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|Year and Month||July, 2013|
|Number of Days||One Day Trip|
|Crew||4 (Ashan / Amila / Harinda / Sri )|
|Activities||Waterfall Hunting / Scenery / Bike ride|
|Route||Maharagama -> Avissawella -> Karawanella -> Yatiyanthota -> Parusella -> Malalpola -> Halgolla -> Punugala -> Amanawala -> Halgolla tea factory -> Wewelthalawa -> returned back to Parusella -> Ampagala -> Puna hela -> Bulathkohupitiya -> Thunbage -> Dedugala -> Ihala Pelanpitiya -> Bulathkohupitiya -> Gonaramba -> Ruvanwella -> Avissawella -> Monaragala|
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
**SPECIAL THANKS TO** Lahiru
|Comments||Discuss this trip report, provide feedback or make suggestions at Lakdasun Forum on the thread|
It had been raining continuously during the past few weeks and the waterfalls were living their dream. It was time for another waterfall hunt and the idea was further facilitated by my friend Amila who said lets go on a bike ride and find few cascades tomorrow. So as usual this bike ride was planned on 8pm on the previous day and to be successfully carried out on the following day. Harinda decided to break the silence and join in this venture after a long pause and Sri was ever so ready to explore some beauties. We decided to explore Wee oya valley of Yatiyanthota and Ritigaha wahaka oya valley in Bulathkohupitiya , targeting few hidden cascades that were waiting until some waterfall lovers visit them.
So all four of us got together as planned at 4.30am at Maharagama and headed towards Avissawella, where the magical sun rise over Kelani River forced us to step on the breaks. Next stop was Karawanella where we had our breakfast and also packed up some bread as lunch and hurried towards Yatiyanthota. From Yatiyanthota we took the Seeforth road along Wee oya valley. The scenery towards Wee oya forced us to take few stops even before we had a glimpse of the first cascade of the day. Wee oya falls can be viewed cascading from the slopes of the opposite mountain resembling Diyaluma falls just before reaching Halgolla. In parallel to it another cascade could be seen plunging down and we named it Wee oya 2 falls.
Just before reaching Malalpola we came across a road side cascade called Malalpola falls where we shot some close ups before heading towards Malalpola junction where Kithul falls could be found. Kithul falls is another road side beauty which has got its name because of the abandoned Kithul trees in the vicinity. From here onwards the houses and the boutiques seemed to be belonging to some other decade from the past. Next road side beauty was Punugala fall which is formed by Anda dola, we enjoyed this beauty from the bridge rather than attempting to get to it by donating some blood to the blood suckers 😛 . This waterfall plunges down through a canal in a rock wall in an angular fashion. On the way to Amanawala we did see another cascade plunging along the steep rock on the opposite hill which is called Gorok fall and there was a temple at the base of it. There was a small reservoir across Wee oya close to it which we decided to explore on our way back. Before reaching Olu falls we did come across few road side Cascades where we didn’t forget to photograph.
Close to Amanawala we went across a wooden bridge and suddenly noted that we were crossing Olu ella and again the breaks were put in to action :-D. Olu Ella which is said to be the 5th highest in Sri Lanka has many levels and from the bridge one can easily visualize its upper and middle parts. Since it had rained during the past few days the waterfall was in full flow. Few locals who passed by advised us not to get down from the bridge, showing us the danger that awaits us. Whenever a vehicle crosses the wooden bridge our legs had a free massage due to the shakiness of the planks. Just passing the bridge there was a foot path towards Wee oya which we took and reached the base of the lower part to get a full view of the waterfall. The slippery rocks made our task very difficult than we expected. Though we had a good view of the cascade from this point it is said that a better view could be gained from the power house on the opposite bank of Wee oya. Just like all other waterfalls we came across up to now Olu ella also terminated in Wee oya which eventually joined Mighty Kelany river. On our way back we did not forget to enjoy a walk along the suspension bridge across Wee oya which we noted previously.
Between 15 and 18m wide, and 100m tall, Olu Falls is an impressive sight. it cascades downwards in four streams into a pool at the base known as Olu Dola. The waters then merge with the Wee River, before flowing into the Kelani River, near the Saman Temple at Yatiyantota. The water serves the areas of Mevia and Gilma.
A wooden bridge spans the river and during rainy weather the fall’s spray soaks passing villagers. The local people have noticed that the water volume has started to decrease, though there is still enough to sustain them. The water is also used for several turbines in the area and to irrigate the surrounding paddy fields.
The fall can be found 19km along the road from Yatiyantota town, heading in the direction of Seepotha (Galle District, Yatiyantota PC Amanawela GS area). The Kitulgala rest-house is 34km away.
At the bridge we did note a mighty mountain and when we inquired about it the locals said it was called Wewethalawa/Wewelthalawa, suddenly I remembered that I have been thinking of getting to the top of it for ages and since there was a road to the top of it we decided to give it a try. On the way back we arrived at Halgolla tea factory where we pumped some air in to Amila’s bike before starting to ascend from that point onwards. The road which branches out from Halgolla tea factory was winding around the mountain and rapidly gaining elevation producing some stunning scenery which is a pleasure to the eyes. After about 7Km’s we reached a significant landmark at the base of the rock called Dripping rock which is a place of worship for the locals. The name has been given to this point because of the continuous drooling of water along the rock for about 100m during the whole year. It is one of those unique places one needs to visit whenever they get a chance. Passing the dripping rock we further ascended uphill through the forest patch of Amanawala reserve and on the way we did note cable carts which once carried tea leaves from Wewelthalawa to Halgolla tea factory and immediately we did stop to have a better look at this masterpiece from the past. After tackling the winding uphill route with many hair pin bends we reached the plateau of Wewethalawa which seemed like a hidden heaven on top of a mountain and the summit of it was seen to be having two transmission towers. From the plateau we had to proceed to the left from the Budhdha statue and the road begun to get bad to worse within no time. The scenery was priceless and it did force us again to have some quick stops. On the way we came across a memorial done in remembrance of the WW2 and we were clueless of its significance.
The road through the forest patch towards the summit is a 4 wheel ride and you really need a 4WD to tackle this road. Our bikes faced many obstacles on the way through this forest patch which was similar to Horton plains. At some places we even had to push our bikes for few meters. The road is in terrible condition and we did suffer the consequences later. After tackling the last 5Km we reached the summit which was covered with mist. After passing the SLBC tower we reached a closed gate towards ITN transmission tower where we had to get special permission to proceed in which we achieved successfully. Unfortunately the mist was not in our favour so it obscured a panoramic view towards Colombo and Kitulgala areas. If you have been to Kitulgala you would have noted Wewelthalawa transmission towers clearly. We were shown a foundation of building from WW2 era, where the British had their military camp and a main communication and observation tower during that period. It was time to leave this summit which was 4200ft in altitude and reach the drier Bulathkohupitiya region. The descend was equally difficult and we did manage to get down with caution, Amila’s bike had already lost some air and we needed to get it fixed ASAP so we had to skip the Observation point at Wewelthalawa Plateau this time. When we reached the Seeforth road both bikes had punctured tubes and that summed up the road condition to Wewelthalawa.
After repairing the two bikes of Amila and Harinda we reached Parusella junction and headed towards Bulathkohupitiya Rd. while heading towards Bulathkohupitiya along Ruwanwella rd we noted Punahela falls on the right hand side of the road close Ampagala. Next stop was Bulathkohupitiya junction. After buying some stuff we headed along Dedugala road. Next attraction is Rikili ella which springs down the slope of a hill on the left hand side to end in Ritigaha wahaka oya and you won’t miss this waterfall which has a road side name board same as the next two waterfalls. After passing few more Km’s we reached the board saying Nalagana ella where we proceeded along the foot path which led towards it. This is my second visit to these waterfalls almost after 4 years that is. At Nalagana Ella we came across a couple who was in deep romance and didn’t note us until 5 or 10 minutes passed by. To get a closer view of this beauty I did crawl upon some boulders with some difficulty but at the end the view was ever so rewarding. This was the most beautiful waterfall for me on that day. It was Dancing down just like a Nalagana and it think that name suits her very well. We did have our bread as lunch and headed back to the road in search of the next road side beauty which was Rukmal Ella. Rukmal ella is yet again another road side attraction which one will come across while traveling up to Dedugala.
The source of the 30m fall is the stream flowing from the northern side of the Hunusahaldeniya mountain range (600m). It flows via Ritigaha to the Kelani River. It is 5km from the Dedugala highway, and the nearest town is Kitulgala.
Springing from the Ritigaha Oya reservoir, the Nalangana Falls comprises a number of chutes, each measuring about 40m in height. The fall is situated at Dedugala, 9km east of Bulathkohupitiya. The nearest town is Bulathkohupitiya, and the Kitulgala rest-house is 41km away
This 20m rukmal fall is best viewed from the highway. To reach it from Bulathkohupitiya, travel along the road to the east for 13km. It is 45km from Kitugala rest-house.
After passing Dedugala we proceeded further 5Km to reach Ihala Pelanpitiya “kada mandiya” where we asked directions about a hidden beauty called Diyagirena/ Diyangiri / Devagiri Fall. And to get to it we had to proceed on a newly concreted road and then descend through the tea estate until we reached the base of this 90m tall cascade which was like a creation in heaven. The term “Diya agirena Ella” suits it very well. After snapping around we removed all those leeches that hung on us and proceeded up hill to witness the sunset through the Ihala pelanpitiya gap. According to locals on a clear day when the sun is vanishing off one could easily appreciate the BOC tower and the twin towers of WTC at Colombo but we were not so lucky on that day. It was almost 5pm and we had to rush back towards the main road to end our waterfall hunt with some treasured memories. We somehow reached Avissawella close to 7pm where I said good bye to my friends and headed back to Monaragala.
This 90m fall was previously known as ‘Diyawegirena Falls’, denoting its perennial flow, but underwent dialectal change to its present form. The plants in the surrounding Dedugala Reserve have valuable medicinal qualities but are being pilfered by unscrupulous thieves who sell them as ornamental plants. Local villagers are calling for urgent action to protect the existing plants and to grow more. The government has already started taking steps towards this. The fall is located at Pallampitiya village, Kegalle District (Kegalle Electorate, Bulathkohupitiya Divisional Secretariat no.131B, Pallampitiya area). It is 96km from Colombo, 24km from Navalapitiya and 3km from Dolosbage. From the Upper Pallampitiya village bus stop, take the road to Kelvin B Colony for 2.5km to find the fall.