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|Year and Month||December 2009|
|Number of Days||Two Day Trip|
|Crew||4 (between 20-30 years)|
|Transport||Car up to Bambarakanda Rest (Road is good till the last few meters to Bambarakanda Rest)|
|Activities||Hiking, Photography, Waterfalls, Wildlife, birding, Cold water bath|
|Weather||Occasional rain, mist and clear whether (Unpredictable wheather as usually in Hills of upcountry)|
|Route||Colombo -> Rathnapura -> Palmadulla -> Balangoda -> Belihuloya -> Kalupahana -> Bambarakanda. (Take the left turn just after passing 172nd KM post after passing double bridge on A4 road to Kalupahana)|
|Tips, Notes and Special remarks||
|Related Resource||1. Attraction: Bambarakanda – Waterfalls, Mountains, adventure and scenic beauty2. Trail Guides
3. More information about the flickr Group “Adventure Sri Lanka” which is an initiative by Danushka
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
We had reserved the Bambarakanda rest as our accommodation. After picking everyone, we left Kottawa around 2 in the morning. Stopped by somewhere around Avissawella for a tea and collected some short eat items from there. We were at Bambarakanda rest by 6.30 in the morning. It was nice to see the sun rise and Bambarakanda falls washed by morning sunlight.
We were warmly welcomed by the lodge owner and served morning tea. After breakfast at Bambarakanda rest we started our hike by 7.30 with the trekker “Ravi”. He is a villager with very good knowledge about the area and had been to almost all the interesting sites. Certainly the best person to get as the guide. Very helpful. Our plan was to hike to as many waterfalls in the area as possible. We have heard that there are about 6 unnamed waterfalls in the area. We wanted to explore at least few of them. So we started our journey with the first target of visiting Lanka Ella Falls. On the way down, the Bambarakanda falls was seen so beautifully with considerable amount of water in it.
We hiked along the trial to the base of the Bambarakanda waterfall. Crossed the broken bridge and entered the pine forest.
I must say a word about the pine plantation. This is a curse on our hills, for which the governments then are responsible. Villagers claim that the water levels have gone down in the area after growing these miserable plants in the hills, which doesn’t allow any undergrowth. Leaves of the plant is coated with wax. It does nothing to protect the soil and these leaves takes a long time to bio-degrade.
We climb up to the top edge of Bambarakada where the trial divides in to two, one branch going to the top of the Bambarakanda and the other to Lanka ella and tea plots on that side. We got few shots of the valley down to Belihuloya and far beyond. At this point we could see the seven basins created by the stream which creates Lanka ella. Unfortunately we couldn’t get a photo of it.
We continue our hike toward the bottom of Lanka ella. we could see several beautiful cascading water through the forest. And also the scenic view of hills above Ohila and lanka ella.
Hike to Lanka ella was not that difficult, I guess it won’t be a challenge for anybody interested in nature. And Lanka ella s a beautiful waterfalls to watch with reasonable flow. Surrounding was also quite cool and pleasing. Lanka ella had got it’s name because of the base pool is in the shape of Sri Lanka. Late husband of Mrs. Sera Mayakaduwa, the present owner of Bambarakanda Rest, has the honor of naming the waterfall.
We left the scenic Lanka ella for more adventure. Our next destination was a virgin fall in the forest which had no name. So we named it as “Yalathanna ella”, behind the name given to that area.
This hike is bit difficult and some what dangerous too. We had to cross the stream at the top of Lanka ella to reach the other side.
Few hundred meters through grassland and then you come across small forest patches. Continued through small tea patches and the steep down hills through tea patches to the main forest was the way we hiked. Along the bank of the stream we continued our hike to the fall. It was a nice and new experience.
Finally we got to this beautiful virgin angle. Our guide told us that he has only brought very few people there. Waterfall even didn’t have a name. So we named it Yalathanna ella.
Huge flow of water from Yalathanna ella was disturbing and throwing water drops everywhere. It was really difficult to get a good shot. I had a filter on my lens or otherwise I would have never pointed my camera to shoot this. We had some short eats there and spent about and hour with this virgin beauty. And continued our journey up hills. Plan was to get back to the main road over the Babarakanda hills. Hike up was not easy and for the first time in the hike I was sweating.
We were hiking through tea estates, forest patches and grass lands untill we came across a clean water stream. Once we got there we decided to have lunch. We were so hungry and a bit tired as well. We had brought lunch from Bambarakanda rest, so we had lunch near the stream. After another half a mile hike, we got back on to the road.
Our next destination was top of the Bambarakanda falls. We climbed down on the road through some estates and colonies, watching villagers working in fields and farms with extremely difficult living conditions. Road conditions were very bad in some sections, but there were evidence of well built road by the time of English empire. As per our guide, these villagers travel to city only once or twice a month, only tractors come to village to collect vegetables and tea.
We reached the top of Bambarakanda Falls soon. The surrounding had a spectacular view.
After been there for about half an hour, we continued up hills again to the main road. Climb up was not so difficult but took so much energy. Fast climb has taken a lot out of me. And there were more in the list of hikes to do. Time was running out and mist was covering the area. So we decided to get back to Bambarakanda rest and start the hike to Nagadola and Uduwara falls next day morning. It was such a good idea because by the time we got back to the rest it was about 6pm.
We were walking all day and were so tired. Legs started to shake. It was a hike almost after a year since we had been to Kirigalpoththa last December. I was wondering whether I would be able to get up and walk the next morning. After a cool bath and some tasty dinner, we fell in to sleep really fast. It was a long day.
I slept by the door and wokeup with a sound of opening a door. Sun light has come through windows and I felt like I can’t sleep anymore. Surprisingly I could standup on my own feet, and more surprisingly.. Achana was not in his bed. Somebody has got up before me. I walked out and found him at the corridor. He seems to have recovered better than me. Soon Lasantha and Lloyd joined us.
I packed my camera with tele and started looking for birds, for me, the day 2 was for birds and wildlife. Eventhough I was not so interested, rest of the guys wanted to get to the bottom of Bambarakanda falls. so we had a small hike before breakfast. I was lucky enough to capture two endemic bird species on the way.
We got back to the rest to get ready for our next hike after breakfast. We began the hike to Nagadowa and Uduwara falls at about 9.30a.m. Hike was hardest only for about 500m, then it was less steep and through tea estates and grass lands. Sometimes our trail was covered in mist and soon it would clear off. There were few friendly tea pluckers on the way.
We could see the road to Bambarakanda as well as the A4 highway from this trail. Ravi has shown us a unique rock formation known as “Three rocks” which looked like one huge rock on two other smaller rocks. Villagers says that the rock on the top can move even with a finger tip but it can’t be rolled over.
We got to the observation point of falls after about one and half hours of walking from Bambarakanda rest.
Here are some beautiful shot I was able to capture. I should thank Lasantha for giving me his wide angle lens or else I would not be able to shoot some of these shots.
These two remarkable beauties stay side by side so close to each other. Nagadowa falls falling form the hills above Ohiya and the Uduwara falls falls from the famous Udaweriya estate. On a clear day we could have seen the udaweriya tea factory, but hills were covered in mist most of the time. Sometimes we could see a line home just above Uduwara falls where estate workers of Udaweriya estate lives.
Ravi and Mrs. Mayakaduwa told us that it is really difficult to get to the bottom of the falls. Only hand full of people had made it. And we heard that the honor of naming these falls goes to Mrs. Mayakaduwa the owner of Bambarakanda rest. After spending about half an hour there we headed back to Bambarakanda rest. On the way back, we came across a huge bird flock. I was shooting them in a hurry and forgot to change the camera mode. All of my shots as a result were faded out. I was really disappointed. There were few endemic and beautiful birds in the flock like Sri Lankan White eye, Gray headed Canary flycatcher, Square-tailed Black bulbul, white-rumped Munia, Pied Bush-Chat and Scarlet Minivet. With the disappointment there, we head back to the Bambarakanda rest. All around I’m satisfied with the trip, we have covered all planned hikes.
We were so lucky, with just 100m to Bambarakanda rest it started raining and rain continued till we left the rest at about 3pm. Bambarakanda falls was getting more water and becoming much more beautiful than what it was. It was a heaven that we were leaving behind.
Back on the way we had lunch at Belihuloya rest with the view of the fast flowing Belihul oya. It was getting more water after the rain and it continued raining till we come to Awissawella and continued as a small shower till we got home at about 10 PM.