Just a few kilometres south of Wellawaya is Diyaluma, a towering waterfall – indeed the second tallest in the island – which like so many waterfalls has a tragic legend attached. Diyaluma, Sri Lanka’s second highest waterfall at 220m, features a cascade of water falling in a single slender streak into the wooded valley below. These magnificent falls are fed by the water of the Punagala Oya, a tributary of the Kirindi Ganga, and are the last of a series on this river.
The legend begins with a young chieftain being banished from his clan and made to live in the mountains above the plains. He was betrothed to a lady of high standing who, while remaining stranded from her lover on lower ground, was determined to join him.As the passes leading to the mountains were guarded, the lady realised that escape by way of these routes would be impossible, so she had to devise an alternative plan. Whilst looking at the steep cliffs surrounding the plains she had an idea and sent news of it to her lover in the highlands.On an appointed day she arrived at the base of the precipice to find a dangling rope of twisted creepers as she had arranged. Her plan was to scale the escarpment aided by her lover, who would meet her at the top. However, when she neared the top of the cliff the rope became caught and with no way to free it the maiden eventually died and was left dangling in mid-air.It is said that the gods were so moved to pity by this tragic love story that they commanded a stream of water to gush from the mountain and veil evidence of the accident in a watery light or diya luma.
You can walk to the top of the waterfall following a one-kilometre path that begins from a small rubber factory by the side of the road. On reaching the top you will be rewarded with breathtaking views and the chance to have a refreshing dip in the rock pools to be found there.