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|soraYear and Month||January, 2015 (02nd & 03rd )|
|Number of Days||Two Day Trip|
|Crew||4 – Shalika, Thusitha, Nadeesha and Niroshan|
|Accommodation||Uma Guest. Uwathanna T.P. 0723654871|
|Transport||Bus, Three-wheeler and Walking|
|Activities||Photography, waterfall hunting, sightseeing and archeology|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
**Special Thanks to** – Sri for your running commentary to Yalathanna waterfall. Otherwise we would miss it. Mr. Chandana from Haldummulla for your guidance in Haldummulla. Thanks Harinda to share your previous experience about this area with us. (I think most updated report I found about this area)-
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I wanted to start my trip calendar of 2015 with some fresh waterfalls hunting following heavy rains of end of 2014. My first visit to Bambarakanda happened in 2010 and this is after 5 years. Bambarakanda area doesn’t have much rain during last two weeks. But feeding lands of these waterfalls-Hortain plains had such heavy rain. Therefore waterfalls showed their full phase in our visit.
We reached Bambarakanda resort cottage around 8.30am and Mrs. Sera Mayakaduwa (owner of the cottage) was ready with our breakfast and the guide. Following the breakfast we started the journey. It was a circular trail we planned like as follows:
Bambarakanda Resort Cottage-> Bambarakanda waterfall and it’s upper one->Lanka Ella-> Yalathanna Falls-> Uduwara and Nagadowa Falls-> Returned to Bambarakanda Resort Cottage.
We walked down along the main road up to the entrance of Bambarakanda waterfall trail. Now they have made a foot pathway with cement steps to the base pool of Bambarakanda waterfall. There is an observation desk at base pool of Bambarakanda waterfall where we had a full view of the tallest fall of Sri Lanka. It was difficult to save our cameras getting wet from droplets of the waterfall shakes with wind.
Bambarakanda Falls (බඹරකන්ද ඇල්ල)
This is the highest waterfall of Sri Lanka which has 263m (863feet) height. It starts from Hortain Plains and makes the waterfall at Bambaragala (බඹරගල) Mountain. Though it is seen as a single waterfall, it has a hidden fall above classically seen Bambarakanda waterfall. There is a pool in between upper and lower Bambarakanda waterfalls where you can have a bath.
We followed the cement steps back and joined with the foot pathway which went through Pines forest. It ascended up and at one point we noticed a branch in right hand side towards the upper Bambarakanda falls. Without going to upper fall we followed the foot pathway further to reach Lanka Ella.
Foot pathway to Lanka Ella (ලoකා ඇල්ල) winds through the Pines patch first and then reached an open area where we met Mana bushes.
Lanka Ella (ලoකා ඇල්ල)
This 12m/40feet tall waterfall gets it’s name due to the base pool which has the shape of Sri Lanka. Early this base pool was so deep and believed to have a treasurer. But now this base pool is filled with large stones making it shallow.
Following Lanka Ella we followed the foot pathway back and headed towards top of Lanka Ella. We crossed Lanka Ella and followed the foot pathway through the Mana patch till we reach Udaweriya/Uduwara tea estate. Our aim was to visit at Yalathanna waterfall.
As usual, our guide was clueless about the waterfall and he denied to cross Lanka Ella. This time Sri came to my help over the phone and guided towards Yalathanna Fall.
After come to tea estate we walked about 100m and then creped down in our left hand side towards the water stream. It was bit difficult to get down as there was no such a foot pathway. Then we walked parallel to the water stream. At one stage we found a tiny waterfall at the water stream. We would like to name it as Pahala Yalathanna Fall (පහල යාල තැන්න ඇල්ල).
We walked further up till we meet this furious lady following rain-Yalathanna waterfall.
Yalathanna waterfall (යාල තැන්න ඇල්ල)
This waterfall is situated at Yalathanna area. It might have a height of 15-20m. Yalathanna waterfall is a hidden one and no clear foot pathway to reach there.
We followed the same foot pathway back and selected the foot pathway up to join with the road goes in front of Bambarakanda guest. There was somewhat clear foot pathway but we clarified our way by estate workers.
Once we entered the gravel road we started to go down till we find the foot pathway to “Lampuwaththa” estate. You can have a view of Uduwara and Nagadowa at “Lampuwaththa” estate. But estate workers discouraged us about unclear foot pathway.
We got a new guide form there and he brought us to a place where both Uduwara and Nagadowa waterfalls can be seen well. Actually this foot pathway starts at the end of the tea estate and now it has been forested. Otherwise no problem in following this foot pathway.
This was the day of Haldummulla. Haldummulla is situated few kilometers away from Kalupahana (කලුපහන) (Where Bambarakanda waterfall is located) towards Badulla. It has several tourist attractions. It’s elevation is 1200meters.
Haldummulla Portuguese Fort (හල්දුම්මුල්ල පෘතුගීසි බලකොටුව)
This is situated on top of Haldummulla mountain where surrounding is clearly visible. The fort is referred as Katugodalla (කටුගොඩැල්ල) fort as well. Only the stone outlining of the shape of the base of the fort lies within the Pines forest in the present day. At the time of existence, it formed a frontier post for the Colombo based area under Portuguese control. The Idalgashinna (ඉදල්ගස්හින්න) pass was a gateway to the Uva and its capital of Badulla and it was used as staging post by the Portuguese forces.
There are two pathways to reach this. One is through Need Wood estate where road condition is good. We got the direction at Halatuthanna (හාල් අටුතැන්න) junction (Before Haldummulla town from Kalupahana) and drove up about 4-5kms. Scenery was so beautiful and we parked our vehicle closer to the tea factory at Need Wood estate. Then we clarified the way by nearby villagers. It was situated about 500m away from Need Wood tea factory.
There is another road/foot pathway from Haldummulla town towards the fort. We noticed the archeology board in front of this pathway. Don’t know much details of it.
We drove back to Halatuthanna junction after the fort and got the way down towards Soragune ancient Katharagama Dewalaya from the junction.
Soragune Ancient Katharagama Dewalaya (සොරගුණේ පුරාණ කතරගම දේවාලය)
This might be the main tourist attraction of Haldummulla. It is situated about 8km from Halatuthanna Junction. The road condition is excellent following new construction.
This was built by a local king called Yapa (යාපා) during Seethawaka Rajasingha (සීතාවක රාජසිoහ) period. During the battle with King Seethawaka Rajasingha, King Yapa made a promise to build a Dewalaya for God Katharagama if he wins. He forgot his vow though he won the war. Later King Yapa got a sore throat and then he remembered the promise for God Katharagama. Then he built a small Dewalaya here for the god and cured his sore throat. Therefore this Dewalaya called Soragune due to curing sore throat.
Soragune Dewalaya has all components of an ancient Dewalaya: Kattaha Maduwa (කට්ටාහ මඩුව), Diggeya (දිග්ගෙය), Maligawa (මාලිගාව), kitchen and store rooms.
Following Soragune Dewalaya we came back to Halatuthanna junction. Our next place of visit was a pre historical burial ground and settlement at Haldummulla. There are number of these kind places at Haldummulla and excavations done by Prof. Raj Somadewa and team few years ago.
Local authority has made a concrete road over one of these excavations in Haldummulla.
It is situated in few meters of the road of Haldummulla Tamil School.
At the end we had a bath from a water stream and got our lunch there. As I had to attend to a function in the night we winded up the second day of the trip early and came to Colombo.
Thanks for reading.