Not everyone is allowed to go, the hidden Wewelthalawa mountain in Sabaragamuwa.
The Yatiyantota Halgolla area is a natural wonderland. Wewelthalawa is a hill station located in the middle of the tea estates and is an unpopular and wonderful place in Sri Lanka. This is the second highest rainfall recorded in Sri Lanka. Water springs and waterfalls can be seen in abundance here. Wewelthalawa is a part of the Hangolla Tea Estate which was established by the British during their colonial period. They named the area Velvet and over time it was adapted as Wewelthalawa.
Another special feature is the presence of an old cable car system that existed in Sri Lanka. There is also a tower commemorating a World War II incident and information about the Halgolla Estate and biodiversity. The destination is the location of the Independent Television Towers. Wewelthalawa, which is located at a high place in the area, is located in an area with a beautiful water catchment environment which is often covered with fog.
This time our action was to return to the Weweltalawa event. As it was a private estate, it was off-limits to tourists. But they gave permission for our team without hesitation. Therefore, as discussed earlier, our group will leave Colombo Fort in the early morning on the scheduled day.
Then we travelled along the Pelampitiya road from Yatiyantota for about 1 km. After crossing the 13th pillar, we came to the area where the Halgolla estate and factory are located, before we could reach the misty cliffs far away. Situated through winding hills, this narrow road is lush with tea and rubber plantations. Vee Oya Falls, Malalpola Falls, Kitul Falls and Olu Falls can be seen on this road. Olu Ella is a 200 meter high waterfall which is known as the fourth tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka.
Gradually it began to climb up along the dilapidated gravel road. After about 2 km we walked through the tea plantations and reached a certain place. It was a large black rock. It is called “Dripping Rock” and has a small temple-like place of worship. It was the first element of the day.
Due to the sudden rain, we hid in the rock to avoid getting wet. Workers who met on the road said that even in times of drought, the process of water droplets falling from the top of the rock would not stop. And the drops that fall from this rock fall directly near the bend in the road where we have to go.
Somehow it rained a little but we dressed up the rain coats and resumed our journey in the light rain. Going further, we saw the cable car we were waiting for, the second component of the day. Large cables are pulled down from the top of the hill and connected by circular connections on a tower mounted in the middle to facilitate the bring of tea leaves.
The beauty of those cable cars and their surroundings is indescribable. Tea bags came along the cables that fell through the fog as if something from a mysterious world was coming. Even in the middle of the rain we enjoyed the cable car in amazement. We also went to the shed where the system was and observed it closely and got information about it.
The cable car system was designed to allow the British, who had occupied the area in the past, to quickly move the tea leaves across the plateau. A small child or two can sit and walk, but adults cannot. We thought this experience would be open to tourists as well.
By this time the climb was over and we were at the top of the hill. It was still raining but the fog was still moving. The circular tea estate view is impressive. There is an estate worker village as well as a school in this area and we headed to the destination for the third part of the day.
There we saw various nameplates. Among them were a tower commemorating a World War II incident and information on the Halgolla estate and biodiversity. Then we went to the northern end of the mountain, which was the third part of the day, to see the small end of the world. On the way there was a huge stream and we could see the remnant hills around the area and especially the fifty two acre Vavulwalagala mountain.
The place is very secure and has a small lounge nearby. Later we found out that we had to go to the fourth and fifth destinations of the day a little distance from that place. That is, along the footpath we went to the top of Olu Ella, that is, to see 2 hidden waterfalls. After crossing a small suspension bridge we were also able to see the Bat Cave, the fifth destination of the day. We saw the first collapse of the stream that carries water to Olu Falls. Reached the place with extreme caution. And under the suspension bridge, the waterfall creates another small waterfall. After visiting the pair of elephants and a short walk towards the Ampana Reserve, you can enter the Bat Cave. Inside the cave, which is located on a very small area, there are folding seats.
Anyway after 2pm watch five of the six must-see locations of the day to enjoy the food brought in after finishing. Then again the area began to be covered in fog. The environment is beautiful from any angle. There were many green trees in the area that produced fresh oxygen. Since there is still a long way to go before the event with the communication towers, we slowly made our way to the final viewing point of the day, ending the tour by visiting the entire Weweltalawa paradise. That’s why our group climbed up the dilapidated road, gazing at the surroundings.
We later came to know that even the people of Kegalle District do not know about this area which belongs to the Kegalle District of Sabaragamuwa Province. And this place is a secret to many local tourists. Because the existence of an unripe environment must be further protected. But we get special permission with responsibility for not dumping any waste or non-perishable material into the environment and to ensure that our team has properly fulfilled that responsibility.
On the other side are the Bulathkohupitiya-Dedugala area of the Ritigaha Oya valley, on the other side the Kitulgala Malwatta area of Mannakethi Ella and the Dolosbage area up to Yatiyantota and Nawalapitiya. Villagers told us that on foggy days you can see far-flung events and mountain ranges under the blue sky and on rainy days the leeches are high. The Ampana proposed reserve is an event with valuable drugs and timber and access is prohibited. That is why we were not tried to enter that forest.
In another hour we reached the highest point in this area which was the last part of the day. We had obtained permission in advance as it was forbidden to enter the area where the Independent Television Tower is located without permission. Somehow we went and could see the communication towers very close by.
The group that arrived there spent some time there. The tower is located in an area surrounded by dense jungle and we could not see it from the view of the distant ridges that day due to heavy fog. However, we began to descend the mountain again, where the fog gradually cleared and darkness began to set. Since it was a holiday, not so many plantation workers were seen on the return journey and the our group hurriedly left for the return journey.
The road to these communication towers is accessible by safari jeep or even a van, but in some places it can be difficult to overcome the dilapidated condition. Also need to walk to the Olu fall, Little world end and the Bat Cave are located.
Leeches is common in these areas during the rainy season and it is important to be safe from slippery hazards. It would also be worthwhile to give as much as possible of school books or equipment to the children of the innocent plantation workers living a miserable life in this area.
Wewelthalawa looks like a mountain in the surrounding villages and we came to know that this plateau is a unique creation of nature. Because this is like another little world on a mountain.
From the bus stop to the tower, we walked about 15 km looking at the bat cave and other scenery, reminding us that we would have to get off again. As a result, it was almost 9pm when we got back to the bus due to the difficult and long walk. Somehow we came out of the Halgolla estate with the night darkness and foggy cold. It should be mentioned that we came to climb the Vavulagala mountain which was a little further ahead to see the Olu Ella.
The bridge spans the waters of Olu Falls and is a beautiful wooden bridge with several arches. Even when a vehicle is moving, a wooden noise can be heard, but it must be said that the bridge is safe. Olu Ella is a waterfall that cascades over 8 sections. Therefore, there are no words to describe the beauty of this waterfall on rainy days. Olu Elle neighbor is Vavulagala mountain.
Waulagala is a hill that you have to cross Dombepola and start climbing. The sloping stone wall of the hill is a single black stone plateau. Houses are located a short distance from the foot of the mountain, as the wall, which has a direct 90-degree strain, is prone to frequent lightning strikes. Vavulwalagala mountain is a 52 acre plain.
However, our team explored the hidden paradise of Wewelthalawa and got a lot of experience out of sight of cable cars, including waterfall viewing, mountaineering, cave exploration, and Little world end.
Arrive at Yatiyantota and proceed along the Seapoth-Pelampitiya road. After passing the 13th pillar, turn right near the Punugala Tea Factory and reach the Halgolla Estate.