Dunumala Falls: A Hidden Gem
By Sanuj Hathurusinghe
Located in Uduwaka, Avissawella in the Gampaha District, less than 60 kilometres away from the country’s capital Colombo, Dunumala Waterfall is an ideal destination for those who are on the lookout for a quick excursion during this time and age when travelling is restricted due to the ongoing pandemic. Taking public transport, staying at hotels, dining in public restaurants these days carry a certain amount of risk and as a result, many who have been bitten by the travel bug are looking for alternative options to fulfil their travelling desires while minimising the health risks involved.
It is relatively easy to reach Dunumala Waterfall since the journey is not a long one and can easily be done in a private vehicle. The easiest route to reach the waterfall is via the Colombo-Kandy Road. From Pasyala Junction, turn to Meewitiya Road until you reach the Algama-Haggalla Road. Turn left and travel until you reach the small town of Algama. The waterfall is not far away from Algama, down the Algama-Uduwaka Road.
Dunumala Waterfall is a relatively small waterfall but since it is wide, the fall looks nice when the stream is full of water. The natural pools close to the waterfall are dip-friendly and the rocks in the stream allow you to walk right under the waterfall. If the journey to get to the waterfall was in any way a tiring one, you could rejuvenate yourself in an instant by just sitting under the waterfall and letting the gentle cascades of the fall wash away your fatigue.
There are three caves close to the waterfall and locals believe that these caves lead to Ratnapura. It is assumed that one of these three caves was used by King Vijayabahu III as his abode. In popular culture, the waterfall and its surrounding area gained much recognition since it was used as one of the locations for the epic Sri Lankan movie Siri Perakum.
Dunumala Waterfall is indeed a tourist attraction much-loved by local tourists. Unfortunately, the beauty and the allure of this natural ecosystem is in a way playing a major part in its downfall. Annually, the waterfall attracts a lot of irresponsible tourists who visit the area just to have a good time leaving behind all their waste. Next time you visit Dunumala Waterfall make sure to leave only your footprints behind so that this natural beauty can be enjoyed by many a generation in the future.
(Pix by Kelum Chamara)