extreme Wind Conditions and leaches
  • Avoid taking Polythene. Leave only Footprints
  • Don’t make it as just a trip for photography. Enjoy the nature and the beauty, breath fresh air calm your senses
  • The campsite should be reserved from the Forest department.  BOOKING INFORMATION
  • Leave only Foot prints

This travelogue is dedicated for my lovely wife Subhashini


This is the continuation of Knuckles trip and you can check “Knuckles Mini Worlds End Travelogue for more information”

First day we stayed at Deanston conservation centre Dormitory and we covered Mini Worlds End. Our second day objective was to do the “Dothalugala Trail” and to stay at Dothalugala Dormitory.  As I stated earlier trip report we didn’t knew there was a camp site. Forest Dept officers were so friendly and they informed us there is a camp site and we told them that we didn’t carry tents to camp. We were lucky that camp site was not booked for that day and Forest Dept offered us a tent for a reasonable price. I would like to thank the officers and staff helped us for that wonderful camping experience.

am writing for the sake of people who has not camped there before. I didn’t want to share any of this information earlier, after I witnessed the harm people had done to the nature

So Do me a favor.” Please protect Nature, Leave only Footprints”.

Early morning we got up and left to Dothalugala Camp Site. Dothalugala Cabin is 2Km from Deanston. The road is mortable but some parts the condition is not that good. So it is better if you can use a 4WD. Dothalugala camp site is around 750M away from Dothalugala Cabin. Forest Officers provided us a Villager / Guide.

Camp site name Board Near Deanston Conservation Centre

Head start for Camping

Please make sure to carry enough kerosene oil and lanterns, because you are entirely depending on it and there is no electricity available for nearly 2.5KM. When you need to charge you phones and Cameras you can head back to deanston (2.5Km + from campsite) and get it charged.

Hunnasgiriya – Loolwatta Road seen on the way to Dothalugala

Cloud or a Mountain??

We arrived Dothalugala Cabin around 9.30AM. We used Dothalugala Cabin Kitchen to prepare our breakfast and the Villager helped us a lot. Dothalugala Cabin features a very good kitchen. If you carry a burner you will be able to prepare a good meal here. But please note that if anybody booked the Dothalugala Cabin you will have to use Camping ground to prepare your meals.

After the breakfast we did the “Dothalugala Trail”, which will be my next travelogue. It took around 3 – 4 hours to complete the trail and it was a rewarding experience.

Dothalugala Camp Cabin

Dothalugala Camp Cabin Kitchen

There are 2 water sources and one is at the entrance of Dothalugala cabin and next one is a man made water pipe on the Dothalugala Cabin site. It is a diversion of the first water source. Both are pure and drinkable.

We had a late lunch and went to explore the campsite. We had to go though a small forest patch and after that had to walk down some steps and we came to a junction which leads to Camp site, Bird Watching Deck and Natural Water Pool. (See pictures below)

In Forest Patch – Heading towards Camp Site
Campsite Signboar
Climbing down Steps- Heading Towards
Camp Site

The Dothalugala Campsite

We were impressed after seeing the camp site. Forest Dept has done a great job creating the camp site. There were two camping ground which had cement foundation. Yet we had some leach bites… If you are planning to do camping in the rainy season and afraid of leach bites better be prepared. (Picture Above)

I like knuckles camp site because it is located in a unique location and have all the camping facilities needed. Most of All it features 2 Toilets 1 is on the camp site and the other one around 750M away next to Dothalugala Cabin. Also it has pure water source which is drinkable unlike Horton plains. When we camped there the temperature was 13 Celsius at night and 17 Celsius during the daytime.

First we collected firewood for our camp site and it was not that easy we had to struggle with the leaches. My crew was not afraid of leach which was an advantage while camping.

Collecting Firewood…Preparing the Ten

Preparing the CampfireReady for Overnight Stay

After preparing the campfire we prepare the tent for overnight stay. We were tired after Dothalugala Mountain Trail, but still we didn’t feel tired because of the climate and the wonderful surroundings.

After preparing the tent and the campfire we decided to have a bath in the natural pool. It was a short walk from the camp site and a rewarding one. Water was very cold and pure. I am highly recommending the bath in the Dothalugala Natural Water Pool.

Dothalugala Natural Water Pool

Hell Yeah!!!

The bath was a pleasant one and we captured the most memorable photographs of our life during the dusk. It was so beautiful and the beauty which photograph can not describe. Camp site was 399feet above sea level and we witnessed the beauty of the nature as its best.

Our theme song was “ Dampata Handawe, Hiru Basina Mey Yame” – S&R feat Teesha. (Pictures below will show why)

3900 feet above sea level
“Dampata Handawe”

The camp site was so beautiful during the dusk and I don’t think camera has captured the beauty as seen by the naked eye.
It soon became very dark and we had to rely on lanterns and head torches. (The energizer head torch is widely available in supermarkets and highly recommended for camping.)
We headed back to the cabin to prepare dinner. We had fried rice and chicken along with seeni sambol. We had a delicious dinner and after that had some fun. We sang, danced and it was lot of fun.

Head Chefs

One Crew Member Crying

After 1 ½ Hours time around 10.30PM we returned back to camp site and it was the time for our Campfire!

Warmth!!! Ceremonial Campfire Dance

We had a very good night sleep though it was cold. We got up early morning and went to near dothalugala cabin to see sunrise. If you can rise early you will be able to witness a memorable sunrise.

Dothalugala Sunrise Dothalugala Film Shoot

After witnessing the most memorable sunrise we headed back to bird watching deck. Believe me if you are afraid of leach bites I don’t recommend you go there. There are LOT of leaches out there.

Getting to the Top… Bird Watching Deck…

We stayed there for around one hour and then we walked along the small water source and came to many interesting places. But I am not going to add those pictures go explore and see… Later in the day we went exploring “Corbets Gap & Meemure Village” which will be a seperate trip report.

One of our Crew Member Found a gem
Me and My Crew

Before we left Dothalugala we cleaned and collect all the garbage in to garbage bags and left it in the location, wildlife officials have prepared to dump garbage. I hope you all do the same…

Have a Safe Journey…..

  • Be sure to take enough water as water is not available on the trail.
  • When you are at the Worlds End, if there is Mist be careful. It is recommended to start early in the morning because you will be able to get a good view of World’s End.
  • Be ready for Cold and Extreme Wind Conditions.
  • Avoid taking Polythene. Leave only Footprints

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