At 241 metres, Bambarakanda falls claims the privilege of being the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka, the 299th highest waterfall in the world and 48th among the 100 highest waterfalls in the world.
To reach the falls visitors should make a turning at Kalupahana Junction (in the Badulla District), near to the Weli Oya Bridge along the A4, between the 172nd and 173rd Kilometre posts.
The road to the falls winds and snakes its way across a dramatic landscape with mighty mountain ranges and grassy plains stalking the route. A number of streams and brooks intersect and pass beneath the road, indeed a serene sight.
Passing the village of Weerakoon, a rusty and fading colonial era sign announces the location for visitors to alight their vehicles and commence the very short walk to the base of the falls. The path is easy to find and cuts through lush greenery with visitors crossing a quaint bridge that glosses over a cascading stream.
The path then becomes steeper as visitors enter a pine forest. As you walk under these pine giants, be wary of your footing as the leaf covered floor can be slippery. A few more metres on and you will arrive at the base of the majestic Bambarakanda Waterfall.
A nonstop spray of icy water greets those who arrive here and especially during dry periods, the rock pool at the base of the falls is ok for swimming but always consult a local on this.
The sound of the falls, when it is in full swing is deafening and the spray is a reminder of the refreshing power of water. The views from the base of the falls are also attractive with a wide panorama that spans pine trees and uninterrupted plains.
Bambarakanda is formed by the Kuda Oya (coming from Horton Plains above), which is a branch of the Walawe River. The beauty of this majestic cascading falls is further heightened by the gushing water continuously bouncing off rock ledges on its way down.
To the left of the fall, centuries of wind and rain have formed what is said to resemble two embracing lovers out of the rock. The more adventurous can visit the top of the falls accessible via a brisk and steep five kilometre climb.
For those who venture thus far, the scenery all around at the top of the falls is magical including uninterrupted views of the eastern plains of Sri Lanka. At the top of the falls, there is a very inviting bathing pool formed by a smaller falls, prior to the mighty sheer drop of Bambarakanda.is said to attract lightning. Leave only footprints…