The summit of Samanala Mountain which rises straight into sky and scraps away the clouds can be seen from a distance. It seems like Bena Mountain stands in one side worshiping Sri Pada. “Heen Falls” which runs through a narrow valley to a deep precipice starts from the summit of Bena Mountain locally called “Kondagala”. Likewise this alluring attractive is created with three cascades. The area that seems like a silver waist chain on top of the precipice enhances the charming beauty of this fall.


Mapalana fall runs 142.5 m down from the summit of Periya Mountain and fuses with Kalu River from Saman Waththa area finishing the journey of 1.6 km as a brook. In March, April, and May when the area gets convectional rain, capacity of water inundates and falls heavily down intensifying the beauty of Mapalana Waterfall. This is the tallest fall in Ratnapura District and it takes the 4th place in height in Sri Lanka. In the days gone by, a regional chief named “Mapa” came here every day to bath. Thereby, as the folklore indicates, “Mapalana Falls” had eventually become Mapalana. An ancient gossip reveals that as a superstitious power is considered to be there with the waterfall, the traditional clothing sets of Kohomba Occult Ceremony and ceremonial dancers like Pahan Maduwa and Gammaduwa were hidden in a boulder cave near the fall with the aspiration of protecting them from foulness and sinfulness.


When a heavy drought destroyed their crops villagers came to Mapalana Falls for assistance. They prayed for Saman Deity requesting rain while making vows and doing rituals like keeping weapons away from houses, making decorations using young coconut leaves on top of the precipice. Then with the beat of the drum they roll a rock from summit to the bottom of precipice and make a “Hoo” (hooting) noise louder enough to echo for several times. It is believed that after these rituals were performed even before villagers climb down to their houses a heavy rain started falling exceeding the water level of both waterfall and brook. People have been continuously practicing this ritual as results are evident.


The orison done requesting rain from Saman Deity was sung by late Charles Sinno who was a villager of Mapalana as mentioned below.


Also this is the only waterfall in Sri Lanka which is situated in a historically valuable forest abundant in herbs. Rare herbs like Katakaliya, Puhubovitiya (a species of Osbeckia aspera), Mediya (Hunteria corymbosa), Ravinelu (sunlord), and Tholabo (Crinum asiaticum) are lavishly available in this forest. Moreover, a species of tarantula that is in the edge of extinction lives in vicinity of this cascade. Also, there are two incredibly large Bunyan trees near the waterfall and people have an uncertain ever fearful faith on them. They believe that a tutelary God abides in these trees.


By travelling from Ratnapura town along Sri Pada road, Sri Palabaddala road and then Wevalwaththa road to Rathganga and across Kudawa village, one can approach Mapalana waterfall. This would count 10 km from Ratnapura town to this attractive which is located in the Mapalana Village itself.

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