|Year and Month||2016 December 11th|
|Number of Days||One|
|Activities||Scenery, Photography,Hiking, Waterfall hunting|
|Route||Gelioya -> Nawalapitiya -> Seaforth -> Amanawela
Wewelthalawa –> Nawata -> Yatiyanthota -> Karawanella
Ruwanwella -> Kegalle -> Mawanella
|Tips, Notes and Special remark||
Wewelthalawa is a plateau located in Amanawela – Yatiyanthota region on the mountain top, above a height of 2,800 feet. It lies in the center of a ring of mountains like a bottom of a basin. This belongs to Halgolla Estate of Kelani Valley Plantations Ltd. Halgolla Estate has 4 divisions namely Wewelthalawa, Halgolle, Punugala and Ullswater.
The estate has diversity in its elevation, with the lower reaches at 90 feet above mean sea level, rising to the upper divisions at 4,000 feet. Thus, boasting its impressive biodiversity in both fauna and flora. Known in Sinhala as ‘Rathu Mihiriya’ or ‘Rath Mihiriya’, Gordonia speciosa is one of four Gordonia species in Sri Lanka, all of which are endemic to the country, the others being G. ceylanica, G. dassanayakei, and G.elliptica. All four varieties are rare, found only in the montane forests of the highlands, with G. speciosa being the most difficult to find.
Gordonia speciosa is an evergreen tree, with flowers of up to 15cm in diameter. The tree requires a high level of rainfall, proved by the fact it has only been found in such areas. The flower contains five petals, as with other species of Gordonia found in Sri Lanka. From the brilliant flower, G. speciosa produces a fruit, a little smaller than the size of a human hand. The tree grows up to 80 feet in height and is scattered across the Wewelthalawa Plain on the mountain top, above a height of 2,800 feet. Individual trees flower at different times of the year, which means that the flowers are never out of season. The flowers last about two weeks, after which the trees does not flower again for several months.
The Wewelthalawa Division, at 3,000-4,000 feet, is a perfect picture of virgin forest swathed in mist, brilliantly green tea fields and marshy land, from which spring perennial streams that flow off the mountain to join the Wee Oya, a main tributary of the Kelani River which falls into the Sea at Colombo. ‘Olu Ela’ chief amongst the many streams cascades from the mountain top as the breathtaking ‘Olu Falls’. Olu Falls, at 200 meters in height is the fifth highest in the Kelani River Basin, and also the Kelani River Basin. Halfway down these hillsides lie the tea fields of Halgolle Estate, while above and all around them are thickly forested areas in which lurk leopards, sambur, jackals and many other creatures. Halgolla estate is generally classified as a low country tea state due to its factory being at a lower elevation, despite the main tea fields being located between 2,800 and 4,000 feet. Halgolle is home to more than 200 faunal species which includes 16 endangered and 49 threatened species. It is also home to 27 endemic floral species and six that are listed as threatened among its 167 identified species.
In addition to above Wewelthalawa has created some interesting places for its visitors too.
- Mini World’sEnd
- Top of Olu falls – starting point (Upper Olu Falls)
- Bat cave
Prior permission should be obtained to visit these places and it’s open for nature lovers only.
It’s another dream become true. We were sent back by the Gate keeper when we visited Wewelthalawa in 2015 November by the Gate keeper as we had not taken prior permission. So This time we got prior permission from the office as I’m an employee of the company.
We started the journey at around 6:00 am and had breakfast at Nawalapitiya. Then we took the Balanthota-Seaforth road to reach Wewelthalawa. Condition of the road is not good at all. You should have 4wd or motor bikes can manage this. If you are travelling from Colombo then Yatiyanthota-Nawata road is the better route to reach the place.
We were welcomed by the Estate Manager and treated well. After having some friendly discussions we were directed to the Wewelthalawa and all gates were opened for us as per the instructions by the manager.
The first attraction in the route is the Dripping Rock. The name has been given to this place because of the continuous dripping of water from the rock all 365 days of the year. This is also a place of worship and visitors need to behave with respect.
We traveled further in the route and in few meters we saw the cable carts which were used to transport tea leaves from the estate to the Halgolla Factory. These are currently not in operation.
Wewelthalawa Mini World’s End
This is a vertical drop in the Wewelthalawa-Amanawela side. The Wawlagala and areas of Yatitanthota, Dedugala and Dolosbage can be seen from this view point.
There is a well maintained hut in this place and view point is fenced with iron cables.
The straight vertical drop is about 200meters. The Elevation from sea level is 2847fts.
After spending some time, we put our effort in visiting the rest of the places. The starting point of Olu falls and Bat cave is located 1km away from the Mini worlds end.
The Cave is located to the side of the Upper olu falls. We tried to capture the full view photo of waterfall. This waterfalls is around 50-100mts in height for sure. We managed to reach the waterfall from the cave
‘Upper Olu Falls’ must be listed as a waterfall in the waterfall network sites. It’s bigger than the Olu falls of Amanawela
The surroundings are very calm and only the sounds of the birds and fall of water can be heard. We had a little rest there and moved to the next destination which is SLBS tower at top mountain of Ampana forest.
To visit ITN tower we need to get permission from the Battaramulla Head office. However you can visit up to the gates. The last 1km to the mountain is worst in terms of road conditions. we parked our bikes and walked up the final part.
When returning we used Nawata road as we don’t want take risk in the seaforth road.
It was a memorable trip and We thank all the people who helped us to do this trip a success.
Thanks for reading..
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