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Chasing Sri Lanka’s Waterfalls

Sri Lanka, is quite well-known for its diversity & tourist attractions. Most visitors look at wildlife, amazing beaches, guided walks through the ancient cities to witness its heritage, mystic hills etc. However there is much more!

Sri Lanka is home to some breath-taking and mesmerizing waterfalls scattered in abundance all over the island. Sri Lanka’s Waterfalls are a sight to see and a feeling to experience. They are surrounded by lush green forests and rocky terrains. You might be surprised to see that some Waterfalls in Sri Lanka have natural pools to bathe in, while some may not and could only be appreciated from a distance.

Comparison to its size, Sri Lanka has perhaps the largest number of waterfalls of any country in the world. Indeed, there are over 400 recorded waterfalls in Sri Lanka. The tallest is the “Bambarakanda Falls” which cascades down 263 meters like liquid light.

So on your next visit to Sri Lanka, don’t forget to plan a visit to a few of these gorgeous waterfalls and that will surely make you fell in love with their majestic beauty!

Here’s a list of some of the best fascinating waterfalls in Sri Lanka

Bakers Falls

Bakers is a popular waterfall in Sri Lanka. Named after the famous British explorer, Sir Samuel Baker, it is among the widest Sri Lankan waterfalls that forms many streams as it comes down. In the months of April and May, red Rhododendrons bloom around the falls making the sight quite lovely. Travelers should make sure they start their trek early as the entire area would be covered by a thick layer of mist after about 10am.

20 meter Bakers falls is an easy short trek from Horton Plains National Park and it is one of the main landmarks on the Horton Plains trail and a good stopover on your way to the World’s end.

Rawana Falls

In the misty mountains of tropical Sri Lanka, the wide Ravana falls gushes down a height of 40 meters falling from an oval concave rock. It takes the form of a drooping areca flower during the peak season of its water flow, but its size is reduced dramatically during the dry season.

Located in the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary in Ella, this waterfall is the source of many legends and secrets. It is named after Ravana who also appears in the Indian epic Ramayana.

One should not miss the Ravana Ella cave, which is a little more than 11 km from Bandarawela.

Bopath Ella Falls

Among many picturesque Sri Lankan waterfalls, Bopath Ella is a unique one. It derives its name for its resemblance to the sacred Bo Leaf (Ficus religiosa). The most striking feature is its shape, taken as it flows through two narrow rocks and then widens into a breath-taking cascade.

This 30 meter waterfall is located in the village of Agalawatte in the Ratnapura district and is easily accessible by car.

Diyaluma Falls

Second highest among waterfalls of Sri Lanka and 6th highest in the world, Diyaluma falls is home to epic views and some of the best natural infinity pools in the world. It acquires a horsetail shape after falling and leaping over a cliff.

Diyaluma Falls can be explored from both above and below, as the base of the falls also has a pool you can dive into!
It is definitely worth the hike to the top and the adrenaline rush when you swim in the pools up on top! There are multiple falls and natural pools for you to enjoy a refreshing swim including the one right at the edge of the main waterfall. It is definitely worth a chilly dip and do not forget your swimwear.

This 220 meters tall waterfall is located about 6km from Koslanda in the Badulla District, and 38km from Ella.

Ramboda Falls

This is one of the best waterfalls in Kandy. It is also one of the highest waterfalls in Kandy district. Standing at 109 meters tall, the Ramboda falls the 11the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka.

A gigantic water fall having three parts located towards the west of Nuwara Eliya on an altitude of 945 meters above sea level. This scenic waterfall makes for a memorable experience. The waterfall has multiple steps, and its sound can be heard from quite a distance.

Traveler should descends to the “Ramboda basin”, where the famous “Ramboda Inn” situated from where one can have the full view of the waterfall.

The region where you will find this waterfall is also rich in biodiversity, making it an ideal location for birdwatchers or wildlife photographers.

Laxapana Falls

Laxapana Falls is the 8th highest waterfall in Sri lanka and 625th highest waterfall in the world. According to the popular folklore, this is the place where Buddha mended his saffron robe, while visiting Sri Pada. This rocky waterfall get its name from the Sinhala words Laxa meaning hundred thousand and pahana meaning rock.

126-meter Laxapana waterfall is located in a small village named Kiriwan Eliya near Norton Bridge Maskeliya.
Bathing isn’t allowed here as the rocky path to the deep base pool is quite slippery.

The climb up is strenuous, but it’s totally worth the view.

Abadeen Falls

Aberdeen Waterfall is amongst the most popular waterfalls in Sri Lanka. It is a hop and a skip away from Laxapana falls, and it’s a must-visit if you happen to be casually passing by the area. Standing 98 meters tall, it’s got two ‘pools’, the more picturesque one being the one right at the bottom.

Unfortunately, the Norton Bridge dam constructed under the Lakshapana Project has decreased the volume of water in the fall, but it continues to cascade except in severe drought conditions. According to folklore, there is a tunnel leading from Aberdeen Falls to the neighbouring Lakshapana Falls – the supposed opening of which can be seen near the Puna River.

Aberdeen fall is located 6km from the Nuwara Eliya District in the Kehelgamuwa mountain range, which encompasses an area made up of Ginigathhena, Norton Bridge, Lakshapana and Maskeliya.

Sera Ella Falls

This pretty and unassuming waterfall, Sera Ella, hides an exciting secret in its midst. A dry but cool cave is hidden behind the curtain of water as it flows down the rock face. It can be reached, even when the waterfall is in full flow, using the steps cut into the rock side. They tend to be slippery from the misty spray and moss though, so care should be taken.

Sera Ella is perfect for a family day outing, with the base of the waterfall being good for bathing and a swim. The cave is an amazing place for a picnic lunch and nap out of the sun with the calming roar of the waters and the cool shade of the cave. There are places to explore nearby for the more adventurous too.

It’s about a fifteen to twenty minutes’ drive from River stone and Mini World’s End — drive straight down from Mini World’s End and take a couple of left turns. Better yet, ask for directions from the ticketing officers at Mini World’s End.

Alakola Falls (Thaliya Watuna Falls)

50 meter height Thaliya Watuna Falls is situated in Madulkelle in the central province. It is 50 meters high and is also called Alakola Falls because the waterfall lies in the Alakola Estate. This name has an interesting story behind it. It is said that this area was under a planter named Allen Collen during the British regime. With time this Allen Collen Watte has become Alakola Watte (Alakola Estate).

From Kandy take the Katugastota – Madawala – Bambarella Road and go past Polgolla, Madawala and Panwila until Huluganga. The road towards Alakola Estate is situated right in front of the Hulu Ganga Bridge. Travel about 3 km along this route to reach a footpath leading towards the base pool of the Thaliya Watuna Falls.

Bambarakanda Falls

Bambarakanda is the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka with a sheer drop of a 263 meters. In the world ranking it is the 299th tallest waterfall in the world. The fall lies in the Badulla District surrounded by a dense pine forest in the Kalupahana Area.

This is not a wide waterfall but drops as a thin line from a rocky outcrop. The fall is formed by the Uduweriya Haputale Mountain and Kuda Oya, a tributary of Walawe River.

Dunhinda Falls

There is no way you can miss Dunhinda while talking about most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka. It is one of the mostly spoken-about waterfalls in Sri Lanka when it comes to the natural beauty that it bestows on the environment.

Formed by a diversion of Badulu Oya River this 64 meter height waterfall is best known for a Smokey surrounding spray.

Situated about 2 km distance from the main road which runs to Taldena from the remote city Badulla in the Uva Province waterfall is easily accessible and frequently visited by local and foreign visitors. On the way can be seen the “Kuda Dunhinda” (“Kuda” means small in Sinhala) which is the prologue to its mighty brother. In native tongue “Dun” means mist or vapour which is the ideal explanation for a waterfall creating wreathes of mist on its way down.

St Clairs Falls

St, Clair’s Falls is also called Little Niagara falls. This is one of the widest waterfall in Sri Lanka. The fall is 80m in height and 50m in width. It is located in between Hatton- Thalawakale- Nuwara Eliya main road and 03 km away from Thalawakale town. This is the 20th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka.

Take a 500m walk through the tea estates if you wish to get a closer view to enjoy her  absolute beauty.

This waterfall is most definitely a must-see waterfall in Sri Lanka.

Devon Falls

Devon Falls is one of the most popular waterfall in the country especially due to its clear view from the popular Hatton Nuwara Eliya Road. The best view is from Dimbula where a special viewpoint is located. On the other side of the road is the famous Mlesna Tea Center where you could have a fresh cup of tea. Almost everybody who travels on this road to Nuwara Eliya is bound to at least break rest here before continuing their journey.

19th among the highest waterfalls of Sri Lanka, Devon stands out for its lovely tiered formation. Named after an English coffee planter, Devon is also popular as the Veil of the Valley.

If you’re up for an adventure, you can reach the base of Devon by taking a descent through the tea estate.

Dunsinane Falls (Pundulu Oya Falls)

This impressive 100m-high Dunsinane fall cascades in a spectacular sequence of steps before flowing to the Pundalu Oya (river), the Kotmale river and finally to Kotmale Reservoir. This waterfall is also known as Pundalu Oya Ella.

It is located between two tea estates Dunsinan and Sheen. Due to this the waterfall is called Dunsinane Falls joining both names. Dunsinane Fall flows in 2 segments bisected by the road bridge. The top segment falls over a wide rocky ledge creating a sheet of water falling 30 meter drop. This is the part of the waterfall properly visible from the bridge. The second part which is 70 meters high is hidden below the bridge. Due to the steepness of the area reaching the bottom of the fall is difficult.

Huluganga Ella Falls

Here’s a waterfall in Kandy which you can visit while you enjoy your stay in Kandy. Huluganga Ella Falls boasts a height of 75 meters is one of many cascades created by the stream originating from the Knuckles mountain range.

The cascading water sprinkles the villages of Elliyadda and Aratthana, before flowing to the Victoria Reservoir. It is popular with both local and foreign visitors and villagers regard it as part of their Dumbara heritage.

The fall is situated below the town of the Hulu River, near Panwila, (Kandy District, Panwilla Provincial Secretariat Division).

It’s always these little additions that make your holiday the most colourful and memorable!

At srilankan voyages we always want to ensure you make the most of your holiday in Sri Lanka.

Contact us through our website when you are planning your trip toSri Lanka next. We are more than happy to tailor made your holiday to suit your needs!

Compiled By: Ajith Weerasekera

 

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