Sunday, June 9, 2013

Bomburu Ella Falls: A Beauty in The Central Hills.

“Wake up guys!”

That was Gune, my batch mate at the English Teachers’ College, Peradeniya. Hetti (Jayathilaka Hettiarachchi) and I were at Gune’s sister’s home at Welimada, sleeping, when Gune shouted to wake us up at 6.00 am on 26th January 1998. That day our plan was to visit Bomburu Ella, a breathtakingly beautiful waterfall hidden in the jungles of Uva-Paranagama electorate.

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The charming Bomburu Ella village.
We prepared Salmon-sandwiches for the hike with the help of Gune’s sister, and parceled them. I had a dark green knapsack that I used for most of my hikes, and we packed the food and water in it. We set off to Welimada town, which is a few minutes away from Gune’s sister’s house. My two cameras were packed in a separate bag, and that was carried by Hetti and Gune (W. M. Gunawardena) time to time. One camera was loaded with an ordinary 36-shot film reel while the other SLR was loaded with a colour transparency film reel which I needed to prepare for an environmental slide show. The SLR camera was a Russian-made Zenith equipped with a Photosnaiper 300mm tele-lens. Those gadgets were packed in the green knapsack, which was on my shoulders.

Reaching Bomburu Ella Falls

On the way to Bomburu Ella Falls.
Bomburu Ella falls comes to the line of sight at the 2nd Mile Post on Welimada-Boralanda Road. This is the only place you can see this wild-beauty from outside the jungle.

From Weimada we could secure seats of a 332-Bomburuella (via Uduhawara) bus, which took us to Bomburu Ella village. That was a journey of about 15 kilometers, along a wavy road. The bus passed Himbiliyagaha Maditta, reached Walahamulla Juction and turned right towards Uduhawara. From Uduhawara, the bus turned towards Bomburu Ella village. At Bomburu Ella bus-stop we got down and started the hike through a charming village.

A small canal that flows from the waterfall to the village guided the three of us. The canal brought water for the cultivations. We walked a little more than a kilometer along the canal when we started hearing the roar of Bomburu Ella falls (or Perawella Falls, as some people call it). The 50 meter-high Bomburu Ella falls is fed by the waterway coming from Bomburuella Reservoir, which is located near the Pedro Scout Camp in Nuwara Eliya. Bomburu Ella falls is considered one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. To my eye, St. Clair Falls looks the widest in Sri Lanka. If so, Bomburu Ella Falls must be the second widest waterfall in the country. It is a small ‘cataract’ waterfall. Water comes thundering down at the foot of Bomburu Ella, smashes on the rock slabs, and sprays a huge cloud of water droplets into the atmosphere. When you stay a little while near Bomburu Ella Falls you will be covered with a coat of water droplets, and a few minutes later your clothes will be soaked entirely!
Trekking along the canal towards Bomburu Ella.
Bomburu Ella Falls.

If you visit Bomburu Ella, plan first. Take only the essential things with you, like food and water. Use eco-friendly material to wrap your food, and once you are at Bomburu Ella, remember that it is not a place to dump garbage. Bring back everything you take there; even the eco-friendly wrappers, because it is a thing of beauty which you must preserve for generations to come.

Happy hiking!