Sri Lanka’s Natural Wonder: Bambarakanda Falls in Ohiya

by | Sep 19, 2023 | Asia

Nestled amidst the emerald hills of Ohiya in Sri Lanka, Bambarakanda Falls stands as a testament to the island’s unparalleled natural beauty. As the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka and one of the most captivating in all of Asia, Bambarakanda Falls is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a glimpse of nature’s grandeur.

The Magnificence of Bambarakanda Falls

Rising to a staggering height of 263 meters (863 feet), Bambarakanda Falls is a sight to behold. The name “Bambarakanda” translates to “Bamboo stream” in Sinhala, a fitting moniker considering the lush bamboo groves that envelop the waterfall. As you approach the falls, the distant roar of cascading water begins to reverberate through the dense vegetation, building anticipation for the awe-inspiring spectacle that awaits.

The waterfall forms from the waters of the Kuda Oya River, which originates from the Horton Plains National Park. As the river tumbles down the precipitous rocky cliffs, it creates a series of mesmerizing cascades. The final drop, which constitutes the main Bambarakanda Falls, is a breathtaking free-fall that sends a fine mist into the air, creating a magical atmosphere around the base of the falls.

The Journey to Bambarakanda

Reaching Bambarakanda Falls is an adventure in itself. The journey often starts in the town of Haputale or Bandarawela, both of which are accessible by train from Colombo. From there, you can hire a vehicle or take a bus to Ohiya, the nearest town to the waterfall. The winding roads and picturesque landscapes make the drive an experience to remember, with lush tea plantations, charming villages, and panoramic views of the Sri Lankan countryside.

Once you arrive in Ohiya, you’ll find the trailhead leading to Bambarakanda Falls. The trek to the falls is relatively short, taking approximately 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your pace. The trail is surrounded by dense forest, and as you progress, the distant sound of rushing water grows louder, building anticipation for the grand reveal.

A Natural Oasis in Ohiya

Upon reaching Bambarakanda Falls, you’ll be greeted by a natural oasis of pristine beauty. The lush greenery, the cool mist, and the sheer power of the waterfall create a sense of tranquility and wonder. The pool at the base of the falls is an inviting spot to take a refreshing dip on a warm day, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The surrounding area also offers numerous vantage points for capturing the perfect photograph or simply basking in the breathtaking scenery. Whether you choose to admire the falls from a distance or get up close and personal, the sheer scale of Bambarakanda Falls is sure to leave an indelible mark on your memory.

Flora and Fauna of Ohiya

Ohiya and its vicinity are renowned for their rich biodiversity. As you make your way to Bambarakanda Falls, keep an eye out for the diverse flora and fauna that call this region home. The lush forests are home to a variety of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. You may spot colorful birds like the Sri Lankan hanging parrot and the yellow-eared bulbul, among others.

Additionally, the surrounding forests are inhabited by various mammals, including sambar deer, wild boar, and even the elusive Sri Lankan leopard. While it’s rare to encounter these animals during a short visit, the knowledge that such wildlife roams these hills adds an element of intrigue to your journey.

Preserving the Beauty

Sri Lanka is known for its commitment to preserving its natural beauty, and Bambarakanda Falls is no exception. The area surrounding the waterfall is protected, and steps have been taken to ensure its conservation. It’s important for visitors to respect the environment by adhering to responsible tourism practices, such as not littering and refraining from damaging the fragile ecosystem.

In conclusion, a visit to Bambarakanda Falls in Ohiya, Sri Lanka, is an experience that immerses you in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. From the thundering waters of the falls to the serene surroundings teeming with wildlife, this natural wonder is a testament to Sri Lanka’s unparalleled biodiversity. As you stand in the misty embrace of Bambarakanda Falls, you’ll come to appreciate the importance of preserving such pristine environments for future generations to enjoy. So, make sure to include this breathtaking destination in your Sri Lankan travel itinerary and embark on a journey to witness the magnificence of Bambarakanda Falls in Ohiya.

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