Huluganga ella Falls, Jodu Ella and Thaliya Watunu Ella

By : Dinesh Deckker
Contact the Author : | 0716- 818740
Year & Month Number of Days Crew Weather Transport
Jul, 2011 2 5 Sunny jeep
Trip Route
Colombo –Kandy- Katugasthota – Madawala- Wattegama – Panvila – Hulu-Ganaga – Bamberella – Huluganga – Alakolla Estate
Friends House in Thawalamthenna 

Travel Tips, Travel Notes and Special remarks
  • Starting early is an advantage
  • Leave only Foot prints
  • It’s good if you can carry water stock at least 1L per person.
  • Respect villagers, customs and if you can not help them do not spoil them

This is dedicated to My Crew and My Lovely Wife without you all this has not been possible.

Yesterday, we tried our best to reach Doowili Ella but we were lost among Knuckles peak sanctuary. Suddenly it started raining while we were lost. It was thundering like hell and was echoing in the forest. We had no option but to return to our accommodation in Thawalamthenna Bambarella in the dead of the night. We were disappointed but it was an extreme experience which we learnt many lessons for our next visit to Doowili Ella.

We only had few hours to have a nap before getting up early to plan our next day activities. We were determined to get the best of the next day and planned to visit Jodu Ella in Thawalamthenna, Huluganga Ella in Huluganga town, Thaliya Watunu Ella in Alakolla Estate and Sembuwatte Lake in Mathale. The schedule was tight but it was successful.

Early morning after the breakfast we traveled few kilometers back to visit Jodu Ella. Pity the drought has taken away all the beauty of the fall. It is 45 meter in height and same waters source generating two waterfalls side by side. People who visit Bambarella can see the fall while traveling.

Jodu Ella

Also known as ‘Bambarelle Knuckles’, the twin falls have identical lengths (45m) and cascade simultaneously from both ends of the mountain into the Mahaweli River via the Huluganga River. The Moragaha River is the source, which springs from Me Malai, part of the Knuckles mountain range. Before reaching the falls, the water flows down seven chutes and through several pools.

In the surrounding area medicinal plants abound and there is a wide variety of wildlife including wild boar, porcupine (Ceratophora tennenti) and a lizard endemic to the island known locally as dumbara and katussa. The area at the top of the falls has been denuded, causing concern that the aquifers might dry up and erode the land.

The Moragaha River flows across Bambarella, Baddegama and Kosgamma, before reaching the Huluganga River. Jodu Falls is situated in the Patha Dumbara Electorate (Panniwala Provincial Division, Thavalatenna GS area). From Wattegama travel the 24km via Bambarella to Panniwala. The rest of the journey is not possible by road so trek the last 1km from the border of the Knuckles mountain range to the fall.



We spent around 15 minutes at the fall and continued our journey towards Huluganga. Many people pass Huluganga Bridge while traveling to Knuckles range and only few people have noticed there is a waterfall underneath the bridge. This is an extremely rare situation. When we are on the bridge we cannot see there is a waterfall. Surprising!. Yes it is… We somehow managed to get to a best view point nearby and my god… it was amazing… one of the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen in Sri Lanka. It was 75M in height and was famous because of the sinhala tele drama “Alla langa Walauwa”.

Huluganga Falls

Huluganga Falls (75m in height) is one of many created by the stream originating from the Knuckles mountain range. The cascading water sprinkles the villages of Elliyadda and Aratthana, before flowing to the Victoria Reservoir. It is popular with both local and foreign visitors and villagers regard it as part of their Dumbara heritage.

A dam had been built across the top of the fall under the Kundasale Water Supply Scheme, a project sponsored by Kundasale PC and the Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI) to supply water to the Kundasale Electorate. However, environmentalists have pointed out that there is not enough space between the dam and fall, causing a decrease in the flow of water.


We spent around half and hour observing the beauty and taking photographs. Our next destination was Thaliya Watunu Ella. We had to take a right turn towards Alakolla Estate, a state plantations corporation owned tea estate. I must say, the roads were well maintained and we had an unusual experience traveling on the estate road.

We encountered straight road for more than 2 KM and it was the first time we met a straight road in a tea estate for that long. The journey was very scenic and we had to take permission to visit the waterfall from Alakolla Estate tea factory. While we were traveling we were able to witness the beauty of the Knuckles range. Also we were able to see the full view of Thaliya Watunu Ella in a distance.

We asked directions from the locals and they were very helpful. Ultimately came to a dead end and local boy helped us to trek near the base of the waterfall. Although this waterfall was famous few years back. But water level was decreased after the construction of a Dam to generate Hydro electricity. Then, it was abounded in the wild by the visitors. Now there was no trail at all, we had to cut trees and walk more than 500M and the leach attacks were so lethal.

Ultimately came to a dead end where we had to climb down to get to the base but as we were on tight schedule we decided to skip going to the base in this harsh conditions, which consume the time of our next attraction. It was a race against time. So we had to decide to go back after taking some photographs. Anyway, it was a very good experience. The waterfall was created by Hulu-Ganga and was 50M in height and was beautiful but the water level was low. Also as we heard from a local, there is a cave on the fall where you can go behind the waterfall. (Which is similar to Doowili Ella?) I am sure there should be a interesting story about this waterfall but we tried to find the folklore but failed. We will definitely find the tale and will update the report soon.

We hurried back to the jeep to travel to our next destination the famous Sembuwaththa Lake created by Elkaduwa Plantation limited.



Have a Safe Journey!

4 Responses to “Huluganga ella Falls, Jodu Ella and Thaliya Watunu Ella”

  1. ප්‍රිය දිනේෂ්

    ෂා…. හරිම අපුරුයි.
    මේ සුන්දර චාරිකාවට සහභාගිවෙන්නට ලැබීම ගැන තවත් සතුටුයි
    ඔහොම යන් ඔහොම යන් …


  2. Well done Good Luck