Explore Sri Lanka West Coast off the Beaten Track
Thinking of choosing west coast of Sri Lanka as your next holiday destination but wondering what to do other than just the beach hopping and sea bath? There are many interesting places to visit in Sri Lanka west coasts such as historical places, ancient temples, rainforests and national parks. But it is worth to try more remote places towards the interior of the country and see the interesting flora and awe-inspiring countryside scenery. Have a trek in the forested area of Neluwa and enjoy the fascinating jungles. Kayaking, boating, canoeing, mountain climbing, rock climbing and rainforest exploration are some of the interesting things that can be done here. Following are several off beaten the track holiday activities in Neluwa and surrounding area.
Neluwa is a greenish countryside off the beaten track in west Sri Lanka. There are many beautiful waterfalls and patches of forests around Neluwa. Kalawariya is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites among the Catholic community in the island. Hundreds of thousands of Catholics come to the church every year. The church is picturesquely situated bordering Gin Ganga and it is located about 900 meters above the sea level.
There are 2 natural jewels around Neluwa, they are Kanneliya forest reserve and Dellawa forest reserve. Both are located within the wet-zone of Sri Lanka and categorized under rain forests. Kanneliya had been a part of Sinharaja forest earlier. But, due to the human activities, later Kanneliya was separated from Sinharaja. Today, Kanneliya is identified as a separate patch of forest with 10,105 hectares of extent. Being a rainforest, it has one of the highest rainfalls in the island measuring to between 3750 to 4500 mm. Kanneliya is a valuable catchment area in western Sri Lanka. Kanneliya was declared as a protected area in 1934.
Dellawa forest reserve is another valuable patch of forest, which functions as a guardian of Sinharaja by covering the outer edge of the forest in one direction. Dellawa forest is covered with thick mist for the most time of the day and it is categorized under the mountain forests. It harbours many species of trees, plants and animal those are endemic to the country.
Neluwa is one of the most scenic places in the country with a healing climate similar to Nuwara Eliya. It has very moderate temperature compared to most places on the west coast. and also, Neluwa and the surrounding area records a very high rainfall due to the large number of forests such as Hiyare, Kanneliya and Sinharaja. These rivers and streams have many waterfalls numbering nearly a dozen.
The best-known waterfall is ‘Brahmana Ella’, which is 17 meters high. The waterfall is located in the village called Lankagama and the road which lead to the waterfall is very rugged and a vehicle with plenty of ground clearance is very important. Some other noteworthy waterfalls are Ellewalw Ella, Elibodadola Ella, Duwili Ella, Gal Oruwa Ella, Nelugolla Ella, Anagi Mal Ella, Manamal Ella and Tabalagama Ella.