All of us had gone on different journeys with different people concealing different memories. Among those, there can be some that are unforgettable and unerased. This is about a journey to Upper Diyaluma, the second-largest and the most eye-catching waterfall in Sri Lanka.
- Dates: – 7th, 8th,9th, and 10th of July 2020
- Distance from Bandaranaike airport: – 321km
Beginning – Train journey
It was not an easy task to select a place to go on a journey, because in Sri Lanka there are many beautiful places to see. As we all wanted to have a camping experience, we decided to go to Ella, and to camp in the Upper Diyaluma grounds. The Badulla night mail train was our transport. Rukshan, Gihan, Dhananjaya, and Dulaj went to Sachintha’s place the earlier night to arrange our camping needs.
Finally, the day of our wonderful journey arrived. We booked the seats earlier. Dinal, Thanuj, Pabasara, Kavishka, Pasindu, Pathum, Promod, Savindu, Ashein, and Ovin boarded the train from Colombo Fort, and Kalana and I boarded from the Polgahawela station. We all knew that the next 12 hours were going to be super exciting. We had a super enjoyable night full of music and dance. On the 8th of July at about 7.50 am we reached the Ella railway station. We had a wash there and stayed for an hour until Rukshan, Gihan, Dulaj, Dhananjaya, and Sachintha came.
Ella is one of the most beautiful stations in our country. It contains a very beautiful garden, full of different flowers. It was very clean and well maintained. Natural beauty in there bought all of us to the next level of artistic nature. We did not forget to take beautiful pictures of those as well.
Then we started the second part of our journey at 9.00 a.m. Our next destination was to see the world-famous nine arch bridge. Distance from Ella station to there was 4 km. We slowly walked along the rail tracks. The route was very beautiful and either side was full of bushes. There were different beautiful flowers in different colors. This beauty released our stress making us fresh. After about 2 km, we had a chance to see a very beautiful Pinus plantation too.
Within an hour we reached our destination. Only a few foreigners were there. As we had to go to upper Diyaluma, we were unable to go to Adam’s peak. So, we came back again to the station along the same path.
After coming out of the station we had our lunch from a nearby restaurant. After that, we moved to Wellawaya town by bus. We reached the Wellawaya bus stand at around 3.00 p.m. Dinal, Thanuj, and Savindu went to take 2 more tents. The rest of us boarded another bus to move to Diyaluma. After about 1 hour we went to the starting place of our destination. From there onwards we had to move along a very narrow road to reach upper Diyaluma. The true journey begins from there.
Some small shops and houses were there for the first 1 km. After that, we had to walk on a very narrow road up to the top. Huge trees were surrounding us. The environment was very calm and quiet and full of plant diversity creating a very soothing environment. During this journey, we saw a beautiful small pond where water was coming out between 2 stones. The last 2 km was full of bushes which made us walk through them. After about one hour, at 5.00 p.m. we reached our destination. We all were amazed by seeing that wonderful place. The surrounding was cool due to the breeze. Water that flowed slowly created a very impressive tone to our ears. This was the most beautiful place that I had ever seen.
As the surroundings grew darker, we quickly arranged our tents. Some went to collect sticks. Dinal, Thanuj, and Savindu who went to bring the tents from the town were still stepping up. They had gone on the wrong path and were lost in the jungle. However, with great effort, we were able to find them. As time was close to 6.00 p.m. we had a quick bath. The best part is yet to come.
A Glamorous night
The bonfire was made with the effort of us all. For dinner we had BBQ. Then the show began. We had a bongo and a guitar which added the best flavors for the beautiful night. The sky was full of stars. Only moonlight and bonfire. The cool wind made all of us more energized. It was a nonstop musical show full of happiness and joy. We didn’t even realize that time was passing. We also had a few real-life discussions. After all that, at around 3.00 a.m. we went to sleep.
The beautiful sunshine falls, motivated us for the dawn of a great morning. That sunshine brought us new hopes. We made noodles for breakfast. After about 2 hours we removed our tents and cleaned the place without leaving any polythene. This place wasn’t a place of frequent visits, mainly due to transportation issues. Only a few villagers were there. This might have been the main reason for its retained inner beauty.
Next, we went to the topmost point in upper Diyaluma. The view from there was very beautiful. The larger rocks made the waterfall more attractive. There were several small shallow ponds to have a bath. There was one place to jump from the top rock to the bottom water basin. Another pond with a rock covering resembled a pool. It was very eye-catching. We spend about 3 hours there and didn’t forget to take photographs, again!
After all these loving moments, we started our journey back to the bottom of Diyaluma at around 2.00 p.m. The rain started dripping down as we stepped down, slowing us on the slippery ground. We had to wait for about 30 minutes for a bus to come. After about two hours we reached Sachintha’s place. Our journey stopped there, filled with loving memories. Finally, we came to the Bandaragama station to come back to Colombo fort.
There are many places like this, where beauty is hidden from people. I think this is one of the best places to escape from our busy and ordinary lives.
If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.
By Dinushka Prasad
- Photo Credits: Author, Ovin Amarasinghe and Thanuj Darshana