Asupini Ella


Map

Crew: 8

Transportation: Bus (To Aranayake)

Duration: One day

 

There was a sudden idea to visit and try to climb a waterfall called “Asu Pini Ella”. The only thing we got to know was the location, Aranayake. Some said the name implies “The Waterfall which a horse jumped” but still the origins remain secret. Gladly one of my university friends is from Aranayake, but he too hadn’t climbed it before. We decided to visit it in a weekend. But four of us couldn’t resist barging in to my friends home and spending a night there.
😀

So we took a Kandy – Mawanella bus on a Friday afternoon with our friend for the 27 km ride and then went another 13kms by bus to Aranayake. My friend’s father came to the bus halt to pick us up and drove another few kilometers to reach their home. We were greeted by the residents with delicious “Weli Thalapa”, many more snacks and tea. It took only few minutes for us to  finish all the snacks and settle in. Soon it became midnight while we were chatting after the Dinner, and forced to sleep as there was a long journey ahead in the morning.

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The rest of the team (another three friends) arrived to my friend’s home early in the morning traveling all the way from Kandy. If you are planning to arrive Aranayake on the same day morning, it is recommended to find the bus schedule or use a private transportation method. We had the breakfast as soon as possible and departed around 8.30 am.
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The bottom end of Asu-Pini ella is in Aranayake and the waterfall begins near Dolosbage, Gampola. It is said that there is a small road parallel to the water flow from Aranayake to somewhere near the beginning of the waterfall. Also there is an observatory, which we saw on the way. The waterfall height is around 30 meters and we thought of climbing the falls rather than walking on the road to the observatory.

First few kilometers of the road is flat, but then it reduces to a walk-able path through bushes and rocks until the Asu Pini Ella Mini Hydro Plant. The water flow was not that high at the time we went, but there were traces to prove us that water level could rise very high. Most of the rocks immersed from the water had caves and pits which we carefully crossed. There were few places we had to walk in 3 feet high water, even though the water level was low. Since neither of us had waterproof backpacks, our main concern was to keep our belongings dry while crossing the water.
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After many kilometers of walk we reached to the bottom of the waterfall “Asu Pini Ella”. There was a large water flow even with the dry climate and we could imagine how beautiful it would be with a full flow. Though we planned to climb along the waterfall, we never expected it to be that steep and dangerous. So we took some time to decide whether are we going to continue or turn back. All agreed to continue, but the risk was very high. It was obvious that we won’t be able to directly climb along the water flow. We thought of climbing along the left bank of the waterfall as it seemed less risky.
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It was around 2 pm, so we  quickly ate what we had for lunch on a flat rock surface peeking out from the water. It was hard for us to climb on to the left bank but after getting on it was only a steep climb for few meters. Then suddenly we were facing a large rock with a 90 degree face, around 15 feet in height. We weren’t prepared for such difficult climb with ropes but luckily there were Mangrove type trees with their thick roots hanging below. We started to climb one by one after assessing the strength of the roots. It was hard to climb with the backpacks, so some threw them over after the first one climbed up. It was difficult but all of us managed to climb up with each others help.
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Even after that, the climb was steep, where we couldn’t even take our cameras out considering the risk of falling down the hill. But at least the floor was dry and it made the life bit easier.
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Top most part of the waterfall was a rocky surface with more than 20 feet high banks which we couldn’t climb. So we decided to crawl over the rock as it will be much difficult to go all the way back to Aranayake. The stone surface was smooth and slippery due to the water flow over many thousand years. Adding another fact to our disadvantages, there was nothing to hang on to while climbing for the most of the parts other than uneven rock surface. No one looked down the waterfall as there was a high probability it will be the last thing we see before our death and luckily able to reach the top without any injuries.
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It was a serene view from the top of the waterfall. The whole world seemed stopped other than the continuous water flow on the background sunset. We rested there for about 20 minutes and reached to the natural pool on top around 6 pm. We were exhausted but couldn’t resist a dip in that cold and clear water. According to the information we got top of the waterfall is Gampola, so we took our time and spent a good half an hour swimming there. Then we inquired a villager about the directions to Gampola town and realized there is another 16 km trip. It was so late that we missed the last bus and couldn’t find even a three wheeler. So we decided to walk again. 😛 Fortunately we saw a van parked nearby a house and was able to convince the owner to rent it. Finally it was 9.30 pm when we reached Gampola Town with the memories of an adventure to cherish forever!
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Photo Credits : Amila Dananjaya De Silva, Kalhara Jayasinghe, Sithira Mihiranga

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  1. Pingback: Uthuwankanda | Wayfarer's notes

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