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Sri Lanka’s Ella to Kandy Practice – One of many World’s Best Railway Journeys

A tea picker wearing a brilliant and vibrant sari turns and waves at you. Unexpectedly, you hear the deep laughter of close by kids and the light chatter of passengers. Your nostrils then choose up the scent of scrumptious deep-fried lentil snacks and candy tea.

The Ella to Kandy prepare gently rocks because it rounds a bend, the comforting sound lulling you into a cheerful silence.

The truth is that Sri Lanka’s Ella to Kandy prepare journey may simply be one of many world’s biggest railway journeys! And it’s an expertise that defiantly awaits you…

On this journey tip, we’ll share:
• The most effective time to go to Sri Lanka
• The right way to get to Ella
• The most effective issues to do in Ella
• The right way to get tickets for the Ella to Kandy prepare
• The most effective issues to see on the Ella to Kandy prepare

Taking the train from Ella to Kandy, Sri Lanka
Taking the prepare from Ella to Kandy, Sri Lanka

When is the most effective time to go to Sri Lanka?

In case you are planning a visit to Sri Lanka, crucial factor to think about is the timing of the 2 main monsoons, plus the inter-monsoonal interval between:

  • Yala monsoon: April-September rains within the west/southwest coasts and the hill nation (together with Ella).
  • Maha monsoon: November-March rains on the east coast.
  • Inter-monsoonal: October/November heavy rainfall and thunderstorms can happen wherever throughout the island.

So, for journeys to the west/south coasts and importantly, this Ella to Kandy prepare journey beginning within the hill nation, the most effective time to go to is unquestionably by way of the months of April, October and November.

What’s extra, by travelling within the shoulder and low seasons, you can be doing a fantastic service to the locals as you’ll assist unfold the influence of vacationers and travellers on native locations.

Eager on discovering out extra? Take a look at our itinerary for 8 days in Sri Lanka.

The right way to get to Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is an island that’s positioned in the course of the Indian Ocean. So, the one viable approach to get to Sri Lanka is by aircraft!

You’ll land at Bandaranaike Worldwide Airport, about 30km north of the capital Colombo. Be prepared for a gradual journey into Colombo metropolis centre which may take over an hour. There’s a ton of congestion and travellers on this space, so make sure that to maintain that in thoughts!

Seek for flights to Sri Lanka right here.

The right way to get to Ella?

The beautifully-named city of Ella or ‘waterfall’ is located about 200km east of Columbo within the district of Badulla. Surrounded by misty inexperienced hills, verdant tea plantations and hanging waterfalls, Ella is simply over 1000m above sea degree, and has a considerably cooler local weather than the lowlands.

Ella is in truth, certainly one of Sri Lanka’s finest locations to chill out and revel in nature.

Now, relating to travelling to Ella Sri Lanka, this picturesque location might be reached by highway (bus, non-public automobile/van with driver, shared taxi/minibus) from plenty of areas. You too can get the prepare from Colombo by way of Kandy if you wish to do that Sri Lanka prepare journey in reverse, however this can be a lengthy day’s prepare journey.

  • Colombo – Ella: approx 5 hours by highway; 327 km
  • Galle/Mirissa – Ella: 3.5 hours by highway; 200 km
  • Uda Walawe Nationwide Park – Ella: 2 hours by highway; 100 km
  • Batticloa – Ella: 4.5 hours by highway; 176km
  • Colombo – Ella by public bus: c. 9 hours; take the bus heading to Badulla and get off at Kumbalwela junction. From right here, it’s a brief tuk-tuk or native bus journey to Ella.
  • Uda Walawe – Ella by public bus: c. 3 hours. Take a bus from Uda Walawe to Thanamalwila then change for the bus to Ella. Some ready time; ask for assist to search out the appropriate bus.

Finest issues to do in Ella

There are many nice issues to do in and round Ella Sri Lanka, so that is only a taster of what’s to come back in the event you spend a couple of days on this gorgeous spot.
Stroll to Ella Rock for views of Ella Hole and gorgeous countryside (3-4 hours spherical journey).
• Take images galore on the iconic 9 Arch Bridge, an engineering feat to not be missed.
Stroll as much as Little Adam’s Peak for views of Ella Rock and Ella Hole (2 hours spherical journey).
Be taught to prepare dinner Sri Lankan-style in one of many native cooking faculties.
• Take a look at thundering Rawana Falls simply out of city by tuk-tuk on the highway to Wellawaya.

Sri Lanka tea plantations
Sri Lanka tea plantations

The place to remain in Ella?

Two first rate mid-range choices embrace The Chillout, located at first of the path to Little Adam’s Peak, only a quick stroll from the centre of Ella. Cozy rooms, a tasty breakfast and a big balcony for these views.

Even nearer to the trailhead is the well-kept Ella Flower Backyard Resort, with a variety of well-appointed rooms and chalets to select from with TV and terrace. Pretty gardens, nice views and an on-site restaurant.

If you wish to splash the money and keep within the midst of neatly spaced tea bushes, you might strive the 98 Acres Resort. You get trendy luxurious rooms with swimming pool and in home spa plus fabulous views so that you can get pleasure from over your breakfast.

Nine Skies Bungalow in Ella
9 Skies Bungalow in Ella.

EKHO Ella accommodation
EKHO Ella.

Morning Dew Hotel in Ella
Morning Dew Resort in Ella.

The place to eat in Ella?

One of many many perks of visiting Ella is the truth that it has plenty of good locations to eat and drink. Certainly, you might say that is the closest you’ll get to a little bit of (light) nightlife too!
We significantly appreciated Adam’s Breeze, a down-to-earth, pleasant place on the highway to the path to Little Adam’s Peak. We extremely suggest that you simply strive the Kotthu Roti, curries and juices.

One of many nicest choices on the principle drag is unquestionably the Cafe Chill, which does every part from espresso to tasty native and Western dishes to a refreshingly chilly beer within the night.

Plenty of individuals eat at their visitor home or homestay, which is a superb possibility for genuine Sri Lankan meals. Allow them to know upfront if you wish to eat.

The right way to get tickets for the Ella to Kandy prepare?

There are a number of choices for securing your prepare tickets in Sri Lanka and it relies on how mounted your itinerary is and the way relaxed you might be about having a particular seat.

If you happen to wish to guide forward, one of many best methods to safe your most popular seat and sophistication of carriage is to guide with 12goAsia and choose up your tickets once you arrive in Colombo. You’ll be able to solely guide tickets for 37 days or extra upfront by way of this route.

In case you are pleased to decide once you arrive, you should buy tickets from any Sri Lankan prepare station as much as 30 days earlier than you journey, both in Colombo or one other essential station like Galle.

In case you are completely relaxed, you’ll be able to take your probability a lot nearer to the time, both the day you arrive in Ella and even the day of departure. The first and 2nd class will most probably have offered out, however you should buy a 3rd class ticket (both reserved if attainable, or unreserved that are uncapped) and take your probabilities.

Which prepare class ought to I journey when in Sri Lanka?

We suggest journey in 2nd class reserved seats. We purchased the tickets on arrival in Colombo a few week forward, met native households travelling in 2nd class, had entry to coach distributors for snacks and didn’t have to face, which meant we may benefit from the surroundings and chill out!

What are the prepare occasions for the Ella to Kandy prepare?

The primary prepare within the morning from Ella leaves at 6.40am and arrives in Kandy simply after 1pm. You may go for this feature in the event you’re late to purchase tickets and/or eager to see probably the most scenic a part of the route within the early morning. Simply beware the morning mist and fog, which could imply you don’t see what you had been hoping for.

We might suggest the second departure at 9.24am, arriving in Kandy simply earlier than 4pm. The sunshine was nice throughout probably the most scenic part of the route from Ella by way of to Haputale and on to Nanu-Oya. There have been loads of meals distributors on the prepare for a lunchtime snack and we arrived in Kandy at an ideal afternoon time to verify in and get our bearings earlier than solar set.

You’ll be able to verify extra prepare occasions and choices on the Sri Lankan Railways website.

Taking the train from Ella to Kandy, Sri Lanka
Taking the prepare from Ella to Kandy, Sri Lanka

What to search for on the Ella to Kandy prepare journey

There are round 20 stops in complete between Ella and Kandy, however relying in your prepare, you gained’t name at each cease. A full route map might be discovered right here. You’ll both be on a blue or crimson prepare relying on the service you’re taking. The journey ought to take round 7 hours barring any mechanical points.

  • Ella to Haputale | The primary section from Ella by way of to Haputale is especially beautiful, as you slowly transfer alongside the slender ridge and thru the misty hills and velvet blanket of inexperienced forest. Look out for landmarks like Ella Rock and the native waterfalls.
  • Haputale to Nanu-Oya | From Haputale, you begin to transfer into full-on tea plantation nation. Preserve your eyes peeled for tea factories and villages as you roll as much as Nanu–Oya, the cease for famed Nuwara Eliya, the retreat for the colonial tea growers. Rolling tea meadows, well-tended gardens and an air of colonial grandeur abound. You’ll additionally see numerous the tea pickers of their vibrant saris, working laborious to get the most effective leaves
  • Nanu-Oya to Hatton | The prepare then leisurely makes its approach in the direction of the tea capital of Hatton, traversing the gorgeous Horton’s Plains (near the cease of Ohiya) on the best way. Preserve a watch out for Adam’s Peak amongst the views of untamed grasslands, waterfalls and lakes.
  • Hatton to Kandy | The part from Hatton to Kandy has fewer sights, however the views of misty inexperienced hill nation stay dreamily fairly till you attain the outskirts of Kandy, when the buildings become visible and also you rejoin bustling Sri Lankan life at its best.

High ideas for the Ella to Kandy prepare journey

Be sure to’re in the appropriate spot in your carriage class on the station earlier than the prepare goes (simply ask the station grasp) and don’t be too well mannered when the prepare arrives, particularly in the event you’re in third class. Be agency and assured and snag your seats.
Deliver your individual dry snacks and water to be sure to can graze for the size of the journey, particularly the early phases in the event you didn’t handle to seize breakfast!
Don’t be afraid to check out the road meals offered on the prepare by skilled hawkers, comparable to scrumptious fried dhal balls or vadai (deep fried doughnut-shaped snacks), nuts and fruit.
• Keep in mind to goal to take a seat on the left of the prepare coming from Ella and on the appropriate in the event you’re beginning your journey in Kandy. It’s additionally finest to get your compulsory photograph from the open door early on, because it will get a lot busier when you get in the direction of Nanuoya.
• Benefit from the alternative to take as many images as you need, however don’t miss out on the expertise of being on the prepare and having fun with the views for the pure pleasure of it!
Retailer your backpacks and small baggage within the overhead racks in the event you can. When you have bigger circumstances, goal to get them in behind the final row if seats or tucked into the doorway.
Be prepared for the bathrooms. They’re effective, however they are going to be squat bathrooms and also you’ll want your individual bathroom paper and trusty hand sanitiser!
Respect the locals: Take the possibility to work together with native households and people travelling on the prepare, however be respectful. If you wish to take somebody’s photograph, ask politely and present them the outcomes.

2nd Class train in Sri Lanka
2nd Class prepare in Sri Lanka

Time to Journey Higher

To complete, shut your eyes as soon as extra. Drop your shoulders. Breathe. Pause. Replicate. It’s time to decelerate. To re-think journey. To journey higher. What higher place to begin than Sri Lanka’s Ella to Kandy prepare journey – one of many biggest railway journeys on the planet.
Go to We’re the UnderTourists to pledge your dedication to journey higher.

Listed below are a couple of extra Sri Lanka journey ideas:



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