Ella – Sri Lanka’s best train ride destination

It’s 3.15 in the morning, and the cool breeze is touching my face while I’m sitting on a bench on the 3rd platform, waiting for the train. Srilankan train schedules change unexpectedly every minute. I check my watch several times, and finally, I hear the sound of the train. I quickly jump to my feet and in the next minute, I am sitting at the window seat looking out. Then I look around my compartment. Mothers with small babies on their laps, young boys standing close to the door, foreigners of all colours and ages all packed into one box, eagerly waiting for the train to start. Their faces are all bright, with smiling faces even at this hour, because they all know that they are about to ride the best train ride of their lives.

All these people will have to wait for another 7 to 8 hours to reach their destination, but the picturesque path will make it worth it.
When you ride this famous route from Kandy to Ella, you come across the most beautiful natural surroundings. The best part starts from Nanu oya to Ella. The cold breeze, misty hills, pure waterfalls flowing from the faraway mountains and the smell of fresh tea leaves, leave you enchanted.

Riding the train for seven hours is not an easy task, so my mind wonders about all the things I read before planning this trip. When we think of Ella, the first thing that comes into our mind is the Nine arches bridge. This beauty is able to capture everyone’s heart, both locals and foreigners are eager to meet her for real. Nine arches bridge is not only famous for her beauty but also for her long-standing history. She was built in 1921 by Sri Lankan builder P.K.Appuhami , during colonial times. This bridge is an ideal reflection of the colonial-era railway construction. Nine arches bridge is famously known as the Bridge of the Sky, and she is located in Demodara, between the Ella and Demodara railways stations. For all these years she stands straight and strongly because she is entirely made of brick, rock and cement. Anyone who visits the Elle, wants to get down to the nine arches bridge and explore her beauty. She rises above the most picturesque tea plantations spanning across the hills.

Recently I realized, Ella is for any type of tourist. For the ones who wanna enjoy a hot cup of coffee looking at the beautiful surroundings or the adventurous souls who like to enjoy the outside. So I am the type who seeks adventure wherever I go. So I chose to climb the famous Ella Rock. The route to Ella Rock starts from the Ella train station. You have to walk along the Ella to Kandy train route, and then the climb begins. The scorching sun makes it hard to climb the rock, but the scenery around you keeps your spirits high. The view from the summit is breathtaking, you can see endless vegetation, Ella town, Little Adams Peak and many more anonymous mountains and grasslands. Another thing any tourist should not miss at Ella is exploring her beautiful waterfalls. These clear cascades of water flow through the rocky mountains, nourishing the vegetation surrounding her. You can easily spot the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka, Bambarakanda, other than that, Lanka Ella, Uduwara Ella and Nagadowa Ella are a few other waterfalls you can check out.

Not only the natural beauty of Ella caught my attention, people here always greet us with a smile like in any other part of the country. Their hospitality is equal for both locals and foreigners. There are some new additions to this scenic city, which grab the attention of everyone. Flying Ravana is a unique adventure park in Srilanka. It blends with the surrounding and has Sri Lanka’s first-ever mega zip line. This is the newest addition to this town so why not try it while you are in Ella?
The train whistles and stops once in a while at stations, young boys sing songs, and breeze and mist come through the window, while I am looking for my adventure to begin.

Kajini Dissanayke

18 Batch

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science

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