Abarana Ella Falls (Hambatota) – ආභරණ ඇල්ල

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Abarana Falls

photo courtesy of Dr. Ashan Geeganage

Height :2 metres
District :Hambantota

According to folklore, the 2m high Abarana Ella (Abharana Ella) waterfall derives its name from the fascinating but sad story of King Vijayabahu. The king was married to beautiful twin sisters, both seven months’ pregnant. Before leaving for a sea battle, he announced to his queens that should he be successful, white flags would be hoisted from his ship’s mast upon his return, but should he be defeated, black flags would be flown instead. He also warned them that he would not live to see defeat.

After many days keeping vigil from the nearby Usangoda Mountain (800ft), the queens spied the king’s ship on the horizon. Although the king was victorious, he took up his general’s suggestion to fly the black flags as a practical joke, curious to see the reactions of his wives. The queens saw the black flags and assumed the worst. Overwhelmed by grief and sorrow, they committed suicide by throwing themselves into the river, after first gathering all their jewellery and laying it on the bank. Upon realising the fate of his queens and unborn children, the king was overcome by grief and plunged after them into the water. The fall is now said to be haunted by the Dark Prince – the king’s reincarnation – and it was the jewellery left on the riverbank by the distraught queens (apparitions of which have been reported) that gave the fall its name.

Also found growing near the fall is the plant locally known as dalumura, used by local villagers in devil exorcism rituals.

Beware! Crocodiles are often seen basking in the sun, half submerged by the pool formed by the fall.

The fall’s source is the lower tributary of the Walawe River. It is situated near the town of Ambalantota and the village of Pallerota (in the Ambalantota Ridiyagama area), and the last 2km of the journey must be made on foot. To reach the bullock cart track that serves as the footpath, from the Ambalantota Nonagama junction head to the 77th mile post and cross an irrigation canal, passing a bathing spot/boat yard and a tobacco plantation. A convenient place to stay is the Hambantota rest-house, 26km away.

This waterfall is not short of folklores. According to a plaque installed by the ministry of culture and arts of Southern Province at the falls, This area has been part of a forgotten kingdom ruled by a king called ‘Maha Kalasena’ (today known as Kalu Rajjuruwo)  of the Raksha tribe before 250 BC.  The story line is probably something similar to above. The king and six queens died by committing suicide at the falls according the plaque. This waterfall is also known by the names of “Bisowaru Mala Ella” (fall in which the queens died) and “Awathara Ella” (the ghost falls).

Another folklore is that the a regional king called Manabharana has been ruling from a palace built at the place known as Paraigala in Ussangoda facing the sea. According to elders in the area, ruins of this palace has been in existence until last 50-75 years but now has disappeared with the sea eroding this section. The story is as same as before and the seven queens seeing the black flag has gone along the Walawe river and commited suiside at this location. Fortunately one queen had been saved while being washed away in the current by a Rodi man and made her his wife. This area is now known as “Rodi Malla”.

Directions to Abarana Ella Falls

This fascinating riverine spot is located off the Pelmadulla-Embilipitiya-Nonagama Highway about 12 miles away, near Hedawinna-Pallerotte from where a deviation has to be made off the Muravasihena Branch Irrigation Field Channel. About one mile away from there, the trudge is by foot through the farmers’ bountiful rice fields and their settlements. Then across the field irrigation channel of the Liyangastota constructed down the lower reaches of this meandering Walawe ganga.

Another route is to come through Ridiyagama Tank (off Ambalantota), where there is a Circuit Bungalow. From there one has walk on a rugged pathway one mile away to reach Abarana Ella. It is also accessible via Nonagama Junction on its main highway, where the distance to Hedawinna (the deviation to reach Abarana Ella) is about four miles which is quite accessible to any type of vehicle as it is on its main highway.

source : Gamini G. Punchihewa
Sunday Observer

Also See

Map of Abarana Ella Falls at Hambatota

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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.

Zoom out the map to see more surrounding locations using the mouse scroll wheel or map controls.


Travel Directions to Abarana Ella Falls at Hambatota

Route from Nonagama Junction to Abarana Ella

Route from Ambalanthota to Abarana Ella

Through : Barawakumbura
Distance : 21 km
Travel time : 20 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Ridiyagama
Distance : 15 km
Travel time : 25 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map

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