It was an invitation from Sri - a explorer friend of mine - that I couldn't resists, because Nawalapitiya is one of the areas that I haven't had a chance to explore. So my response to his invitation was a big "YES", but sadly I haven't heard from him after that. So I thought that the journey might have been canceled. For my utterly surprise, day before we have planed I got a message from him asking me to be ready early next morning. I haven't even told my wife about the plan, or got my stuff ready. As always, reminding me how lucky I am to have a such a wonderful wife, she was helping me with packing and everything without any objection. It was time for another day out with the silks of the nature.
As mentioned, my Sri & Hasitha were at my doorstep early in the morning. We picked up Kasun on the way and were driving towards Nawalapitiya by 4.30 am. It was around 7.30 in the morning when we reached Nawalapitiya. Finding a place to have breakfast was a bit difficult task as most of the shops open were only selling bakery items. We wanted to have something solid for the breakfast as we had no idea about when we will be able to get our next supper. Finally a decent shop with rice & curry - though my friends did not approve it as a decent shop - was found and to assist us on the way, we bought some bakery items as well.
Road side cascades
From there we took the road to Dimbula, the first waterfall was seen just before reaching a small town known as Kadiyalena. It was an undocumented waterfall probably 2-3 meters in height. Since it had no name, we name it Kadiyalena Waterfall. The upper part of the waterfall remind us great Kalthota Doowili Ella.
Road side cascade
Just after passing Kadiyalena, we came across the beautiful Katabula Ella waterfall which is also called Kataboola Ella. Sometimes this waterfall is called Kadiyalena Ella as well, probably due to that fact that it is situated in Kadiyalena village and the waterfall is created by Kadiyalena Oya. This waterfall has a unique formation which flows in three levels and Nawalapitiya - Dimbula road with an ark bridge goes between second and third level of the waterfall.
The full waterfall can be seen from the road, about 500 meters after passing Kadiyalena town. WE descend to the small tea patch to get a better view of the it, but it is bit difficult as it is quite steep and muddy due to rain. We managed to hang in to tea bushes by one hand other holding the camera. Unfortunately, it started to rain so we had to give up taking photos from there. Later we found that there is a foot path to the bottom of the waterfall from behind a house closer to the waterfall. From here the full view of the waterfall was obstructed by the bridge. Another eye catching structure found in the location was this small building with water coming out from a canal in its foundation. Base pool of the second level can be reached by climbing down a foot path beside the bridge. The Katabula Ella waterfall is documented as 8 meters in height. The waterfall was in it's full flow. There were other small streams around the waterfall which themselves looks like waterfalls but they must be seasonal cascades created due to the heavy rain fall in the area.
Upper part of the Katabula Fall
Our next destination was Mount Vernon Falls, which is situated in Lower division of the Mount Vernon Estate. It was a quite a long journey from Katabula Falls to Dimbula. We followed B317 Nawalapitiya - Dimbula road to get to Mount Vernon Estate. It was quite difficult to find the exact location and even difficult to communicate with locals to get the right directions as all the locals were only speaking Tamil. Luckily we met a person at Mount Vernon who could understand and speak Sinhala and he also knew about the waterfall. (Later we got the directions from AmazingLanka as well). There is about 400-500 meters walk through estate line houses to get to the waterfall. Mount Vernon Fall However there was another road that we later climb in to, which seems to be starting from Nawalapitiya - Dimbula road. There was a wide foot path leading to this 7 meters high waterfall and it was a beautiful creation of nature. This was one of the less known waterfalls in Sri Lanka. And it was an amazing experience trying to communicate with estate people in broken Tamil, I even downloaded an android app to find what they call a waterfall but it was one of my Tamil friend who helped me at last to find the correct word - Neer Veelchi. We thanked all the people who helped us with directions on the way back to vehicle enjoying their hospitality.
Then it was time to find the top of Devon Falls, one of the famous waterfall in the country because of easy accessibility. But not many has see it from the location it fall, except people who had been on Nawalapitiya - Dimbula road. Beauty of this location cannot be expressed by a single photograph hence I took a panorama from there. While watching the area, myself and a friend noticed a Hindu Temple down in the valley which seems to have a better view of Devon falls. I remembered that the friend who invited me to this trip has once been there and taken some beautiful photos of Devon Falls. So we asked him to add it to the schedule, and he agreed but only if we had time as the walk might take about an hour.
Top of Devon Fall and the kothmale oya valley
It was the Poodaluoya Ella in our schedule next. This waterfall is also known as Dunsinane Waterfalls because it is situated in the boarder of the Dunsinane and Sheen Estates. It is also called Dunsinane-Sheen waterfall. Just like Katabula Ella, a road goes in between this waterfall as well, making it is also a unique waterfall seen in Sri Lanka. The goddess of Art The Hindu temple situated right next to the upper part of the waterfall add more colors to it. There is a beautiful shrine of goddess Saraswathi (The Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, art and wisdom) at the bottom of the upper level as well as few other shrines beside it. You can enjoy the beauty of the upper part of the waterfall from the road while the lower part can be reached by a small stone steps by the road. Lower part of Dansinane Waterfall The lower part of the waterfall is created like steps.
The waterfall altogether is documented as 100 meters in height. To see the full waterfall one must go to the army camp situated right next to the waterfall which need their permission. We took lots of snaps of the waterfall before heading back to Thalawakale. Thalawakale - Watagoda - Poodaluoya road is also a very scenic road in hills, on one side of the road is the Kothmale Valley and on the other side is the Grate Western Mountain range which has sixth highest peak in Sri Lanka. Scenic beauty of the area - Kadiyalena
On the way back after passing St. Claire's Waterfall - which has lost it's glory due to the Upper Kothmale hydro power project - and the glorious Devon Falls, we stop by a decorated entrance of a Hindu temple. According to my friend it was the entrance to the Hindu temple we saw to the top of the Devon falls. There was about five hundred meters to the temple along a well made steps. Along the route we could see the waterfall in various places but the best view of the waterfall was at the temple itself. Reaching a height of 97 meters this waterfall is one of the most popular waterfalls in the country. Anyone who travel in A7 route to Nuwaraeliya will never forget to stop by this beauty. But they haven't seen the best view of the waterfall as it is covered by many tall trees at the view point in A7 close to St. Clare's Tea Center (Mlesna Tea Center). Entrance to the path way to Hindu Temple Devon Fall
It was end of yet another successful waterfall hunt with renown waterfall hunters in Sri Lanka - Sri Abewikrama, Hasitha Manage and Kasun de Silva. Hope to meet with more waterfalls next time :) Until then enjoy these beauties.