Fed by two half-yearly monsoons, rivers rush down rocky precipices and form spectacular waterfalls. Sri Lanka is blessed with numerous waterfalls and has the highest waterfall density in the world with a recorded 382 spread throughout the country. They are mostly located in the central hills.
While you may need to hike for several hours to see some of these beauties, other smaller falls are visible as you drive through this region. Sri Lanka still has many unknown waterfalls hidden in the thick forest, and not yet officially discovered. Some of these picturesque waterfalls can be viewed with ease while the others are located inside thick forests and around tea plantations.
A grand 263 meters in height, the Bambarakanda falls has the honour of being the tallest waterfall in the country. The view from the top of the mountain is breath-taking and is one of the not-to-be -missed experiences in Sri Lanka. The falls are located in a dense forest in Kalupahana near Bandarawela and is rather difficult to get through to but is still well-worth the journey.
With its impressive height of 220m, Diyaluma is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka (it is often mistaken to be the highest). Diyaluma in the local language means ‘rapid flow of water’, and it lives up to its name especially during the rainy season. The Diyaluma Falls are formed from the Pungala Oya, a river that runs 427m (1,401ft) above sea level. a whole host of spectacular smaller falls can be found up the river, but Diyaluma is the one you don’t want to miss.
St. Clair’s Falls is one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka and is commonly known as the ‘Little Niagara of Sri Lanka‘. This picturesque waterfall cascades down the St. Clair Tea Estate and runs through green hills and the lush tea cultivation. The cascade is said to be over 80m in height and 50m in width, and it comprises two smaller waterfalls: Maha Ella, the greater fall, and Kuda Ella, the lesser fall. The waterfall is easily accessible and is visible from most places in the surrounding area.
Dunhinda Falls, which is 64 meters high, gets its name from the misty spray of dew (Dun in sinhala means mist or smoke) which surrounds the area at the foot of the waterfall. This beautiful waterfall is also known as the ‘Bridal Fall ‘because the shape of the waterfall resembles a bridal veil.