Handapan Ella can be translated in English as ‘moonlight falls’ and this term self-explains its own unique beauty. Handapan Ella starts to flow from Rakwana River and springs from Handapan Ella Valley. The waterfall is said to be 23 meters in height, although there are number of very small waterfalls that get divided from this main falls. The northern part of the Handapan Ella Valley from which this waterfall springs is situated between Kabaragala Mountain and Sinharaja Mountain in the Ratnapura District, Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. This area was under the rule of Chieftain Ehelepola Nileme, during the period of Kandyian Kingdom. The villagers believe the Chieftain has hidden his treasures in the fall. The view of this striking waterfall is very clear when travelling through Rakwana – Kalawana Road.
Handapan Ella is 32 km away from Ratnapura. Reaching Handapan Ella is a little bit of challenging task. From Rakwana, you should take the Ratnapura – Deniyaya road and at the end of Buluthota Pass, it is a 4 km trek along a difficult rocky path to the fall, which is located in the jungle near Paluna village. Alternatively, from Ratnapura you may take the road to Kalawana via Rambukka Rajawatte. When heading towards Rakwana, you will find the waterfall. You may also notice the Deepdon Tea Estate on your way. Your will have to walk through mana bushes and forest patches and then walk through a water stream to approach the waterfall.
Photo courtesy : Onal Karunaratne
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