|Height :||40 meters|
The Kalthota Doowili Ella is ensconced some three kilometers off Balangoda – Kalthota main road and is accessible through a tarred way running across thick jungle profusely scattered with some of the rarest trees and bushes endemic to Sri Lanka. Once you leave the main gate into the domain of wilderness cut across by the tarred road, you would find yourself marooned in an alien land with no sign whatsoever, of human settlement or sound except for the melancholic call of a peacock or the piercing screech of cicadas. After about two kilometres’ walk, you will come up to a broad terrain opening up to a resplendent landscape with clouds hovering against the backdrop of bluish green mountains going from view into the far horizon. Another one kilometre’s walk down the semi jungle will bring you in close proximity to a restaurant which provides necessary food and beverages and aptly serves as the refreshing resort for fatigued visitors.
Kumara Lankabarana, the manager of this wilderness resort, remarks, “The fall is half a kilometer away from here. What you hear is the roaring of the waterfall. Many visitors and jovial drifters swarm here particularly on Saturdays and Sundays. They order meals and go down to have fun at the falls and most of them are back pretty late in the afternoon. They really have fun because unlike other waterfalls, Doowili Ella is unique in many respects. Unique specially in the captivating surroundings and the unusually big rock pool. We have here every facility for a visitor but we often get complaints about the unnecessary behavior of monkeys, who steal things from the visitors’ bags. They have a wonderful skill of opening bags while the owners are full to the brim with joy at the falls. So it is best to make arrangements to keep the bags in a secure place.”
“Nobody can bathe in the rock pool into which the water sinks. The pool is guessed, through trustworthy tests, to be over thirty feet in depth. So it is highly perilous even to dip your feet into it. You’ll see that the water in the pool is frighteningly dark. It silently shows how far the water runs deep,” says Kumara. However, I had to complete my trek down to the falls.
By this time, I espied patches of light mist hovering over the tree tops which was an unmistakable off shoot of the invisibly tiny water sprays created by water cascading into the dangerous rock pool. I began to descend, with fascination, the steps with railing on either side. In the course of about ten minutes, I was overwhelmed by the deep, booming, resonant roar of the waterfall and caught the first glimpse of Doowili Ella through the undergrowth of the jungle.
A breathtakingly beautiful view coupled with the booming roar! The chilling watersprays slapped my face mercilessly. Doowili Ella cascaded down the cliff from the hills behind into the dark rock pool below creating an unendingly rising cloud of tiny water droplets which earned it the label of Doowili Ella.
The white water nymph (the first word that struck my mind on seeing it) of famous Walawe river displays the final stage of turbulence before the river creeps slowly towards the southern coast of the island. The roaring sound made by the falling water absolutely adds an appalling dimension to this uninhabited, inhospitable region of jungle and the chill of the floating water droplets create strange sensations. The high rock platform where I was standing overlooked the waterfall below with dark, deep pool of water surrounded by the rock walls. It could definitely have involved the high possibility of danger had it not been for the fence fixed along the precipitous rock walls rising above the pool below.
I understood that even the slightest loss of balance on the slippery edge of the steep, high cliff would be enough to take me down into the water in a whirl below.
Attraction with a blend of perilous charm and mysterious setting! To make a long story short, words can, in no way do ample justice to the beautiful scene and the mood it creates in a visitor. Like any other waterfall, Doowili Ella too bears popular myths which blend the waterfall with super natural elements and phenomena difficult or impossible to understand. It is said that a gold colored giant eel with a golden ring in its mouth is occasionally seen to emerge and quickly disappear into the pool which is very deep. At the same time, people labour under the misapprehension that the waterfall, under the influence of the above said eel, takes someone’s life every year as a victim. In the first place, these beliefs are totally fallacious and have nothing to do with the power of nature.
What captivates a visitor in this region, is the presence of peacocks and other wild birds on the way. Now and then a couple of peacocks are seen scurrying into the bushes nearby and a complicated blend of bird calls fills the whole jungle.
It is painful however, to note that Doowili Ella and its natural surroundings are under heavy threat from the activities of man. “Visitors who go to the falls often take bottles and throw them around.
We have a pretty hard time removing the fragments of glass. They spoil the surroundings by throwing polythene bags and the like around the waterfall. It is better if they could think a bit about the natural beauty being spoilt by their own acts. It is high time they corrected their ways,” says Kumara.
- Waterfalls of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Kaltota Doowili Ella Falls (Walawe Ganga East Falls)
The map above also shows other places of interest within a approximately 20 km radius of the current site. Click on any of the markers and the info box to take you to information of these sites.
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The turn off to the waterfall lies approx 25 km from Balangoda town or 3.5 km off the Kaltota town. Travel about 2 km on this route and then you need to walk about 300 meters to see the falls.
This waterfall is also known as Walawe Ganga (East) Fall
Route from Balangoda to Kaltota Doowili Ella
Route from Belihuloya to Kaltota Doowili Ella
|Distance : 27 km|
Travel time : 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google map
|Distance : 34 km|
Travel time : 1 hour
Driving directions : see on google map