Diyaluma Ella Falls (දියලුම ඇල්ල)

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Height (in metres)220

At 220 meters, Diyaluma Ella Falls is the 3rd highest waterfall in Sri Lanka, and the 619th tallest in the world. The torrent of water cascades down to the Koslanda Plateau and during the rainy season, it is a spectacular sight. The fall lies on Punagala Oya and is the last of the waterfalls along this stream.

The head of the waterfall lies 191 meters above the viewing bridge which lies on the Koslanda – Wellawaya road.

Colin Writes;

“But these figures give only a faint conception of the majestic appearance of these falling waters, which are so awe-inspiring that its hard to take one’s eyes off them. The cliff itself is black granulite, and immense in height. A river leaps from its brow, the while festoons of spray to which it soon dissolved, contrasting strongly with the darkness of the rock.

I hardly know whether the Fall is most beautiful in the bright sunshine or when the shadows of passing clouds cast a sinister light upon it. It is at any rate magnificent in every mood; for first it docents into a sheer cataract until broken halfway down by a shoulder of a rock that rises aggressively to meet it.

In this encounter, the water is smashed into a spray, so that it completes its descent in the eddies of mist that are blown this way and that by the breeze. Normally it plungers straight, but the wind may drift it far away, or spread across the cliff like a gossamer veil. You can fix upon any festoon of water and see it drawn away and dissipated into a rainbow. But if it should be so far blown out of its course as to miss the halfway buttress, then waterfalls whole 570 feet like a column of smoke dashed to pieces on the rocks below.

It should be interesting to see it in a high wind when it blows even across the road. This superb picture of falling water is framed by the dark foliage of trees. Something is forbidding yet irresistibly attractive in such stern aspects of nature. The rock buttress rises in bold challenge to the water, and indeed it breaks its irretrievable ruin. But century by century the unwavering torrents have grounded these granite walls beneath its heel. “.

The fall is steeped in folklore. One story tells of how a king had fallen in love with a young woman belonging to a lower caste. This affair enraged the king’s subjects so the lovers decided to flee. Arriving at the site of the fall, they began climbing upwards. The king made it to the top but the creeper the woman was hanging onto became entangled in rocks and she plunged to her death.

It is said that the tears shed by the king in his grief were collected by a deity and turned into the fall as it stands today. RL Brohier, a scientist and historian from the UK who served in the Surveyor General’s Department, kept records detailing his intimate knowledge of Sri Lanka and its inhabitants. Amongst them was a story concerning Diyaluma Falls, which is said to have been Brohier’s favourite fall.

It is a tragic story dating from 1910, which local village elders still remember. Two tourists, Harris and Ashna decided to climb up the fall but it was Ashna who made it to the top first and began to descend again.

With a crowd that had gathered below watching the proceedings, Harris’s pride was injured. Unwilling to lose faith, he produced a knife and severed the rope, plunging Ashna to her death. He then cut his rope and fell, their cries mingling with the sound of rushing water. The shattered bodies of the pair were unrecognizable and their blood turned the water red.

The fall is located along the Koslanda – Welawaya road in the Badulla District. Koslanda is the nearest town to the fall, 6km away, and Welawaya is 13km away.


  1. Kautzsch, E. (2003). A Guide to the Waterfalls of Sri Lanka (2nd ed.). Tisara Prakasakayo.
  2. Enriquez, C., (1927). Ceylon, past and present. 1st ed. London: Hurst & Blackett Ltd, pp.160-162.
  3. Tallest and largest waterfalls at the World Waterfall Database. World Waterfall Database. (n.d.).
  4. Lanka Council On Waterfalls. (n.d.). Lanka Council On Waterfalls.

Also See

Map of  Diyaluma Ella Falls

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Travel Directions to Diyaluma Ella Falls

Route from Beragala to Diyaluma Falls Route from Wellawaya to Diyaluma falls
Through : Beragala – Welawaya Road
Distance : 24 km
Travel time : 35 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
Through : Beragala – Wellawaya Road
Distance : 13 km
Travel time : 30 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map


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