Daha ata wanguwa (18 Bend Road) is a famous asphalted road located in the Central Province, a central mountainous terrain of Sri Lanka, linking Kandy and Mahiyanganaya. The road has a length of 41km, including 18 hair-pin bends.
The road has been improved (reasphalted and widened) the last years and links the cities of Kandy and Mahiyanganaya. It's also known as 18 hair-pin bend road and it was feared by many drivers as one of the difficult roads in the country. The famous 18 hair-pin bends made it a difficult road even for many experienced motorists and became one of the roads to test their driving skills. But for more than one and half centuries, this road was the only road that linked these main cities. Though it is famous as the 18 bend road people come across only 17 bends in reality as one bend was removed long ago after widening that section of the road.
The surface of the road is asphalted. This stretch of road should not be attempted by novice drivers. The 41 KM long road has been widened to 15 metres and carpeted from Udathenna to Mahiyanganaya. The entire stretch of road includes 10 bridges and 320 box culverts with 37 widened culverts. Renovation work on the 18 bend road which commenced in April 2008 completed construction in less than four years providing motorists a safer and a comfortable journey reducing travel time from four to 1 ½ hours. This dual carriage highway with a width of 8.25m was completed with assistance provided by the Asian Development Bank. The road is certainly breathtaking and it has a fearsome reputation.
The experience of using this road is very impressive. This road was an attractive road among the local and foreign travellers as it was a very rare experience for them to pass this terrain during their voyages to Mahiyangana or to the Eastern part of the country. For many children and also adults, counting these 18 bends during their journey and to have a brief stop over at the top of the hilly part to enjoy the picturesque scene in the valley of Mahiyanagana from the top of the hills was a very enjoyable experience.