Sorry, for the delay. I hope you have still not embarked on your trip to Balangoda.
Well, this is what I think you could do. Please note that all distances I have indicated are approximate figures.Day 1Travel to Balangoda through Ratnapura and Raassagala.
From Ratnapura proceed along the road that leads to Siripagama and then turn right at a place called (I think Malwala) (7km). This road leads to Balangoda through Wewelwatta & Raassagala. On the way you will be able to see the Dehen Ella
(just by the road), Pandioya Ella
(although it is by the road, it’s difficult to see. You need to pass it and go a little further forward and look back to see the waterfall), Beruwatte Ella
(Passing the Wewelwatta Tea Factory proceed until you cross a bridge over a waterway. A few hundred metres ahead you will need to park your vehicle and walk about 100m from the road to your right to reach the fall), Alupola Ella
(Proceed up to the next junction and turn to your left. Proceed towards the Alupola Tea Estate to see the waterfall). In addition to these waterfalls, there is also said to be another waterfall called Bambarabotuwa Ella
(which is said to be seen from the church at a place called Bambarabotuwa. But, I have not seen it). If there has been rain, you will be able to see many more waterfalls on your way to Balangoda through Rassagala. I am not sure of the exact distance from Ratnapura to Balangoda on this road. Here are some photographs.
Dehen Ella - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/9867503
Pandioya Ella - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/9867542
Beruwatte Ella - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/9867492
Alupola Ella - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/9867478Day 2Proceed to Bogawanthalawa and return.
As you are operating on a bike this will be a very nice route to drive/ride on. Proceed along the Badulla road and at a distance of approximately 4-5km, you will come to a junction of which I just can’t remember the name now. You won’t miss the place as there is a board with directions at this junction. Take a turn to your left and just keep riding first through the village called Pinnawala and then up hill until you reach Bogawanthalawa. If I can remember correct, the distance to Bogawanthalawa from the junction I have mentioned is 38km. I have also read that from Pinnawala village you could visit a waterfall called Gerendi Ella
. But I have never been to it and and has only seen it from far. Also, it will have water only after the rains. You will find more information in the following link.http://www.lakdasun.com/forum/index.php?topic=580.0Day 3Go towards Kalthota and explore the area.
There are two routes that will take you to Kalthota. The first is to go along the Balangoda - Kalthota road from town which I don’t consider as interesting. The more interesting route is; First go along the Badulla road until you come to a place called Pambahinna (19km). From there take the road to your right. This road goes past the Sabaragamuwa University (Belihuloya) and the Samanalawewa Dam
. Mind you, on this road there are two security barriers close to the dam and you will only be allowed to pass through these between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. The road surface is very good. I can confirm this as I drove on this road day before yesterday (20th June 2009). The road passes below the dam where it crosses the Walawe Ganga. At this point remember to notice the ‘leak’
that has caused the whole project to be a failure. Anyway, after passing the dam the road passes through a forest and that is the most enjoyable part of the drive/ride. Later the road passes through a couple of villages and then falls on to the Balangoda - Kalthota road (close to the location of the 14th km post) at a place called Rajawaka. The distance from Pambahinna to Rajawaka is approximately 22km. A few metres ahead of this point, there will be a junction. But, do not turn and just keep going straight ahead. The road to your right is the one that will take you towards the Samanalawewa Power Plant (7km).
Samanalaweaw Dam - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232102
Samanalawewa Reservoir - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232106
Road through Samanalawewa - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/23691138
Somewhere around the 23rd km post there will be a turn off (to your right). This road leads to Kuragala
(2km). It is a place connected to Islam with traces of an ancient Buddhist dwelling. The place is worth visiting as the sight/view from the top of the Kuragala rock is nothing short of breathtaking! These days the view is really nice especially because all the paddy fields far below are green. Yet, watch out! For the blowing is very, very strong these days.
Path to Kuragala - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232085
Path to the Summit - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232099
Ruins at the Summit - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232091
View from Kuragala - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232109
Somewhere close to the 25th km post is once again a gravel road to your right which will take you to an archaeological site called Galtamyaya
(500m). Nothing much to see there unless you are very interested in archaeology.
Ruins at Galtamyaya - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232069
Proceed ahead along the road to Kalthota and you will come to a point where there will be a turn off to your left which will take you to the Doovili Ella
(2km). Remember, to pass through the gate you will have to purchase a Rs.10/- ticket plus a Rs.30/- ticket for the vehicle. Your bike will manage this road with ease. Also, remember to walk down the 300 plus steps that will take you closer to the waterfall.
Doovili Ella - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232078
Proceed up to Kalthota Junction. From there, I would suggest that you keep going in the direction of Welioya / Hambegamuwa until you come to the Kalthota Sapaththu Paalama
(1km). You will certainly enjoy the drive/ride up to it.
Road towards Welioya - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/23691141
Kalthota Sapaththu Paalama - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232076
Then you can turn back and head towards Kalthota Junction and from Kalthota, take the road that goes past the Police Station and the Hospital. In fact the road is actually the bund of an irrigation canal. When you go some distance along this road you will come to a place called Budugala
where you will find a temple. Just before the temple, on the hill on to your right are some interesting ruins of (according to the people in the area is) a palace. I found the place very interesting.
Further along the road you will see on your right a waterfall called the Diyavini Oya Ella
. Some call it as the Diya-Inna Ella. In fact there are two waterfalls close to each other. What you must remember is that this waterfall will look nice only during the rainy season when there is sufficient water. If you continue to go along this road you will go past the Samanalawewa Power Plant
and its huge tube that brings water from the Samanalawewa Reservoir. Passing the power plant, there is a road that turns right which will take you to Rajawaka (7km). At Rajawaka take a left turn and go along the Balangoda - Kalthota road until you reach Balangoda (14km). Even if you don’t take the road through Rajawaka you still can return to Balangoda by going straight up to Weligepola and then by following the Pallebedda - Balangoda road.
Diyavini Oya Ella - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232065
The tube that brings the water - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232114
Road from Rajawaka to the Power Plant - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232052
View from the Rajawaka – Power Plant road - http://www.panoramio.com/photo/15232107Day 4Return to Colombo.
I am sure that there are lots of other places to visit in Balangoda. But, this is what I know of. There are lots of nice places to camp especially in the Kalthota area. It’s not too difficult to find a place close to the Walawe Ganga. The people in the area are good and they will help you to locate a place. I hope this will help you. I suggest that you read the 3rd post in http://www.lakdasun.com/forum/index.php?topic=196.0
and the 6th post in http://www.lakdasun.com/forum/index.php?topic=473.msg1974#msg1974
. You will find more information. Please feel free to ask for any clarification.
All the Best. Enjoy your holiday.