TEA PLANTATION AND WATERFALLS
The world best tea is produced in Sri Lanka. Different climatic conditions and different elevations help to grow three different varieties of quality tea. Tea production is one of the main sources of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka (formerly called Ceylon), and accounts for 2% of GDP, generating roughly $700 million annually to the economy of Sri Lanka. It employs, directly or indirectly over 1 million people, and in 1995 directly employed 215,338 on tea plantations and estates. Sri Lanka is the world's fourth largest producer of tea. In 1995, it was the world's leading exporter of tea with 23% of the total world export. But it has since been surpassed by Kenya.
The humidity, cool temperatures, and rainfall in the country's central highlands provide a climate that favors the production of high quality tea. The industry was introduced to the country in 1847 by James Taylor, the British planter who arrived in 1852
The Baker's Falls in the Horton Plains gets its water from the Belihul Oya. It is close to World's End. The icy waters glisten in the sunshine amid a backdrop of mountain terrain and deep valleys and the patna through which you traverse give it contrast. If you are lucky you may see the rare black monkey and rhododendrons in bloom. Discovered by Sir Samuel Baker and a good stopover on your way to the World's end.
Sri Lanka is blessed with over one hundred waterfalls. The tallest is the Bambarakande Falls which cascades down 263 metres like liquid light. It is only four miles away from the Colombo-Bandarawela road in a forest glade, but it is not visited often, though well worth the trip.
Bambarakande is taller than the famous Diyaluma falls which is only 220 metres but thought to be the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. The Diyaluma or Diya Haluma collects its water from the Poonagala Oya in the vicinity of Koslanda and Wellawaya. Located six miles from Koslanda and 13 miles from Wellawaya, its waters originate from the Mahakande Pass in Koslanda. You can see this waterfall if you stop a while on your way to Haputale and detour.
Due to the geological formation of Sri Lanka, the central highlands are surrounded by peneplains, plateaus and valleys. Rainfall sends a large volume of water hurtling down the precipitous edges of the highland mass. The up thrust millions of years ago has caused several peneplains to form, the highest being well over 6000 ft. It is in this area that the water is collected when there are showers and flows down along tributaries down the mountain slopes.
"Bopath Ella", not like many of the others of her kind , finds her abode in a busy surrounding in the village called Devipahala off Kuruwita on A4 High Level road close to Ratnapura. Being within 3 hours driving distance from the capital, it thus claims the honour of having the highest turn-over of enthusiasts seeking respite from the grimy and monotonous town life .Nevertheless, it has the notorious reputation of devouring its visitors off and on who , attracted by the surroundings ,indulge in over-enjoyment .Here again, the falls take the shape of a "Bo" leave ( "Bo" tree is a sacred tree here ) from which the name has been derived.
With a peculiar appearance imparted to it by its formation in three continuous cascades this waterfall christened "Devon Falls" pours down to the valley beneath not a long distance away from its brother the "St. Clairs". On the main road opposite to it there is situated a modern tea centre finding its abode thankful to this "Veil (
Bridal ) of the Vale ( i.e. valley )". Driving from Colombo, the capital, via Avissawella one suddenly catches this unearthly sight which is to be soon enhanced by the grandeur of the "St. Clairs". This beauty too is endangered by the above-mentioned power plant beast
With an appearance and location which often make people believe that it is the highest waterfall in the isle, this lanky "Diyaluma" waterfall pours its way down and flows towards Kirindi Oya underneath a bridge on the highway from Beragala to Wellawaya. The extent of water spilt downwards is so great during the rainy season that it makes amends for the monotonously undisturbed water trunk falling from head to foot with no intermediate cascade whatsoever. Its geographical location by one of the mostly used Highways spanning the Hill Country to the Plains speaks for its reputation not only here but in other parts of the world as well.