• therovingnomads

Ella Wala Falls - a simple guide

Updated: Jun 3



Ella wala, or elle wala is a somewhat hidden waterfall, a bit off the beaten track - offering breathtaking views of a natural cascade.

Located pretty much close to Wellawaya, it a bit way further than one can assume, the name being misleading, as probably Ella wala somewhat brings into mind the town of Ella. It in fact is almost 25 kms away and if you travel on your own vehicle, it takes a goodly half and hour so to reach there (from Ella Town)


The road leading upto the falls from Ella is picturesque and exhilarating to drive. Sweeping curves hiding deep ravines ,roaring buses along narrow cliff lined roads and undulating stretches of road with lumbering lorries ; by no means a dull moment motoring down there.


The waterfall is fed by the Ali kota ara, a small yet significant runoff, fed by underground aquifers emanating from the nearby Poonagala mountain range.


You can either reach the waterfall from Ella, or use the Beragala to Wellawaya route to come to Wellawaya and continue from there on. From Wellawaya, the turnoff towards the waterfall is about 5 km's, while from Ella it will be about 20 km's.



The landmark to lookout for is the Rathmal wehera Buddhist temple, which is located on the side of the Ella - Wellawaya main highway. From here you need to turn right (if coming from the Ella side) to a small but well paved road leading up to the falls. There are ample sign boards around, but keep a sharp lookout and ask for local guidance if need be ; there being a few more hidden waterfalls with the same name “Ella wala” along the main road.


the turnoff to the road to the falls ( from the direction of Ella)

After turning onto the by-road continues on and you will pass the recently constructed Ali kota ara reservoir. This reservoir is fed by the stream that forms the waterfall. You can stop there, but keep in mind to ask permission from the security to scale up the earthen bund. The views are majestic.



After passing the dam, be on the lookout for a small, somewhat hidden road (cement paved) to the right. There is a small sign that shows the road to the falls.


Keep in mind the road is cemented only part of the way and is extremely narrow. We had a hair raising time trying to let another car pass us by (on his way down). It is steep and be extra careful around corners.

This is the small road leading up to the falls - it is cement paved part of the way

The road leads up all the way to the falls, but the cement paving gives way to uneven ground. A vehicle with a high clearance, or a bike can navigate easily; we also made it on our alto 800 (use your own digression on this part)



There is a small temple by the side of the road almost at the waterfall, and a few turns later - you come to a prepared parking spot with a small boutique that serves refreshments.

After parking you can make the rest of the way on foot.


A small trail into the jungle leads you upto the falls; Negotiating a few narrow boulders and low hanging creepers, you end up at your destination. no sweat!



There is a dedicated parking spot and a shop you can get refreshments at the end of the road.

a short trek to the falls.

the falls - note the whitish residue on the surroundings ; a result of minute particles of rock and granite, once dry they coat any surface with a fine white film of dust.

it can get crowded, especially on weekends.

milky waters ,and a fine spay from the cascade.



Here are a few things to be aware while at the waterfall.



  • The water cascade can increase even in a few moments without warning, so be mindful when having a dip


mystical and mesmerizing

  • Owing to the drilling of underground tunnels to feed the uma - oya hydro project, the water is laced with minute rock sediments. This in turn makes the water Walter seem milky white. Currently it seems to be diminishing, but it can leave behind a whitefish residue (that can be seen all over the waterfall area)


a coat of fine dust left behind after the water has dried up.

  • The rock pool is shallow enough to wade in but keep a look out for sharp rocks.

  • The spray from the falls is heavy. In the mornings it almost will make a rainbow, and on the downside - pelt your photographic equipment with water spray. Because the water has grit on it be extra careful as it can get into things such as a camera ring. And be extra mindful if you're changing a lens .

a fine mist containing ultra fine powdered rock - something bound to be a headache for electronics.

  • There is a sign saying bathing is not allowed, but no one seems to care.

  • Abou 2 hours is enough to experience the falls, and you can couple it with a visit to either Ravana falls (from Ella) or Diyaluma (from Beragala)

  • And above all, do not litter!


and yes , be on the lookout for small bands of peafowl crossing the road - while on your way .


Happy trails and we hope this small guide helped you to plan ahead on your next adventure!

About The Roving Nomads.

Roving Nomads is a long time dream project : one we thought up many years ago . Both of us came to get to know each other through our travel pictures (and ended up tying the knot) We love traveling to places off the beaten track and to experience the vibrance and hues of a destination at it’s roots.

Roving Nomads is a platform to share our adventures and forays into the vast wide world. The passion and inspiration of being a nomad at heart is what we wanted to share with others whom have the irrepressible drive, thirst and desire to see new horizons.

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