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Exploring Maskeliya, Sri Lanka: The Top 5 Things to do and Places to Visit

Situated amidst the verdant mountains of the hill country is Maskeliya, a picturesque town in Sri Lanka. Maskeliya boasts a unique charm, and is home to several stunning waterfalls and lush tea plantations. Due to its remote setting, it is often overlooked by tourists. However, in Maskeliya, places to visit are numerous, making it a hidden gem.

Let’s delve into the best places to visit in Maskeliya and activities that will make your trip truly memorable.

Maskeliya town is located about 20 km from Hatton. During the pilgrimage season, which lasts from December to April, thousands of people pass through the town on their journey to Adam’s Peak. Maskeliya is also known to be one of the coldest areas in Sri Lanka. If you plan to visit this region, pack plenty of warm clothes. Accommodation can be found either in the town, or in Nuwara Eliya, a 2-hour drive away. Pick from luxury lodgings such as the colonial-era hotel Jetwing St Andrews, or the charming Jetwing Warwick Gardens, a planter’s mansion set amidst the tea bushes.

  1. The Sunken Town

The creation of Maussakelle Reservoir in 1968 led to the submersion of the old Maskeliya town. During droughts, the Moussekelle Reservoir dries up, revealing this ancient town from the depths of the lake. This rare occurrence takes place once every few years, drawing large crowds to the area.

  1. Adam’s Peak

Trekking to Adam’s Peak is one of the top things to do in Maskeliya. This peak stands at an impressive elevation of 2,223 meters above sea level, making it the second-highest mountain in the country. The breathtaking view of Adam’s Peak against the backdrop of the picturesque Moussekelle reservoir adds to the enchanting scenery of the Maskeliya region.

  1. Seven Virgins Mountain

The Seven Virgins Mountain, known as Saptha Kanya in Sinhalese, is a key attraction in the Maskeliya area. Comprising seven peaks, this mountain range is a top choice for hiking enthusiasts in Sri Lanka. The stunning sunrise view from the peak is sure to leave a lasting impression on tourists.

  1. Laxapana Falls

Maskeliya is renowned for its stunning scenery, particularly its waterfalls. Among these natural wonders is the captivating Laxapana Falls, an iconic waterfall in Maskeliya. Laxapana is a popular destination for abseiling in the country. At an impressive height of 126 meters, the Laxapana waterfall is the eighth tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka. It offers a breathtaking view against the backdrop of the majestic Seven Virgins Mountain range.

  1. Gartmore Falls

Gartmore Falls,Maskeliya, also known as Sri Pada falls, is a magnificent waterfall situated near the summit of Adam’s Peak. With a height of 25 meters, this waterfall is an incredible sight. Nestled within Gartmore Estate, there are viewing booths along the path leading to the falls. Fed by two streams merging above, Gartmore Fall gives rise to Upper Gartmore Falls Maskeliya and Lower Gartmore Falls. Together, they form the breathtaking Gartmore Falls.

  1. Devon Falls

Devon Falls is another stunning waterfall waiting to be explored by visitors. With a height of 97 meters, this waterfall creates a truly mesmerising sight. For those seeking adventure, trekking through the lush greenery to reach Devon Falls promises to be a thrilling experience. The surrounding landscape provides amazing views, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and photography lovers alike.

The Maussakelle or Maskeliya Reservoir is a large water body located in Maskeliya. Formed by the Maskeliya dam along the Maskeliya Oya, this reservoir, together with the Castlereigh Dam, comprises the highest points of the Laxapana Hydro Power Complex, making it another attraction not to be missed.

Ceylon Tea Trails in Maskeliya is a must-visit for travellers interested in tea production. Immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of tea plantations and estates. Visitors will also have the opportunity to gain insight into the tea-making process. Be sure to include Ceylon Tea Trails in your travel plans when visiting Maskeliya.

From its awe-inspiring waterfalls to serene natural beauty, Maskeliya provides an incredible adventure off-the-beaten-path.

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