Mystic Lovers Leap Fall at Nuwara Eliya
|Height :||30 meters|
|District :||Nuwara Eliya|
This beautiful 30m high Lovers Leap fall in Nuwara Eliya is incipient of the streams and brooks of Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, the Piduruthalagala (2524m). It flows over hard granite ledges and the water is collected in a tank and used for drinking.
In dry spells, the flow is languid The fall is said to derive its name from the tragic tale of a prince, who while hunting in the jungle, lost his way. He was rescued by a beautiful damsel, and the two became inseparable lovers. But the match was not to the liking of the prince’s subjects, so the two decided to immortalise their love by leaping from the top of the fall to their death.
Superstitious villagers avoid the fall at night. The fall is situated in Havaeliya, 2 km from Nuwara Eliya, Nuwara Eliya District. Many hotels and guest-houses can be found in Nuwara Eliya.
The waterfall lies about 3 km from the Nuwara Eliya town. Once you go through the winding roads up to the lane which leads to the waterfall, you can either take a 3 wheeler which will take you halfway to the falls and from there its a fairly even gravel path to the falls. The distance is approx 250 meters. Else you could walk from the road. Its about 400 meters uphill walk along a narrow tar road and you can to take a shortcut through a tea estate. This is a fairly steep climb of about 4oo meters but little more adventurous.
Galwala Falls is another waterfall which lies close to the lovers leap fall.
- Waterfalls of Sri Lanka
- Other Places of Interest Within Close Proximity
Map of Lovers Leap Fall at Nuwara Eliya
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Route from Nuwara Eliya to Lovers Leap Fall
|Through : Udapusellawa Road
Distance : 3.5 km
Travel time : 10 minutes
Driving directions : see on google map
Drawn to the Deadly Falls
‘Be careful’ warns my usually cheerful hotelier. “Lovers Leap is a slippery deadly death defying waterfall and one wrong step at the top of it looking down and you might find yourself tumbling into its evil clutches.” Being in Nuwera Eliya it started to rain and that of course does not help any walker even on a well mapped out walking trail. I was slipping and sliding in all directions long before I reached the top however, the mesmerising views and sound of the hypnotic water hitting the rocks was enough to keep me going. Luckily as I reached the top platform the sun came out ripping an amazing rainbow of colours across the sky.
Beautiful and Serene
Lovers Leap the waterfall is a fascinating trail through the Nuwera Eliya village life and with spectacular views of the surrounding area. To miss this slippery deadly waterfall would be a mistake, but be careful as you stand on top of it looking down that you don’t tumble into its evil clutches. The falls name interestingly came from two star struck lovers, who like Romeo and Juliet took their own lives for the sake of love. Hard to imagine two young lovers ending it all here in one last leap, a place where torrents of water smash down at hurtling speeds over a 30 metre craggy drop, passing a whole array of jagged rocks making the sound like a final drum-roll. The whole experience of watching it is hypnotic and one is left in awe how Mother Nature can create such a startling beautiful and yet a deadly spot that has mesmerised generations of travellers.
The waterfall is set in the tea country, a colonial legacy of English vegetables that thrive even in the terrible rainy environment, which are served up daily with classic English Sunday roasts. The women who toil the fields are just as much a part of the local economy and breadwinners as the men, who carry huge loads up and down the mountains with not a care in the world. A few minutes watching them haul sacks of crops with huge smiles across their faces up and down these terraces is a humbling experience.
Whether the story is true, the ‘Lovers Leap’ walk is famous in the area not only for its cascading waterfall, but also for its spectacular viewpoint of the Nuwara Eliya Mountaina, the hill capital of Sri Lanka. The living of the falls is the story of two lovers – one Prince and a beautiful girl from a close-by village – who had no chance of being together due to the huge class difference. The king was strictly against their planned marriage as their origin and the customs of those days could not allow an alliance between partners from such extremely different castes. So on one full moon day, they climbed up to the top of the waterfall and jumped from the edge to make an end to their suffering sacrificing their young lives for true love. It carries the name and the sorrows of the deadly romance and every drop of water seems to be an endless cascading tear cried by the young couple who would for all eternity could only be together in death.
To reach this National Geographic spot I headed off with my two kids from the Pedro tea estate, walking through staircases of green tea that vanished into the sky and then higher up along steep pathways that vanished at times with women collecting firewood on their heads and water bowls balanced perfectly at whatever angle they were forced to climb.
The remoteness of Lovers Leap is brought home to me with young children turning coke tins into homemade cars and all imaginable types of toys from left behind rubbish. Here money is in short supply and yet happiness is bountiful.
Sacred Hindu kovil
The hill climate weather is ideal for hiking almost all year round – a fresh breeze but a warming sun. As I reached the sacred Hindu kovil and the base of the waterfall the fields turned from growing vegetables such as cabbage, carrots and leeks to just tea. The last bit was very steep and adventurous but besides that the hike was easy and even for a city girl and two mischievous kids manageable.
A group of locals joined us on the walk, they were on a pilgrimage I discover to the sacred Hindu kovil by the falls where a trident marks the spot and generous rice and fruit donations have already been made in hand woven baskets. I was amazed by the warmth of the people everywhere in the hills sharing sweet rice and even inviting us in for ginger tea. I don’t feel this kind of kindness and tranquility when I am in the South of Sri Lanka or Colombo. I try to find a reason asking a local, who says ‘I think it is because they grow their own food and have small farms, and having their own business however small fulfils them and makes them happy. It is not like in the city where everything is about getting richer than your neighbor, sitting on Facebook for hours, paying bills for expensive gadgets, partying until dawn and stuff that in reality really is not real’, he explains. “For us sitting around chatting, is what is important here, everyone who has a piece of land can at least fill their own bellies even if they are poor and of course look at the beautiful surroundings they look at daily.”
Just before the waterfall, I discover a sacred tree covered in sari material, which is a wonderful spiritual spot to reflect on life and make a wish. Shiny scraps of cloths were knotted onto the fence and each piece of fabric means a wish has been made that hopefully comes true. Maybe desperate lovers come here nowadays and pray for their parents to change their minds instead of daring to jump for love.
Finally after a few more twists and turns, we had reached the highest point where we could look up at Lover’s Leap, a place which got its name tragically from the two local people ending it all for love. You can’t help but stare at the huge amounts of water crashing down from the top onto several levels of rock formations bouncing like music across the landscape. On one of the stones blue paint says something in Singhalese letters, which means that it is forbidden to throw garbage into the falls because it is used as drinking water for the citizens in the valley. Isn’t it ironic? Where once took place a suicidal Sri Lankan Shakespeare story, serves today as a source of life and provides the people with clean water in the town to drink and a wonderful spot for travellers to explore and rediscover why natural highs are so much better for you.