The 30m fall forms part of the Maha River which runs through Mawanella that originates from both sides of the Raksawa mountains and is itself 570m above sea level. The upper area of the fall winds through an area known as Uda Palatha, upstream of which is the Divisional Secretary’s Uduwella GS area, in the backdrop of Apalawatte Pallegama village.
The fall is steeped in history. According to ancient books written about border demarcations, this fall acted as a demarcation between the area of Satara Korale and Paranu Kuru Korale. Also, according to folklore, the fall derives its name from a desperate suicide attempt, where a mounted monarch leapt from its upper reaches. Villagers say that the fall sometimes emits a fearsome roar that can last for 15 minutes, and that this signifies that it will claim a human sacrifice within a two-month period.
The fall forms a plunge pool strewn with rocks where people are not encouraged to bathe due to the risk of drowning. Also, at the base of the pool are crevasses known as Pinikandawela and Tissakumarawella that are said to house treasure by villagers.
However, no matter what the murky tales and events gave name to this waterfall, the Asupini Ella remains one of the most visually enthralling natural attractions of Sri Lanka with swirls of mist shrouding that meeting point of powerful water that tumbles from above with the pool below.
The best times to visit would be from August to September as there is less rain but this could also mean that the falls may not be gushing at her full capacity. From December through February you would have a slight chance of getting caught in the rain, but you would also be able to watch the Asupini Ella thunder down over the rocks in all her powerful glory.
Reaching Asupini Ella
Take Mawanella – Aranayake – Horawela route (B278 route) or Mawanella – Hemanthagama (B729) – Horawela route. The Hemanthagama route is said to be better than the Aranayake Route. You will need a 4-wheel drive from Horawela and a good 45-minute hike (1 ½ km) to the observation platform.