The tear-shaped tiny isle of Sri Lanka is blessed with marvelous natural wonders beyond words. Further, the presence of stunning waterfalls that shimmers and falls in Sri Lanka, has an impressive power of adding more beauty to these bunch of amazing creations of nature. Of course, they stand majestically among the lush greenery and the rocky terrains, with streams of white waters cascading amidst them. Moreover, how they break into shards of thousands of sprinkles towards the end of the fall is obviously a splendid sight to witness. Surely, they own magical spirits that lures visitors from all over the world, and Sri Lanka is undoubtedly lucky to house a number of such waterfalls that inspire awe.
As per the Central Environmental Authority of Sri Lanka, this land has got 383 recorded waterfalls, while some are left undiscovered due to their positioning in thick wilds. Moreover, some even say that Sri Lanka is the country with the highest density of waterfalls in the world. Surely, this is acceptable, because the weather and climate in Sri Lanka, the amazing mountainous forests, and the topographical features on this island, collectively create a perfect atmosphere for falls to pour down. And do remember, by chance if you visit the Central Highlands of this land, you should definitely be able to spot many and more elegant waterfalls in the vicinity for sure.
As you might already know, there are many types of waterfalls, such as tiered, plunged, horsetail, fan, block, and segmented. And believe us, Sri Lanka has got them all covered. Hence, there is no harm in saying that this is a paradise for the most gorgeous falls that one could ever imagine.
However, interested to know more about these beauties? Take it ease, as we have got them all covered for you. So, let us start our journey around!
The Most Popular Waterfalls in Sri Lanka
Out of the stunning waterfalls that Sri Lanka houses, some tend to stand significant among the rest. Some of them are short and sweet. Some of them stand alone, while some stand together in clusters. At the same time, some invite the visitors for a hike of a few hours to reach it. Still, the beauty of the strong gushes of waters at the destinations of those hikes are worth the effort. However, it is true that all these waterfalls in Sri Lanka attract millions of locals as well as overseas tourists. But, for your ease we thought of lining up the most popular falls on this island.
- Bambarakanda Waterfall
- Diyaluma Waterfall
- Bopath Ella
- Devon Waterfall
- Ravana Falls
- Dunhinda Waterfall
More Details About These Waterfalls
Now knowing what the most attracted and the most popular waterfalls in Sri Lanka are, let us now have a look at them in detail.
Bambarakanda Waterfall, also known as Bambarakele Falls, is one of the most popular waterfalls in Sri Lanka that stands with glory. Further, leaping over a vertical rock, this beautiful falls stand as the highest waterfall in this isle. Moreover, it is the 299th in the list of the tallest waterfalls in the world. Bambarakanda Falls is 263 m (863 ft) in height with one drop in between and is nearly 1,100 m (3,600 ft) elevated.
At the end of this beautifully descending cascade is a natural pool complex, where you can indulge yourself in a fine bath, and enjoy yourself. This makes it one of the perfect places to relax a bit, chill, and take photographs. Furthermore, if you are a person who loves hikes, why not, this destination provides you a trail to reach the top of the fall as well.
This hike through the lush pine forests is not that hard. Still, make sure you take a water bottle, wear hiking boots, and take precautions for leeches. However, the hike would have an elevation gain of around 200 m, and it would take approximately one and half hours to reach the crest. And of course, once you reach there, it welcomes you with an amazing picturesque sight. Simply, it makes this challenging hike worth every second. Further, it houses a tiny waterfall, and a quite big pool, which keeps the waters gushing into the fall.
In addition, the sight of the waterfall is obviously something that is perfect to enjoy with your family. Still, if you are planning to go on the hike, the best would be not to accompany kids or elders. The trail through the pines is quite slippery. So, it is up to you to mind yourself.
Where is this Bambarakanda Waterfall and How to Reach It?
It rhythmically flows amongst the mountains of Kalupahana, in the central highlands, in the Badulla district. It is around 190 km far from Colombo, and the journey would approximately take 5 hours. Moreover, it is 5 km away from the A4 highway.
Getting there is not that hard. You can use either the bus or train. If you are planning to go there by bus, you can simply take a Badulla bus from Colombo, and get down at the Kalupahana junction. By chance, if you are planning to visit there by train, you have to get a train that goes to Haputale from Colombo Fort. In that case, you have to get down at the Haputale station, and then travel a distance of around 16 km by bus to reach the Kalupahana junction.
After you get there, the waterfall is around 4 km away from this junction. You can either choose to walk or else you can use a tuk-tuk or a taxi to make it to your destination. However, we suggest that the best way to reach Kalupahana junction is via bus because the journey in the train would be a bit time consuming, and inconsistent.
What is the best time to visit Bambarakanda?
The best is to avoid the wettest and the driest seasons when visiting Bambarakanda. The wettest seasons would be slippery and dangerous, while the driest season can cause wildfires. June to September would be the dry season here, and November to February is the rainy season. Accordingly, the best time to visit Bambarakanda would be March to May. Moreover, perfect flows of water can be seen during these days. And by chance, if you visit this site during the driest or wettest times, keep in mind to use the alternative path which leads to the top avoiding the forestry area.
Other places to visit around Bambarakanda Waterfall
Since it is located in an area with natural wonders, of course there are many and more places to visit around Bambarakanda Falls. Below are some of them.
- Pitamaruwa Mini Worlds End: In brief, it is a gulf which is around 1250 feet in depth. Moreover, it looks a bit similar to the ‘World’s End’.
- Ella: This is one of the scenic mountainous villages in Sri Lanka. Many locals as well as tourists visit here to enjoy its enlivening and verdant surroundings, along with the cold breeze.
- Horton Plains: This is a natural park, rich with biodiversity. This is also known as the World’s end.
- Kirigalpoththa Mountain: This is the second highest mountain in Sri Lanka. Its hiking trail is 7 km, and it leads to the mountain summit through Horton Plains National Park.
Diyaluma Falls is certainly a magnificent waterfall with an endless fascination. Moreover, the view its white waters create flowing down over a rocky terrain, in the horse-tail style is just simply amazing. The streams of water that gush here are formed out of the Punagala Oya. It stands at a height of 220 m (720 ft), and happens to be the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Further, it is the 361st tallest waterfall in the world.
Diyaluma Falls is surely a site full of excitement and fun. Moreover, you can find many and more ways to spend your time and enjoy around this beautiful surroundings.Why not, you have plenty of space to enjoy a refreshing swim. You can choose one of the various natural pools around it, which obviously give the feel of the perfect infinity pools. Also, you can find larger and better pools at the upper Diyaluma as well.
Apart from that, Diyaluma has got a fine atmosphere for a hike. You can choose the starting point as your preference, since there are many. However, the hike that starts at Poonagala Road, is comparatively more common than the others. Whatever the path you choose, once you reach the top of the falls, you would be able to observe a fine view of a series of pools descending towards the edge of the cliff.
Also, you have the opportunity of chilling on the rock surface for some time once you reach its top. Just imagine how enlivening it would be to relax on a top of a cliff by a cascade of waters gushing by your side. So, all these things together make Diyaluma one of the most impressive waterfalls which offer you a series of happiness. Obviously, if you ever visit Diyaluma, it would be a lifetime memory.
Where is this Diyaluma Waterfall and How to Reach It?
The town of Kolanda, in the Badulla district houses this gigantic, yet mind-blowing waterfall. It is around 310 km away from Colombo, and 30 km south of Ella. However, getting to Diyaluma Falls is a bit of a tough journey, if you are planning to use public transport.
Either you choose the bus or the train as your travel mode, first of all, you should get to Haputale. Next, you will have to take a bus that travels to Pelmadulla – Ratnapura, and then get down at the Beragala junction. Afterwards, you can get a bus to Koslanda – Wellawaya, and then reach the falls. From Koslanda, there is a distance of around 5 km to the Diyaluma Falls. So, if you wish, you can even use a tuk or a taxi to travel that distance.
What is the best time to visit Diyaluma?
As usual, it is always the best to avoid the wettest seasons, and driest seasons when you are visiting a waterfall. Thus, in this case, January to March and June to September would be the ideal time periods for you to visit this place. The temperature would be warm and the fall will have good volumes of water which will surely enhance its beauty. So, it is always better to choose this time, yet unless it is rainy, of course, you can pay a visit there at any time.
Other places to visit around Diyaluma Waterfall
Below are some of the interesting sights that you can visit around Diyaluma Falls.
- Lipton’s Seat: This is a spot surrounded by a large tea plantation. It would take around 2 to 3 hours to observe the sight, and it has a beauty of its own.
- St Benedict’s Monastery – Adisham: It is popular as a religious and historical sight. Its architectural style has a uniqueness and significance that attracts thousands of visitors.
Cascading in attractive tiers, Bopath Ella, happens to be one of the highly attracted waterfalls in Sri Lanka. Of course, it has a unique beauty of its own with the water crashing through a narrow gap and then gradually through a widened stretch. This structure makes it look like a fig leaf. Sinhalese call this sacred fig leaf ‘Bo’. Moreover, they use the term ‘path’ for ‘leaf’, and ‘ella’ for waterfall. Accordingly, that forms the name of this waterfall, ‘Bopath Ella’.
Kuru Ganga, which is a tributary of the Kalu Ganga, gushes water for the streams of this fall. It stands 30 m (98ft) in height. Obviously, it is way shorter than many other waterfalls in Sri Lanka, still, it is unique and exquisite in its own way. Indeed, the scene created when these shimmering and falling cascades descend through the lush greenery surroundings is simply amazing. Still, it is not only these scenic views and its significant shape that makes this fall popular worldwide. It is also the bunch of various myths that are revolving around this Bopath Ella that makes it more famous.
One such fable discloses that the guardian deity of Adam’s Peak has appeared here during the ancient days. Further, there is a myth that this is a spot where a pregnant village girl ended her life, over the grief of her lover who never returned as promised. Villagers making several assumptions believe that this fall is haunted by that village girl. And why not? There is also a myth that this awe-inspiring waterfall hides a treasure trove.
Whatever it is, certainly it is up to you to believe them or not. Nevertheless, as a result of its ideal position, it acts as the water supply point for paddy cultivations around. So, after all, Bopath Ella is simply a wonder of nature beyond its beauty.
Where is this Bopath Ella and How to Reach It?
Bopath Ella is in the village of Agalwatte, which belongs to Kuruwita, in Ratnapura district. It is around 100 km far from Colombo. In order to reach there, you can simply take the road from Colombo to Ratnapura, and then take a left turn at the Devil Pahala road. It is just around 7 km away from the main road. Moreover, if you are passing Kuruwita, or if you are in the vicinity, this is a site that should never be missed.
What is the best time to visit Bopath Ella?
The waters here are in perfect volumes during the rainy seasons, which is from March to December. However, if you feel that it is unsafe to visit during a time where rain showers are frequent, of course, you can choose any other time to visit Bopath Ella. Besides, do remember that this waterfall is open for visitors only between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm daily. As we suggest, the morning hours would be ideal for you for a perfect view, because it is less crowded.
Other places to visit around Bopath Ella
There are not that many significant places you can visit around the area of Bopath Ella, except for a few small waterfalls and streams. Anyway, if you are interested you can even visit some of the gem mines in the vicinity. If not, you can visit one of the following places, which are located within a drive of 3 to 4 hours.
- Bambarakanda Waterfalls: This the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. It is in the Badulla district and stands at a height of 263 m.
- Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage: Simply, it is an orphanage, nursery, and captive breeding ground for elephants. It is in the Kegalle district, near to the town of Rambukkana.
Devon Falls is one of the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka, simply because its perfect glimmering beauty is visible to anyone who is travelling on the Hatton – Nuwara Eliya Road (A7 Highway). Amidst the greenery settings and black terrains, it pours down majestically, in three continuous cascades. Also, the vast clear area in front of it further enhances its grandeur and beauty. It is 97 m (318 ft) in height, and the 19th highest in this magical paradise. Further, it is at an elevation of 1, 140m (3,740 ft) above sea level, and belongs to the type tiered. Moreover, a tributary of Kotmale oya streams the blue waters into this fall.
And something interesting! It is also known as the ‘Veil of the Valley’. Meanwhile, you might be wondering how it got this name ‘Devon’? Of course, your guess is right! It got its name in memory of a person. There has been a famous English tea planter, named David in this area. Also, his tea plantation has been there in this vicinity, and it had been well known by the people around. However, since his tea plantation was closer to this fall, it had got the name ‘Devon’.
Unlike other waterfalls, Devon Fall is not quite popular as a spot for relaxing swims. Indeed, it is due to safety concerns. Thus, it is better not try out swims or baths there. And of course, hikes around this fall are not that common too. Still, if you really wish to reach its base to observe the real beauty of the cascades from there, why not you can try it! Ask from a villager, and surely, they will help you in finding the way.
Where is this Devon Waterfall and How to Reach It?
Devon Falls is located 6 km away from Thalawakele, in the Nuwara Eliya District. It is around 145 km away from Colombo. This is more popular as a waterfall which is closer to Colombo as well. And the speciality is that the scenic views of this gigantic fall can be easily observed while on the main road of Thalawakele to Hatton. Meanwhile, some choose the viewpoint at Watatgoda railway station, which is approximately 10 km away from Thalawakele, to witness the grandeur of this Devon Fall.
By chance, if you wish to reach this beautiful waterfall, why not? It is not that hard. A small walk of about 1 km through the verdant tea plantations, from the 20th-mile post, would take you there. Besides, in the vicinity of Devon Falls is a cluster of waterfalls, which also includes the St. Clare’s Falls, which is well known as the brother of Devon Falls. So, if you ever visit Nuwara Eliya, surely, you get the chance of experiencing a great number of amazing waterfalls just within short distances.
What is the best time to visit Devon Falls?
Devon Falls look more attractive and magnificent during the months of December to March with a rich volume of cascades. Apart from that, whenever you travel past the observation points, obviously, you can stop a bit and enjoy its beauty. Also, if you wish to reach closer, best is to avoid the rainy season.
Other places to visit around Devon Falls
Of course, this surrounding is rich with natural beauty. So, you can find many places to enjoy in this vicinity. Below are some of the most significant sights that are very close to the Devon Falls.
- St Clair’s Falls: It is a multi-tiered waterfall, which can be viewed from the road itself.
- Mlesna Tea Castle: This is known as the world’s largest Tea House. Moreover it also houses a tea gift shop, which you can purchase several memories to make your travel more wonderful.
Pouring down so wide and magnificent in three tiers from a rock surfac, Ravana Falls, also known as Ravana Ella, stands with glamour while enhancing the splendour of this land furthermore. Moreover, it is also the stream of life to the villagers nearby. It is this waterfall that they use as the source of water, for their cultivations in the vicinity. Thus, it is simply a treasure for the people living out there.
The surrounding of this falls is guarded by a range of hilly mountains that look a bit dry and dull. Still, the mountainous rock over which these streams of bubbled clear white waters flow, remain verdant and fresh. So, the blissful scene it creates through the mist, surely, inspires the visitors to stop there for a moment and enjoy its grandeur at least for a short time.
Standing at a height of 25 m, it is far away from the highest ranks of the tallest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless it is popular as one of the widest waterfalls in this island. Further, it is a tributary of River Kirinda, that feeds this Ravana Ella with streams of waters that it pours.
And you know what? There is a series of fables revolving around this waterfall as well. Accordingly, the Ravana cave which is behind this fall, is the place where king Ravana held Seeta, after kidnapping her. Therefore, it is with these incidents of demon King Ravana that this waterfall has got its name.
Apart from offering the visitors a stupendous view, this site also creates the opportunity for them to have a leisure swim and spend an exciting and heart-warming day. Of course, if you really wish to, you can even climb the mountains to discover a beauty as a magical fountain. Still, make safety your priority, and enjoy within your limits.
Where is this Ravana Fall and How to Reach It?
The village of Uduhawara, in the vicinity of the famous attractive village Ella, in the Badulla district, houses this Ravana Falls. It is around 320 km away from Colombo, and reaching out there is not that hard, once you get to Ella. You will have to take two buses if you are planning to visit Ella by bus from Colombo. In brief, you will have to take a Kataragama bus from Colombo, and then get down from Hambantota. Afterward, you can get into an express bus that goes via Ella. Of course, you can choose a bus that heads to Nuwara Eliya for this purpose, and get down at Ella. Ravana Ella is at a distance of 5 km from Ella, and to travel that distance you can pick a taxi or a tuk-tuk.
Besides, if you like, you can even view the scenic beauty of this waterfall from the Badulla – Bandarawela mainroad. All you have to do is to travel around 10km towards Wellawaya from Kubalwela junction along that road to find the view point. Moreover, it is just a distance of around 6 km from the famous Ella railway station.
What is the best time to visit Ravana Fall?
From July to September it would be the rainy season out there. Thus, you should be able to spot a better view of the fall with good streams of water during this time. Yet, if you are planning a day of adventures, this will surely not be the perfect time for you. However, if you are just viewing it from the main road, no issues, you can make any day the best day to enjoy its beauty. Still, the ideal time of the day would be the morning hours, because if not, those viewpoints tend to be highly crowded.
Other places to visit around Ravana Falls
Out of the many attractions in this area, below are some of the mains.
- Ravana Cave: This is popular as the spot where Ravana kept Sita after kidnapping her. This is just behind the Ravana Falls.
- Ella: The picturesque mountainous city of Ella, attracts millions of travellers with its delightful beauty and refreshing environment.
- Ella Rock: A perfect hiking spot, and a paradise for adventure lovers.
- Nine Arches Bridge: It is a wonderful sight with a value associated with its engineering techniques. It stands with the features of the British Colonial period.
Gorgeous Dunhinda Falls, is certainly a celebration of nature. Its beauty is further enhanced as it pours a magnificent powerful stream of water in a single threshold. Gushing from a height of 64 m, these streams of white waters create a breathtaking view, amidst the mist that looks like smoke. Moreover, it is due to this fine thin mist that it has got its name. The mist that looks like smoke, is called ‘dun’ in sinhalese, and accordingly, it has got popular as the ‘Dunhinda’ Falls. Further, it is also famous as the ‘Bridal Fall’, because its cascade looks like a bridal veil.
It is the Badulu Oya which flows through Badulla, which spurts streams of water to this waterfall. Further, it is via a path that leads through forestland that you should reach the viewpoint of this fall. It covers a distance of around one and a half kilometers. Still, the walk-in that path is not that hard. By chance, if you feel tired, of course, there are clusters of small boutiques from where you can enjoy a snack, and rest a bit. However, the path is surrounded by mighty colorful birds, greenery, and animals like monkeys and deers.
While you walk along this path, you will also get the opportunity of catching the site of another waterfall, which is known as ‘Kuda Dunhinda’. As the name suggests, ‘kuda’ means small. So, simply, it is another small waterfall which is located near the Dunhinda Falls. After passing all these, once you reach the secured stage which acts as the viewpoint of Dunhinda, the scenic view you see would make you feel that every second of your efforts are worth it. Of course, if you have guts, you can even reach the foot of the fall and cross it, but make sure not to go closer to the fall, or bathe there, since it is well known as a dangerous spot.
Where is this Dunhinda Waterfall and How to Reach It?
Dunhinda Falls, is around 5 km away from the city of Badulla, and 25 km away from the famous town of Ella. So, most visitors would make it a part of their Ella travel. So, let us have a look at how to reach here through Ella.
If you read our previous sections, you should already know how to reach Ella easily. From Ella you have to travel along the Bandarawela – Badulla Road, and then turn to the Mahiyangana Road. Afterwards, travel up to the “Dunhinda Junction’.’ There is a board near the entrance to Dunhinda Falls. So, it is not that hard to find the place. Once you purchase the ticket at the entrance you will get to the footpath which leads to the waterfall.
What is the best time to visit Dunhinda Waterfall?
The time period between June to July is well known as the ideal time to visit Dunhinda. Moreover, with huge streams of water, Dunhnda looks fabulous during the months of November to March, which is the rainy season. However, the footpath that leads to Dunhinda is quite unsafe during the rainy days. So, it is always better to avoid rainy days when planning your visit to Dunhinda.
Other places to visit around Dunhinda Falls
Indeed, spending some time in this environment is certainly a perfect and relaxing exprecience. However, apart from Dunhinda Falls, there are few more significant sites that you can add to your Badulla travel. Here are few of them.
- Wewessa Ella Waterfall: This is not so popular waterfall in the Badulla district. Of course, it is small, yet it has a beauty of its own.
- Muthiyanganaya Raja Maha Viharaya: It is a buddhist temple, and it holds a significant historic value. Further, it is famous as a place visited by Lord Buddha.
Simply, a waterfall can be considered as nature’s laughter! The beauty it adds to nature, the true joys it offers to the viewers, and the purity it bestows upon the land is quite amazing. They just tend to run wild and free, yet they come with a supernatural power through which they can soothe and enlive the bodies and souls. Moreover, there are plenty of more exciting and fun-filled things to do around these waterfalls as well. So, a journey to explore their wonders would never be a waste of time. Instead, it would certainly give your lifetime memories. So, make sure you enjoy them, and appreciate them.
In addition, the best times we have mentioned here are solely based on general opinions and general climatic conditions. They can always vary due to various factors. Hence, whenever you plan your trip, if you have a doubt of how the weather conditions will be, just check it through the official website of the Department of Meteorology, Sri Lanka
Finally, let us remind you of this! As much as the golden shores of Sri Lanka, waterfalls in Sri Lanka, are also truly treasures of this island. Therefore, it is the duty of all us to enjoy them, without harming their serenity.