Standing 206m tall, being the 3rd highest in Sri Lanka, Kurundu Oya Ella is a rare gem of a beauty, hidden in the Walapane area of Nuwara Eliya district, Sri Lanka. Though it is a general belief that tall waterfalls are not that beautiful, this is an example that makes this statement a complete false.
Kurundu Oya starts from the north side of the Piduruthalagala mountain, the tallest in Sri Lanka. On the way downwards, many water streams originated from the High forest mountain range join with Kurundu Oya, and then it passes through farmlands, cultivating them, before going through Randenigala reservoir to join Mahaweli river. At a certain point, Kurundu Oya flows over a granite rock surface, falls down two stories, and creates the enchanting beauty: Kurundu Oya Ella. This is also called ‘Mathurata Falls’. Though how beautiful this waterfall is, this is not visited by many since there is no good road to get here. However, there is one way you can reach the base of the waterfall. Between Walapane and Harasbedda, there is a path starting near the Tamil school in Maha Uva estate. From there, if you prefer to walk, there are shortcuts and villagers will guide you through. If you are traveling by vehicle, the best pick is either a 4-wheeler or a bike. An alternative way is to climb the stairs from the main road to reach the Japanese Peace Pagoda in Walapane and join the concrete path going around the temple.
When you travel about 3kms, at one point, the fall is visible to the road. But if you wish to take a closer look, you need to stop the vehicle and walk more. There is a new build power plant at the waterfall and there is an artificially built stream with concrete walls. You can take the footpath next to it and at one point you will also have to walk along the concrete edges of the stream, taking it as the path. This leads to the second story of the waterfall. When you reach the base, you won’t be able to see the upper segment and if you feel adventurous to reach the first segment, you will have to take an unclear path filled with bushes and tall grass. You need to be careful as this area is full of poisonous plants like Maussa. There is a small dam built across Kurundu Oya at the base of the waterfall. You can easily walk around this area and your tiredness will disappear in seconds for how beautiful Kurundu Oya Ella is. Beautiful destinations are hard to reach. But once you do, like this one, the effort and time spent on the journey are priceless.
Take Udapussellawa – Ragala – Walapane road (B332) and take a left to Liyanwela-Brookside – Haragama, road (B413). Take a left to the tea factory road that leads to Maha Uva Estate. From here, you need to take a right, then take the left from the ‘Y’ junction. This road joins the Kurundu Oya Falls trail and at the joint, you need to take a left
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