4 awesome things to do at bambarakanda
Updated: Aug 6, 2018
Located in Kalupahana ( in between belohul-oya and beragala) the bambarakanda waterfall is the highest waterfall in the island. A whopping 204 meters in height – the waterfall is a sight to behold. But interestingly, there is more than meets the eye , and the waterfall is just the tip of the preverbal iceberg.
There is a whole hidden world to explore around Bambarakanda , although the namesake waterfall takes the center stage. The area which borders the Hortain plains natural reserve, is home to a myriad of flora and fauna – mostly rare and endemic.
There are no best days to visit the waterfall, but the wet season can produce a gushing torrent of water – this in turn dwindles down to a small trickle of water in the drier months. But immediately after a shower, which is somewhat frequent in the area (especially in the afternoon) you will find the waterfall cascading with vigor; the extra water fallen from the heavens fueling it’s torrent.
Visit Bambarakanda Waterfall
Banmbarakanda is easily accessible from car or bike OR you could hire a tuk-tuk for a reasonable sum, having a road that runs from the A4 highway ( route 99) . It stars at kalupahana and there is a signboard that clearly lets you get on the right track. The road is narrow and twisty and it leads you almost to the base of the waterfall.
The route yesteryear was through the brush but nowadays there is a ticket counter (ugh) where you need to buy ticket to enter. The local authorities have paved a small road that runs to the road – furnished with a goodly number of irregular concrete steps. The journey uphill to the waterfall can be a strenuous climb , but the steps make it an easy affair ( not to the knees though)
Once at the top you can see the waterfall and have a dip at it’s base . There is a newly constructed viewing stand with benches – so if you appreciate such things – that sure helps resting and enjoying the view of cascading water.
Visit Lanka Ella
Lanka ella is hidden away in the next montain from Bambarakanda. A strenuous trek and you will find yourself there. The trek makes it’s way through the pine forest in the vicinity and is steep and narrow : pine needles cover the track and taking a tumble here means careening head over hells into the steeply slopes that end up in a river far below.
Walk single file and mind your step!
Halfway through the pine forest you come to “round the mountain” so to speak – here you make your way into the mountain ledge after traversing it’s slope. There is a sheer drop with an opening in the tree line that allows you to take in the amazing scenery , perched atop a mountain like a hawk.
After the pine episode you will find yourself in grassy knoll, and the track here is spectacular and serene. Waist high tall Malabar grass that makes ripples caught in the wind, lining the track you take.
Be sure not to litter or destroy as this is truly on the most pristine parts of wilderness you can come across. Low hanging clouds and snaking waterways through a multicolored lush mountain forest is a sight never soon forgotten.
The waterfall is nested in a swathe of green growth, with the mountain forest all around.The trees and creepers seemingly hid the waterfall from all stray eyes it seems ; truly this place is remote and sees far few people , and rightly so. The desolation has been a blessing , with it keeping the pristineness of the area as it was , in the yesteryears way way yonder.
The fall cascades into a deep rockpool, carved deeper and deeper with the ceaseless cascading water over years and years. The roack pool is deep and the waters are dark and forbidding yet sparklingly pure. The rock pool somewhat resembles the shape of the island nation, hence the name –“Lanka ella”.
Visit the wooden tree bridge atop lanka ella
There is fork in the track on the way to Lanka ella . the bottom one leading you to the waterfall itself and the top leading you to the top portion.
The top of the waterfall is starkly different from where the waterfall cascades into. While the base of the falls in surrounded in a forest grove, the top is beset by all sides by fields of narrow, tall Malabar grass.
The water flowing to the waterfall, follows a steep “V” shaped vally , with water polished rock lining the bottom . The rock pools and water are mesmerizing to see and to hear the sound of water in the crystal magic air is amazing. Be on the lookout – for the water levels can change seemingly out of the blue ; the river starts off I the distant mountains of ohiya , and frequent showers there can swell the river is unpredictable ways.
There is a stout wooden bridge over this rocky outcrop, made by the locals to aide in the crossing. It looks amazing but be sure to check the bride before you are tempted to cross. Made of wood (a tree felled from the nearby forest) the bridge is perhaps a dozen feet in length.
The rock pools on top are pristine – you can carefully make your way down the rocky outcrop out to where the water makes its drop. Make sure that your footing is sure, as the polished rock can be a tad slippery. (especially if it rains and it gets wet)
Take a walk from Bambarakanda to Kalupahana
Walking the distance, From the kalupahana junction (on the A4 highway) to where the path leads to the waterfall is a goodly challenge. A brisk walk of about 5 km’s and you arrive at your destination. The walk is rewarding , as you can make your way sedately along , all the while taking the scenery. This road not only makes it to the falls , but makes it’s way ,way up the slopes ending in ohiya . And interestingly the road has in it a section known as the devils staircase : something that truly lives up to it’s namesake.
The road takes you though the a local village nestled in the lee of the mountain , and you would be able to see paddy cultivation on narrow and steep terraced paddy fields.