Kukuleganga Holiday Resort, Makeli Ella, Fa Hien Cave (Pahiyangala)

By : Dinesh Deckker

Contact the Author : dineshdsd@gmail.com

Year & Month Number of Days Crew Weather Transport
Dec, 2007 2 5 Excellent Car
Trip Route
Kukuleganga Holiday Resort
Travel Tips, Travel Notes and Special remarks
  • When bathing in a base of a waterfall always stay alert on the water level.

This travelogue is dedicated to My Lovely Wife….

This trip is always memorable in my life as it was the first trip which opened doors to many trips. Please keep in mind that this is a trip we went 3 years back and some of the places roads might have changed. I think its a duty of a traveler to share the experience whether is old or new. So people can see what was the previous state of the places,roads and etc.

We started our journey early morning from Nugegoda and stopped in Panadura to grab a some breakfast which we planned to have on our way. We stopped to get blessings from Kaluthara temple on our way and continued our journey. Mathugama road was in excellent condition and it seemed repaired recently. We had our breakfast some place nice in Mathugama Road.

Agalawatta – KKG Road

We arrived at Kukuleganga Holiday Resort less than 2 hours which was a effortless drive. Kukuleganga Holiday Resort consist of villas. Kukuleganga Holiday Resort maintained by Army personnel and the service is excellent. The cottages are consist of all the basic facilities plus satellite television. It is located in a scenic location and it is reachable within 2 hours and ideal for a family trip or a office outing. Also hotel consist of lot of recreational and sport activities. You can book the hotel by calling   :+ 94 34 56 20 666 / + 94 34 56 26 667

Kukuleganga Holiday Resort

KKG Holiday Resort is manned by the Institute of Peace Support Operations Training SriLanka. This is a very pleasant and recently constructed complex with nicely built one, two and three bedroomed cabins, along with amenities such as Club House, Swimming Pool, Play Area, Tennis Court, Squash Court Gymnasium walking trails etc. It is considered a highly desirable weekend retreat site patronized by locals as well as foreigners.

This area belongs to the wet zone in Sri Lanka. It is warm and short rain showers are refreshing. It enjoys a superb climate with no high temperature and prolonged droughts. Temperatures during a whole year are between 24 C and 32 C. Perhaps it is so fascinating in the morning that it looks like an Italian mountainous village when wrapped by a silky blanket of mist. Drizzling and slight rainfall prevailing on the peaks of mountains are a natural occurrence, thus converting this side of Sri Lanka into a superb area for a life in relaxation.

More Information : http://www.kkgholidayresort.com/index.html

The Villas

Our first attraction was Makeli Ella and it is situated few kilometers from the resort and it is a small waterfall but the water was crystal clear.We had to take Matugama – Agalawatte road to Lathpandura and then the Molkava to reach the falls. First we climbed down to get to the best view point of the waterfall and it was beautiful.

Makeli Ella – Road

I didn’t had a digital camera and you can see what was the photography source and obviously the images are not that quality and apologize for the incontinence. It is strongly recommend not to have a bath in the Makeli Ella base as so many people has died trying to have a bath.

Getting Down

Makeli Ella Falls

The 10m fall is said to resemble a bride’s veil from a distance, and round weather-eroded granite stones pepper the landscape. Before the fall there is a large natural pool, and 6m downstream a fairytale-like islet watershed, known as Thumodara. Later the streams fuse and flow to the Kuda River, and via the Kaluganga River to the sea.

Unfortunately, the natural beauty of the fall and its surrounding area is at risk due to the nearby Kukulegama Development Project. It seems possible that the resulting displaced soil could seep into the stream, causing it to silt up.

The Makeli Falls is situated in the Kalutara District. Take the Matugama – Agalawatte road to Lathpandura and then the Molkava road to reach the fall.

Makeli Ella Falls

After enjoying the natural beauty we got back to the car and drove few hundred meters to reach top of the waterfall. There is a natural pool on the top of the falls and the water is crystal clear and recommended to have a bath.

The top of the falls

Natural Pool on top of the falls

After spending few hours in the water we returned back to the resort for lunch.  The afternoon we spent playing tennis and badminton. ( Equipments provided by the resort ). On evenings we can enjoy beautiful flute music while we having our tea. Luckily we booked on a weekend and on weekends there is a BBQ and live band show. The food was very tasty and worth the money. If you are a fan of Sauna, there is one in the hotel.

Next day plan was to visit Fa-Hien Cave (Pahiengala). We woke up late but continued journey towards Fa Hien Cave. This was a excellent experience. You have to take a ferry to the other side with your vehicle through Kukule Ganga to reach Bulathsinghala.

Ferry Ride – Kukuleganga

We arrived at Pahiyabngala Temple around 11AM and started climbing to the top. There are stairs to the top and frankly its a quite climb I say.

Climbing the stairs.

Fa Hien Cave

This cave known as Fa Hien (Pahiyan Lena) is possibly the largest cave in Sri Lanka. It is situated in the village called Yatagampititya in Kaluthara District. You can reach here via Piliyandala – Horana road and it lies about 5 kilometres from Bulathsinhala.This cave can easily shelter 1000 men and the cave entrance is at least 50m in height and 60m in length.

Fa Hien’s cave is famous for two reasons. Firstly, Sri Lankan archaeologists found evidence of human existence date back to thousands of years in this area. Usually we do not get any written records related to this era so archaeologist have named this period as pre-historical period. Dr. Shiran Deraniyagala the former Director General of the Department of Archaeology was instrumental in discovering this very important evidence from this cave as well as many other locations in Sri Lanka. In this cave, they have found a few human skulls and bones dating back to 35000 years and lots of man-made tools used for hunting animals and various other purposes.

The second reason is that Fa Hien, the famous Chinese Monk of the 5th century AD, who came to Sri Lanka in search of Buddhist scriptures and sacred places used to stay in this cave for some time on the way to Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak). Hence the cave got his name – Pahiyan Lena (Cave)

Pahiyan Lena

This is the place they have found skeletons

After spending some time studying the cave we returned back to hotel and of course we had a bath in Makeli Ella again. In the Evening we returned back to Colombo.

Have a Safe Journey!

Usually “Ambalam” were built in a chosen spots such as by the side of a paddy field or stream

Commonly “Ambalam” were simple buildings built by villagers on co-operative basis. They were consisted with a hipped type tiled roof on few timber or masonry columns. Perimeter walls were short and formed a seat for resting known as “Pila”.

Few were built totally with timber structures. In such a case, the Ambalama was built on four rock boulders to prevent from termite attacks. Panavitiya (or Panapitiya) was one of the said few.


Chamila(My wife) & I visited Panavitiya few months ago. Finding the Panavitiya Ambalama was not difficult although there was no sign board on the main road (Negombo-Kurunegala). The turn-off was nearly 3km before reaching Narammala town, where the road leading to the Matiyagana School. Having traveling another few kilometers we had to turn left again.

we reached the Archeological site passing a temple

“Sri Lanka Thilakaramaya“ the temple @ Panavitiya

With nearly 4km drive from the main road, we reached the Archeological site passing a temple. In the first moment, having seen the outside appearance of the Ambalama, I was also confused as like as most of the previous travelers, whether we had reached the correct place. But once we entered in to the shelter, we could discover the wonder of wood carvings that Panavitiya was so famous for.

The boutique located in front of the Archeological site

Little confused having seen the outside appearance of the Ambalama

wonders of wood carvings

Inside view

Beams, rafters & ridge plate

A dancer??

Column heads & wall plates

3 Responses to “Kukuleganga Holiday Resort, Makeli Ella, Fa Hien Cave (Pahiyangala)”

  1. Great site. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends!

  2. Hi Dinesh,

    Nice work. Carry on !



  3. Your travelogue is quite helpful….