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|Year and Month||December 2009 (17th – 20th)|
|Number of Days||Four Day Trip|
|Crew||4 (between 24-40 years of age)|
|Accommodation||We were hoping to camp but first day had to spend the night in a “pala” in a Hena in Mandaram Nuwara.2nd and 3rd Nights we arranged through personal Contacts in Udaweriya and Belihuloya respectively.|
|Activities||Butterflies, Birds, Waterfalls, Wildlife, Photography, off-road driving, Hiking|
|Weather||Excellent in the morning hours, but cloudy and drizzling in the evenings.)|
|Route||Colombo -> Kandy -> Haragama -> Mailapitiya -> Hanguranketha -> Padiyapelella -> Walapane -> Padiyapelella -> Mandaram Nuwara -> Brookside -> Nuwaraeliya -> keppetipola -> Ohiya -> Udaweriya -> Kalupahana -> Pambahinna [Belihuloya Campus] -> Beragala -> Wellawaya -> Thanamalwila -> Hambegamuwa -> Kalthota -> Balangoda -> Ratnapura -> Colombo.|
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks|
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We started from Colombo at 3.00 in the morning. Had morning Tea at Hanguranketha at a Friend’s place then visited the first Waterfall of the trip – Katugasoya Ella which is along the B413 road at 30km post. Can go to base of the falls in 1 minute going through a private land where a guest house being constructed.
Note – This Fall is only visible when a reservoir above the fall is letting out Water. We were lucky though.
After this on the way to Walapane We stopped at Andawala Ella Which is also right by the road along the Hanguranketha – Walapane Main road.
Next was Kurudu Oya Ella [189m] in Walapane which is the 2nd highest Waterfall in Sri Lanka. Go passing the Walapane town towards Ragala. After about 1 km you will see a Colorful board saying Kurundu Oya Ella – But this is Wrong and yet it end up at a another beautiful waterfall after 3 km which is ruined by a concrete constructions. This road is motorable upto around 1.5 km only.
The correct road is to go upto Maha-Uva Estate Junction and turn right and proceed through the tea estate. Correct path is marked from there onwards.
Alternatively you can Hike Starting near the “Sama Chaithya” and go up to the falls. Both roads connect at one point but it’s not motorable after few hundreds of meters. We had a big problem to get our jeep turned back after going this way.
That was all for the First day and we headed straight to Mandaram Nuwara and Met Gamini [Rizvy’s contact I found on Lakdasun – Thank you Rizvy].
We were hoping to Camp but due to rain we couldn’t so stayed in a ‘Pela’. Please get permission and help from villagers before doing so. It’s there place after all. And remember it’s really cold out there at night.
Next morning did a little walking to see the Beauty of the mountains “Kolapathana Ella”. You need someone from the village to do the walking I guess.
Then we packed our gear and headed back to the village. Hoping to see Kabaragala Ella and then to leave to Udaweriya. Kabaragala Ella is few meters away from Padiyapelella – Mandaram Nuwara. Ask from someone before reaching Mandaram Nuwara if you want to see this.
Straight to Udaweriya estate as mentioned above and stayed at a friend’s bungalow which belongs to the company which owns “Acacia Inn”.
3rd day Morning started heading to kalupahana via Devil’s stair case. The Scenery was splendid.
We covered Bambarakanda Ella, Lanka ella and the water fall at the top of Bambarakanda too before going to Belihuloya where we spent the night.
4th Day First thing was Diyaluma Ella.
Handapanagala Wewa in the back ground – Wellawaya.
This was the Day for Butterflies and Birds. I have a check list if anyone interested.
After turning right from Thanamalwila-Udawalawa road towards Hambegamuwa after about 2-3 km we were passing a “Dragon Fruit” farm and that’s where the butterflies were encountered. I mean in large numbers. Then Passing Hambegamuwa we turned left to a off road gravel track which ran along a irrigation canal and passing few small lakes where jumbo are supposed to be seen at dusk. That road is surely satisfy a birder.
We left Hambegamuwa area around 5.00 in the evening and had a nice bath at Kalthota be heading back to Colombo.