Being called “Little Niagara of Sri Lanka”, St. Clairs falls is another famous and mostly visited waterfall in Sri Lanka, situated in Dimbula area in West Thalawakele, Nuwara Eliya district. This 80m tall beauty stands closer to the Colombo – Hatton – Nuwara Eliya main road, showing off her best self to travelers, alluring them to stop by and have a good look at her beautiful self.
Standing close to Devon falls, St. Clairs falls is situated along the Kotmale oya, a tributary of the Mahaweli River. The falls flows through St. Clairs estate and this is the fall was named after the estate. The falls consists of two parts. The upper part is called “Maha Ella” in Sinhalese (“The Greater Fall”) and this segment is 80m tall. The second segment is 50m tall and is called “Kuda Ella” in Sinhalese (“The Lesser Fall”). To make this waterfall, water travels over 3 rocky outcrops, go through 2 segments and fall to a massive pool situated below.
Though this beauty is considered one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka, once carrying a large volume of water, the completion of Upper Kotmale Hydro power project effected the water level in St. Clairs waterfall in a very bad way. The volume of water you see today is a limited quantity that is released to prevent the complete disappearance of the fall.
There is a viewpoint situated along Colombo – Hatton – Nuwara Eliya road itself with a viewing deck, a small restaurant and a museum about Upper Kotmale Hydro power project. This place is maintained by Ceylon Electricity Board and is open from 8.30A.M to 5.30 P.M. There are some power lines drawn across the estate which slightly disturb your view, though. As there is no clear path to reach the base of the waterfall, you must go downwards across tea bushes and mana patches
Take Colombo – Hatton – Nuwara Eliya (A7) highway and reach Pathana junction. Travel 3km further and the waterfall will be at your left side,
Take Gampola road (A5) and after reaching Gampola, continue on Kandy road (AB13) and reach Nawalapitiya. Turn to Nawalapitiya – Kotmale road (B317) and then turn right to Nawalapitiya – Dimbula road. Reach Pathana junction and turn left.
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