Bambarakanda falls – Tallest Waterfall of Sri Lanka through the devil’s staircase

The Central Plains of Sri Lanka is the most beautiful and adorable.montane grassland and cloudy forests make you amazed and chill the same time. A small waterway, born in the central plains called “Kuda Oya” gives birth to the Bambarakanda waterfall. This is the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka and one of the most attractive waterfalls. The height of the fall is 263m (863 ft). The view of the waterfall is unforgettable.

My Journey to Bambarakanda was unexpected. We were walking to Ohiya and we were a bit tired after trekking and camping 3 days in the Horton Plains national park. One Of my friends suggested, Instead of going on the main road everyone fallow, we should reach Ohiya through the devil’s staircase. He states that by taking this path we will able to Reach Ohiya by nightfall and at the same time we will be able to visit the Bambarakanda waterfall So As you can guess we agreed to take that path without asking questions. We decided to a camp nearby site to Bambarakanda falls.

How to get to Bambarakanda fall?

If you are starting from Colombo first reach Rathnapura.then take Rathnaura-Balangoda road to reach Balangoda.Then through Belihuloya, you can reach to Bambarakanda Falls. The journey is 174 km and takes about 5-6 hours.

If you are Starting From Kandy reach Nuwaraeliya town first, then take Kalupahana – Ohiya Road to reach Bambarakanda Falls. The Journey is 122 Km and takes about 4-5 hours. The Road Is in Good Condition to Kalupahana. But From there to Bambarakanda Falls, Road is not in good shape. But Still doable if you are traveling in a four-wheeler. From Kalupahana Junction you should take the rough narrow track to Bambarakanda falls (6 Km). If you can’t walk to falls you can hire a vehicle from Kalupahana junction and they charge about 1000.00 LKR ($5.52 USD).

Do You Need to Book a Ticket In Advance for Bambarakanda falls?

No, You do not need to book a ticket in advance. But you need to buy a ticket from the site. The Tickets Price to entering Bambarakanda Falls is 30.00 LKR ($0.17 USD).

How hard is the track to Bambarakanda? 

If you are traveling through Kalupahana, you can almost reach to the waterfall by a vehicle. If you have a four-wheeler that’s better. You may need to walk 1-2 km and the track is not that hard.

What is the best route to Bambarakanda Falls?

If you are coming directly from Colombo or Kandy you can take the routes I have mentioned before. But there is a better way to reach Bambarakanda falls. Most Tourists go to Horton Plains after visiting Bambarakanda falls. I suggest you do otherwise. First Go to Horton Plains. Then take the devil’s Staircase to reach Bambarakanda falls. That’s the Best route I know to reach Bambarakanda falls.

Thorough the Devils Staircase (Yakage Padipela) to Bambarakanda Falls

Devils staircase or “Yakage Padipela “ is a road used by tea pluckers. The road runs through tea states and misty mountain terrains. And beautiful to travel. Since you are traveling downhill the walk will be easy. The walk is roughly 22 km and takes about a couple of hours to reach the top of the Bambarakanda fall. This is the best place to enjoy the view of the waterfall. And you can take a bath end to enjoy the crystal clear water of the stone bathtubs. There are From the top of the fall you can see the whole valley below. It’s an amazing experience you must get on your visit to Sri Lanka. We have an extensive article about the devil’s staircase here.

Best Time to visit Bambarakanda falls?

The best months to visit Bambarakanda falls is between March-May. In this time of year, the monsoon season is just finished and get medium rainfall.  

Note – Don’t Try to reach Bambarakanda falls from the top, between October to February due to the heavy rainfall to the area.do not try to reach the top of the fall if the water level is too high.In this time of the year the waterfall could be very dangerous.

photo credit – Kanchana Dilshan

Things to remember before the visit :

  • Take a water bottle and necessary food
  • If you are taking devils staircase to reach the waterfall you may need good hiking shoes
  • Be prepared for the leeches. Take some salt or suitable repellent
  • Do not try to reach the top of the waterfall after a rainfall or during a rainfall
  • You won’t be able to find toilets in this area, So be prepared for that too.

Bambarakanda Falls Overview 

As I was telling you we detour from our original path and took the track through Devil’s staircase. This narrow road runs through the plain’s grassland. It was evening and the surrounding mountains are covered with clouds. We were traveling on the edge of a mountain. After a while, the clouds cleared a bit and we could see the whole valley below. And we could see the Bambarakanda falls from the distance. 

I think I do not need to explain The Beauty of the Trail. As you can see everywhere you only see the green grassy mountains and flowery fields. The Photographs clearly explains everything. After a 3-4-hour walk, we reached to the Bambarakanda Camping site. From the camping place, you could see the waterfall from the distance and the view around the area is breathtaking. And we were no the only ones who have decided to spend the night near the waterfall. A troop of Purple-faced langur was already settling down on nearby trees. They looked at us curiously. We spend a wonderful night there. It was quite and the only sound I hear is cracking and burning sound of the campfire and the Whistling wind.

You may Spot these animals : 

Purple-faced langur 

Purple-faced langur also known as purple-faced leaf monkey is an endemic species to Sri Lanka. These Monkeys are very common in this area. Usually, they live as -small troops. Consisting One adult Male and 1-7 females. These monkeys can be very aggressive if you threatened the male of the troop. Habitat loss and urbanization have led to a significant decrease in this animal.

Sri Lanka White Eye.

you can see this small bird all over the plains. I spotted one or two of them along the way. You can identify them easily with the white ring around their eye. The lores are dark and there is a dark streak below the eye. The chin, throat and upper breast are greenish-yellow as are the thighs and vent. The belly region is grayish-white. 

Sri Lanka Sambar Deer 

This Large Mammal is Very Common Around the plains. Large males weigh up to 270–280 kg. Sambar lives in both lowland dry forests and mountain forests. Large herds of sambar deer roam the Horton Plains National Park, where it is the most common large mammal. We heard the calling of the sambar deer couple of times after the dusk. We couldn’t see them. The Darkness and mist were too high. But you may get lucky to see them.

Nearby places to visit :

Horton Plains (20 km)

The Horton Plains National Park is One of Most Beautiful Views that You will get to experience on your visit to Sri Lanka. This beautiful Highland Plateau Filled with Unique Flora and Fauna that you will only see here. Also, Horton Plains is the highest plateau in Sri Lanka at 2300 meters from the sea level. The highest waterfall of Sri Lanka, Bambarakanda waterfall also located nearby to the Horton plains. As You walk through Plain, Plateau Suddenly Comes to a Stunning Escarpment that plunges 880m, Making it an excellent viewpoint. The walk to the world’s end viewpoint from the entrance of the Horton Plains is 4 Km long. The Road through the national park is an utterly spectacular route to follow.

Kirigalpotta mountain peak (35 km)

This is the 2nd highest mountain in Sri Lanka. Located near the same area of the Bambarakanda falls. If you are visiting Horton Plains, you can easily visit the Kirigalpoththa too. There is a track to Kirigalpoththa through the Horton plains park. We have a great article about Kirigalpotta here.  

Hope you will get to visit Bambarakanda Falls Some day. If you enjoy the place. Don’t forget to share and comment your thoughts.

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