This Viral Photo Is Not Of The Famous Mahiyangana 18-Bend Drive. Here Is Why…

False Tourism Travel

As a tourist hotspot, Sri Lanka has many interesting attractions and geographic features. The famous 18-bends (hairpin bends) of the Kandy – Mahiyangane – Padiyatalawa Highway is one such feature and driven through by many locals and tourists alike as it is the main route to many religious and tourist locations in central Sri Lanka. Located in the Central Province, the asphalted A26 Highway has existed for nearly 2 centuries. It is 41km long and actually includes 17 hairpin bends. 

We noticed a Lankan Facebook page titled SNAP having posted a photo claiming to be an aerial image of the 18-bends which went viral with over 1000 shares. Some of the comments in the post questioned the authenticity of the image as it in fact did not seem to look like hairpin bends of Mahiyangana. The post can be seen below:



In order to verify the authenticity of the image, we began with a Google Reverse Image Search which indicated that the image was of the Kolli Hills located in Tamil Nadu, India. The same image as well as other aerial angles of the bends shown in the viral image confirm this to be true. Some of the images can be seen below:

Further, counting the number of actual bends in the road seen in the viral image indicates that there are more than 20 bends, which does not correspond with the Mahiyangana road. Additionally, the image posted is misleading because we seem to only see a part of the image in the viral post and looking at the full image as presented on, it is apparent that the road in Kolli Hills in Central Tamil Nadu has more that 70 bends as per the accompanying information. The full image can be seen below:

To get a better image of the actual 18-bends of Mahiyangana we searched the location on Google Maps which in fact indicates that some of the bends in the stretch of road are not always close to one another as can be seen below:

A Google Image Search for aerial photography of the 18-bends road also indicates a drastic difference between the viral image and actual location as can be seen below:


Based on the evidence found on the actual location of the viral image and the differences in the authentic 18-bends road in Mahiyanganaya, Sri Lanka – we declare the post is miscaptioned and entirely false


Title:This Viral Photo Is Not Of The Famous Mahiyangana 18-Bend Drive. Here Is Why…

Fact Check By: Shenaya Seneviratne 

Result: False

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