Ella: Site Details
Magnificent Views and Mountain Treks
Sites of interest in and around Ella include:
- Bambarakanda Falls
- Ella Rock
- Lipton’s Seat
- Little Adam’s Peak
- Rawana’s Cave
- Rawana Falls
Sri Lanka's Highest Waterfall
Off of the road between Ella and Belihuloya is the long, slender cascade of Bambarakanda Falls, Sri Lanka’s highest waterfall at 263 metres, which tumbles out of the dramatic hills below the towering escarpment of World’s End.
Moderate Trek with Magnificent Views
A moderately strenuous hill walk will take you to Ella Rock, which is on the opposite side of the ravine from Little Adam's Peak, high above Rawana's Cave. The walk heads along the railway tracks towards Bandarawela, where you will get a good view of the small Rawana Falls. After passing over a creek and through a small hill community, you will come to a woodland, where the track continues to the top of the rock with its wondrous views of the area.
A gentle walk through the immaculately manicured Dambatenne tea estate near Haputale takes you to the viewpoint of Lipton’s Seat from where Sir Thomas Lipton, the tea magnate, often admired the 360-degree view, hence its name.
Little Adams Peak
Easy Walk to a Panoramic Viewpoint
For a gentle walk in the Ella area, head for Little Adam's Peak, as one of the hills is known locally. The walk will take you off and up into the hills towards the southeast, past tea pickers' houses, where you will be able to survey the end of the Hill Country as it drops away over 1000 metres below you to the plains in the south. On a fine day, you may be lucky enough to actually see the surf as it crashes onto the beaches on the southern coast.
Mythical Hideout of the Ramayana
The cave in the massive Ella (Rawana) Rock can be seen from the rest house, to the right of the Ella Gap. It is associated with the story of the Ramayana, in which the demon king of Lanka, Rawana, imprisoned Rama's wife Sita. The cave, which is of particular interest to palaeontologists, has a small entrance that scarcely lets light in and then a long drop to the floor. It is filled with water from an underground stream, which has hindered exploration, but excavations here have unearthed prehistoric remains of human skeletons and tools dating from 8000 to 2500 BC. The skeletons are believed to belong to Homo sapiens balangodensis.
Waterfalls towards Wellawaya
The dramatic Ravana (or Bambaragama) Falls are at the side of the main Wellawaya road, about 7 km south of Ella. They disappear into a gap, descend the cliff for 9 metres, then flow under the road bridge lower down and into the valley below. The best time to view the falls is in the afternoon as the light catches the cascades, although it sometimes stops flowing during the dry season. You will be surrounded by hawkers as soon as you disembark the vehicle, so be prepared!