Welimada Bomburu Ella Falls (වැලිමඩ බෝඹුරු ඇල්ල)

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Height (in metres)30
DistrictNuwara Eliya

The beautiful Bomburu Ella Falls (also known as Parawella Falls) is a collection of about 10 little-known jungle waterfalls, situated between 1500 and 2000m above sea level in the Sita Eliya Kandapola Forest Reserve in the Nuwara Eliya District. They are served by the upper segment of the principal tributary of the Uma River, known as the Dulgala Oya River.

Dulgala Oya was called Fort McDonald River during the British era. Samuel Baker author of Eight Years of Ceylon states that this country was abundant in Elk. He continues to describe the Fort McDonald River and the waterfall;

The whole country forms a gorge, like a gigantic letter V. At the bottom roars the dreaded torrent Fort McDonald river, in a succession of foaming cataracts, all of which, however grand individually, are completely eclipsed by its last great plunge of 300 feet perpendicular depth into a dark and narrow chasm of wall-bound cliffs.

The bed of the river is the most frightful place that can be conceived, being choked by enormous fragments of rock, amidst which, the irresistible torrent howls with a fury that it is impossible to describe.

The river is confined on either side by rugged cliffs of gneiss rock, from which these fragments have from time to time become detached, and have accordingly fallen into the torrent, choking up the bed, and throwing the obstructed waters into frightful commotion.

Here they lie piled one upon the other, like so many inverted cottages; now forming dripping caverns; then resembling walls of slippery rock, over which the water falls in thundering volumes into pools, black from their mysterious depth, and from which there is no visible means of exit. These dark and dangerous pools are walled in by hoary-looking rocks, beneath which the pent-up water dives and boils in subterranean caverns, until it at length escapes through secret channels, and reappears on the opposite side of its prison walls. Lashing itself into foam in its mad frenzy, it forms rapids of giddy velocity through the rocky bounds; now flying through a narrow rowed gorge, and leaping, striving, and wrestling with unnumbered obstructions, it at length meets with the mighty fall, like death in a madman’s course.

One plunge! without a single shelf to break the fall, and down, down it sheets; at first like glass, then like the broken avalanche of snow, and lastly !—we cannot see more—the mist boils from the ruin of shattered waters and conceals the bottom of the fall.

The roar vibrates like thunder in the rocky mountain and forces the grandeur of the scene through every nerve. No animal or man, once in those mysterious pools, could ever escape without assistance. Thus in years past, when elk were not followed up in this locality, the poor beast being hard-pressed by the hounds, might have come to bay in one of these fatal basins, in which case both he and every hound who entered the trap, found sure destruction.

The hard work and the danger to both man and hound in this country may be easily imagined when it is explained, that the nature of the elk prompts him to seek for water as his place of refuge when hunted; thus he makes off down the mountain for the river, in which he stands at bay.

Now the mountain itself is steep enough, but within a short distance of the bottom, the river is in many places guarded by precipices of several hundred feet in depth. A few difficult passes alone give access to the torrent, but the descent requires great caution.

The fall on the border of Nuwara Eliya and Badulla districts, Uva Paranagama Divisional Secretariat, in the Pewella GS area. From the Welimada – Pusselawa road, turn off at Ambagasdova junction and follow the Pewella bus route. The route then ascends and becomes a slightly perilous-looking winding track, with difficult boulders and jungle to negotiate, before the fall is reached.

References

  1. Kautzsch, E. (2003). A Guide to the Waterfalls of Sri Lanka (2nd ed.). Tisara Prakasakayo.
  2. Baker, S. W. (1902). Eight Years in Ceylon. Mongmans Green & Co.
  3. Lanka Council On Waterfalls. (n.d.). Lanka Council On Waterfalls. http://www.srilankanwaterfalls.net/

Also See

Bomburu Ella Falls Video

An informative video clip by Nade Gura Travel & Conservation Society

Map of Bomburu Ella Falls

Please click on the button below to load the Dynamic Google Map (ගූගල් සිතියම් පහලින්)
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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

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Travel Directions to Bomburu Ella Fall

Route from Welimada to Bomburu Ella
Through : Daragala – Ambagasduwa – Uduhawara
Distance : 17 km
Travel time : 30 minutes + 2.5 km hike
Driving directions : see on Google map

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