Welcome to the Complete Kandy to Ella Train Guide! If you’re planning a trip to Sri Lanka, one of the most scenic train journeys you can experience is from Kandy to Ella. This popular train route winds through lush tea plantations, picturesque villages, and breathtaking mountain landscapes, offering unforgettable views and a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s natural beauty.
The Kandy to Ella train route stretches for approximately 146 kilometers, taking you on a journey that will leave you mesmerized by the stunning landscapes and cultural heritage along the way. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a photography lover, or simply seeking a unique travel experience, the Kandy to Ella train journey is a must-do.
Not only is this train route known for its natural beauty, but it also holds historical significance. The railway line was originally built by the British colonialists in the early 20th century, primarily for transporting tea and other commodities from the hill country to the coastal regions. Today, it serves as one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide you with all the essential information you need to plan and enjoy your Kandy to Ella train journey to the fullest. From ticket options and prices to the schedule and frequency of trains, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also highlight the scenic highlights along the route, popular stops and attractions, safety precautions, and answer frequently asked questions.
So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on an enchanting virtual journey as we explore the wonders of the Kandy to Ella train route. By the end of this guide, you’ll be equipped with all the knowledge you need to make the most of your travel experience and create unforgettable memories in the heart of Sri Lanka.
History of the Kandy to Ella Train Route
The Kandy to Ella train route has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century when it was constructed by the British colonialists. The primary purpose of building this railway line was to facilitate the transportation of tea and other goods from the hill country to the coastal regions.
Construction of the railway line began in 1903 and was completed in 1924, covering a distance of approximately 146 kilometers. The route was strategically chosen to connect Kandy, a cultural hub in the central part of Sri Lanka, with Ella, a scenic town nestled in the picturesque hill country.
During the construction process, the engineers faced numerous challenges as they had to navigate rugged terrain, steep gradients, and dense forests. To overcome these obstacles, several viaducts, bridges, and tunnels were built, showcasing impressive engineering feats.
One of the notable landmarks along the Kandy to Ella train route is the Nine Arch Bridge, also known as the Demodara Bridge. This iconic bridge, constructed in 1921, is a testament to the architectural brilliance of that time. The bridge stands tall amidst the scenic tea plantations, and its design blends harmoniously with the natural surroundings.
Over the years, the Kandy to Ella train route has gained popularity among both locals and tourists. It has become an iconic journey for those seeking adventure, stunning landscapes, and a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.
Today, the train route serves as a major tourist attraction, attracting travelers from all over the world. The old-world charm, coupled with breathtaking views of the mountains, tea estates, waterfalls, and charming villages, makes this train journey an unforgettable experience.
As you embark on the Kandy to Ella train journey, you’ll not only witness the beauty of nature but also get a glimpse into the history and legacy of Sri Lanka’s railway system. So sit back, relax, and immerse yourself in the enchanting journey that awaits you along the historic Kandy to Ella train route.
Types of Trains
The Kandy to Ella train route offers different types of trains to cater to the varying needs and preferences of travelers. Each type of train provides a unique experience, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your travel style. Here are the main types of trains that operate on the Kandy to Ella route:
- Normal Trains: These are the standard trains that operate on the Kandy to Ella route. They are usually crowded and offer a more budget-friendly option. While they may be slightly slower compared to other types of trains, they still provide a comfortable and scenic journey.
- Observation Car Trains: If you’re looking for the ultimate panoramic view, the observation car trains are your best bet. These trains have specially designed carriages with large windows, offering uninterrupted views of the stunning landscapes along the route. The observation car trains provide a more luxurious and immersive experience, but it’s important to note that they are available on a limited number of journeys.
- Express Trains: Express trains are a faster option for those who want to reach their destination in a shorter time. These trains have fewer stops along the way, allowing for a quicker journey. Express trains are generally more comfortable and spacious compared to normal trains, making them a popular choice among travelers.
- Intercity Trains: Intercity trains are designed for long-distance travel and are considered the most comfortable option. These trains provide additional amenities such as air-conditioning, comfortable seating, and onboard catering services. Intercity trains offer a premium travel experience with a higher level of comfort and convenience.
When choosing a train for your Kandy to Ella journey, consider factors such as your budget, time constraints, and desired level of comfort. Whether you opt for a normal train to savor the local experience or prefer the luxury of an observation car or intercity train, you’re sure to have an unforgettable time admiring the breathtaking landscapes of Sri Lanka.
Ticket Options and Prices
When planning your journey on the Kandy to Ella train route, it is essential to understand the ticket options available and their corresponding prices. Here are the main ticket options and price ranges:
- First Class: First-class tickets offer the highest level of comfort and amenities. These tickets provide spacious seating, air-conditioning, and sometimes even meals on longer journeys. The prices for first-class tickets on the Kandy to Ella route can range from $20 to $30, depending on the specific train and availability.
- Second Class: Second-class tickets are a more affordable option while still offering a comfortable travel experience. These tickets provide seating in an open carriage, allowing passengers to enjoy the fresh air and picturesque views. The price range for second-class tickets is approximately $10 to $20.
- Third Class: Third-class tickets are the most budget-friendly option for traveling on the Kandy to Ella train route. These tickets offer basic seating and can be quite crowded during peak travel times. However, choosing third class allows you to experience the journey in a more authentic and local way. The prices for third-class tickets range from $2 to $5.
It’s important to note that ticket prices may vary depending on factors such as the train type, availability, and peak or off-peak travel seasons. It is advisable to make your ticket reservations in advance, especially if you prefer a specific class or have a specific travel date in mind.
There are several ways to purchase tickets for the Kandy to Ella train journey. You can buy them either at the train station ticket counters or through online platforms. For popular routes like Kandy to Ella, it is recommended to book in advance as tickets can sell out quickly.
Lastly, keep in mind that the ticket prices mentioned are approximate and subject to change. It’s always a good idea to check the latest prices and availability before planning your journey on the Kandy to Ella train route.
Schedule and Frequency of Trains
When planning your travel on the Kandy to Ella train route, it’s important to be aware of the schedule and frequency of trains. Understanding the train timings will help you plan your journey effectively and ensure a smooth travel experience. Here’s an overview of the schedule and frequency of trains:
The Kandy to Ella train route operates throughout the day, with trains departing from Kandy and arriving in Ella at regular intervals. The first train usually departs early in the morning, around 6:30 am, while the last train leaves Kandy in the evening, around 6:00 pm.
Trains on the Kandy to Ella route run on a daily basis, providing frequent options for travelers. As such, you can expect trains to depart approximately every 2 to 3 hours, allowing for flexibility in planning your journey.
It’s important to note that the duration of the journey can vary depending on the type of train. Normal trains take around 7 to 8 hours to reach Ella from Kandy, while express and intercity trains offer a faster travel time of around 5 to 6 hours.
Due to the popularity of the Kandy to Ella train route, it is recommended to secure your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. Trains tend to get crowded, and availability may be limited, so planning ahead will help you secure your preferred train and seat.
To ensure accurate and up-to-date information on train schedules and timings, it is advisable to check with the official Sri Lanka Railways website or visit the train station closer to your travel date. This will help you plan your journey accordingly and make any necessary adjustments based on the latest train schedule.
By keeping track of the schedule and frequency of trains, you can plan your journey on the Kandy to Ella route with ease, ensuring that you have ample time to experience the mesmerizing landscapes and attractions along the way.
Scenic Highlights Along the Route
The Kandy to Ella train route is renowned for its breathtaking scenery and stunning landscapes. As the train winds its way through the hilly region of Sri Lanka, it passes through numerous picturesque locations, offering glimpses of natural beauty that will leave you in awe. Here are some of the scenic highlights along the route:
Tea Plantations: As the train chugs along, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of lush green tea plantations that carpet the hillsides. The sight of neatly manicured tea bushes stretching as far as the eye can see is a truly magnificent sight. These tea estates are not only visually appealing but also play a significant role in Sri Lanka’s economy as the country is known for producing some of the finest teas in the world.
Haputale: Located approximately halfway between Kandy and Ella, Haputale is a charming town nestled amidst the misty mountains. The train journey through Haputale offers mesmerizing views of cascading waterfalls, rolling hills, and verdant valleys. The town itself is a great spot to take a break, explore the local attractions, and savor the scenic beauty of the surrounding landscape.
Nine Arch Bridge: One of the iconic landmarks on the Kandy to Ella route is the Nine Arch Bridge, also known as the Demodara Bridge. This magnificent bridge stands tall amidst the lush greenery, offering a picturesque setting that is popular among photographers and nature enthusiasts. It’s an engineering marvel with its arches blending harmoniously with the natural surroundings, creating a scene straight out of a postcard.
Ella Gap: As the train approaches Ella, you’ll witness the awe-inspiring Ella Gap, a breathtaking view of a vast valley enclosed by towering mountains. This viewpoint offers a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding landscape, with its dramatic cliffs, misty peaks, and dense forests. The Ella Gap is a visual treat and a perfect spot to capture stunning photographs.
Ravana Falls: Just a short distance from Ella, the Ravana Falls is a magnificent waterfall that plunges from a height of approximately 82 feet. The train journey offers a glimpse of this natural wonder as it passes by the Ravana Falls. The sight of the cascading water against the lush green backdrop is truly captivating and adds to the magical ambiance of the journey.
These are just a few of the many scenic highlights along the Kandy to Ella train route. Each bend of the track offers a new and enchanting view, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Sri Lankan landscape. Whether you’re a nature lover, a photography enthusiast, or simply seeking a serene and picturesque journey, the scenic highlights along the Kandy to Ella train route will leave you spellbound.
Top Tips for a Comfortable Train Journey
Embarking on the Kandy to Ella train journey is an exciting adventure, and to make the most of it, here are some top tips for a comfortable and enjoyable experience:
- Plan your journey in advance: Check the train schedule, book your tickets in advance, and arrive at the station with plenty of time. This will help ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.
- Choose the right class: Consider your budget and preferences when selecting the class of your ticket. First-class offers extra comfort, while second and third-class provide a more authentic experience. Selecting the right class will contribute to your overall comfort during the journey.
- Dress appropriately: The train journey can take you through varying weather conditions, so dress in layers to accommodate temperature changes. Also, wear comfortable shoes as you may need to navigate some uneven terrain at certain stops.
- Bring snacks and water: While some long-distance trains offer onboard catering services, it’s a good idea to bring your own snacks and a bottle of water. This way, you can stay refreshed and fuel yourself along the journey.
- Carry essentials: Pack essentials such as sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and insect repellent, especially if you plan on exploring stops along the way. It’s also a good idea to carry a small umbrella or raincoat in case of unexpected rain showers.
- Find a good seat: If possible, choose a seat near the window to fully enjoy the scenic views. You may want to sit on the right side of the train when traveling from Kandy to Ella as it offers better views of the tea plantations and the Nine Arch Bridge.
- Engage with locals: Strike up conversations with fellow travelers or locals on the train. They may have interesting stories, recommendations, or insights about the places you’ll be passing along the way, making your journey even more enriching.
- Respect local customs: Sri Lanka has a rich cultural heritage, so be respectful of local customs and traditions. Avoid loud conversations, inappropriate behavior, and refrain from littering on the train or at any stops along the way.
- Take breaks at stops: Some stops along the Kandy to Ella route have interesting attractions, such as viewpoints or waterfalls. Take advantage of these stops to stretch your legs, explore the surroundings, and capture memorable photographs.
- Relax and enjoy the journey: Finally, sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey. Take in the stunning landscapes, breathe in the fresh air, and let the rhythmic sound of the train transport you to a state of calm and tranquility. Appreciate the beauty around you, capturing memories that will last a lifetime.
By following these top tips, you can ensure a comfortable and memorable journey on the Kandy to Ella train route. Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the beauty of Sri Lanka, and create cherished memories along the way.
Popular Stops and Attractions
The Kandy to Ella train journey is not just about the scenic landscapes but also offers the opportunity to explore popular stops and attractions along the way. Here are some of the must-visit stops that you can consider:
- Nuwara Eliya: Located around halfway between Kandy and Ella, Nuwara Eliya is a picturesque hill station known for its cool climate and stunning natural beauty. Explore Victoria Park, visit a tea plantation, or take a boat ride on Lake Gregory. Nuwara Eliya offers a charming ambiance and a chance to experience the colonial-era charm of Sri Lanka.
- Haputale: A stop in Haputale is highly recommended on the Kandy to Ella train route. This hill town offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, tea estates, and waterfalls. Don’t miss the chance to visit Lipton’s Seat, a viewpoint that offers panoramic views of the surrounding tea plantations.
- Demodara Nine Arch Bridge: Located between Ella and Demodara, the Nine Arch Bridge is an architectural marvel and a popular tourist attraction. Take a short hike to the bridge and witness the scenic beauty of the area. Time your visit right and try to catch one of the trains passing over the bridge for a truly magical experience.
- Ella: The final destination on the Kandy to Ella train journey is the charming town of Ella. Surrounded by mountains and tea plantations, Ella offers a range of attractions and activities. Hike up to Little Adam’s Peak for panoramic views, visit the iconic Ella Rock, or take a dip in the refreshing waters of the Ravana Falls. Ella is also known for its vibrant nightlife and excellent dining options.
- Adisham Bungalow: Situated near Haputale, the Adisham Bungalow is a stunning colonial-era mansion that has been converted into a monastery. Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens, it offers a tranquil setting for reflection. Visitors can explore the bungalow’s architecture, browse the museum, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
- Ramboda Falls: While not directly on the Kandy to Ella train route, Ramboda Falls is a popular stop that can be easily accessed from Nuwara Eliya. This breathtaking waterfall cascades down from a height of around 109 meters and is definitely worth a visit. Enjoy the mesmerizing scenery, take memorable photographs, and soak in the natural beauty of the area.
- Udawalawe National Park: If you have the time, consider making a detour to Udawalawe National Park, which is known for its population of wild elephants. Take an exciting jeep safari and get up close with these majestic creatures as well as other wildlife species like leopards, deer, and various bird species.
- Local Villages: Along the train route, you’ll pass through several small villages where you can witness the local way of life. Interact with the friendly locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and maybe even try some authentic Sri Lankan cuisine. These interactions add a unique and enriching dimension to your journey.
These are just a few of the popular stops and attractions that you can explore during your Kandy to Ella train journey. Each of these locations offers its own charm, from natural wonders to cultural sites, providing ample opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of Sri Lanka.
Safety Precautions and Guidelines
While the Kandy to Ella train journey is a remarkable experience, it’s important to keep safety in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. Here are some safety precautions and guidelines to follow:
- Be cautious when boarding and disembarking: Pay attention to the platform and be mindful of the gap between the train and the platform when boarding or alighting. Take your time and hold on to the handrails for stability.
- Secure your belongings: Keep a close eye on your belongings at all times. Do not leave valuables unattended or easily accessible. Consider using a money belt or keeping your belongings close to your body to prevent theft.
- Watch your step: Pay attention to your footing when moving through the train compartments, especially when the train is in motion. Watch out for any uneven surfaces or protruding objects that could cause trips or falls.
- Respect the train personnel: Follow the instructions of the train personnel and comply with their guidelines. They are there to ensure the safety and comfort of all passengers.
- Mind the doors and windows: Be cautious when opening or closing doors and windows. Avoid leaning out of moving train windows or standing too close to the edges of the platform.
- Stay hydrated: Carry a water bottle with you and stay hydrated during the journey, especially on hot and humid days. Dehydration can affect your well-being, so drink plenty of water throughout the trip.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and aware of your surroundings. If you notice any suspicious activity or feel uncomfortable, inform the train personnel or authorities immediately.
- Follow local customs and regulations: Respect the local customs and regulations of Sri Lanka. Dress modestly, be mindful of your behavior, and be respectful of cultural practices. This will help ensure a harmonious and enjoyable travel experience.
- Keep emergency contact information: Carry important emergency contact numbers and keep them easily accessible. It’s always good to be prepared and have necessary information readily available in case of any unexpected situations.
- Travel insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers any unforeseen circumstances, such as medical emergencies or trip cancellations. It provides an added layer of protection and peace of mind during your journey.
By following these safety precautions and guidelines, you can ensure a safe and worry-free journey on the Kandy to Ella train route. Remember that your safety and well-being are paramount, so take necessary precautions and enjoy your travel experience to the fullest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some common questions and answers to help you better plan your journey on the Kandy to Ella train route:
- Q: How long does the Kandy to Ella train journey take?
- Q: How can I book train tickets for the Kandy to Ella route?
- Q: What is the best time to travel on the Kandy to Ella train route?
- Q: Can I bring luggage on the train?
- Q: Are there washroom facilities on the train?
- Q: Are there food and beverage options onboard the train?
- Q: Can I get off at any station along the way?
- Q: Can I take photographs from the train?
- Q: Is Wi-Fi available on the train?
- Q: Can I bring children on the train?
A: The duration of the train journey can vary depending on the type of train. Normal trains take around 7 to 8 hours, while express and intercity trains offer a faster travel time of around 5 to 6 hours.
A: You can purchase tickets for the Kandy to Ella train route either at the train station ticket counters or through online platforms. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak travel seasons, as they can sell out quickly.
A: The Kandy to Ella train journey can be enjoyed throughout the year, but the best time to travel is during the dry season from December to March. During this time, you can expect clearer skies, pleasant weather, and better visibility of the scenic landscapes.
A: Yes, you can bring luggage on the train. However, it is advisable to pack light and opt for smaller suitcases or backpacks that are easy to carry and fit in the designated storage areas.
A: Yes, there are washroom facilities available on the trains. However, it’s important to note that the cleanliness and availability of toilet paper may vary. It’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper or wet wipes as a precaution.
A: Some long-distance trains offer onboard catering services where you can purchase food and beverages. However, it’s advisable to carry your own snacks and a bottle of water to keep yourself refreshed throughout the journey.
A: Yes, you can get off at any station along the Kandy to Ella route. However, make sure to check the train schedule and allow enough time to explore before catching the next available train.
A: Absolutely! The Kandy to Ella train journey offers incredible opportunities for photography. Capture the stunning landscapes, tea plantations, waterfalls, and other picturesque scenes along the way. However, be mindful of your surroundings and safety while taking photographs.
A: Wi-Fi availability on the train can vary and is not guaranteed. It’s best to assume that there might not be Wi-Fi and plan accordingly by downloading any necessary maps, guides, or entertainment in advance.
A: Yes, children can travel on the Kandy to Ella train route. However, it’s important to ensure their safety and comfort throughout the journey. Keep an eye on them, especially near open windows and doors, and carry any necessary supplies they may require.
These are just a few of the frequently asked questions about the Kandy to Ella train journey. If you have more specific queries or concerns, it’s recommended to reach out to the official Sri Lanka Railways or seek assistance from the train station staff for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
The Kandy to Ella train journey is a captivating experience that takes you through the picturesque landscapes of Sri Lanka’s hill country. As you travel along this iconic route, you’ll be greeted by lush tea plantations, stunning waterfalls, and breathtaking mountain vistas. The historical significance and natural beauty make it a must-do adventure for any traveler visiting Sri Lanka.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know to plan and enjoy your Kandy to Ella train journey. From ticket options and prices to the schedule and frequency of trains, we’ve provided vital information to help you make the most of your travel experience.
We’ve also highlighted the scenic highlights along the route, showcasing the awe-inspiring views of tea plantations, the iconic Nine Arch Bridge, and the serene beauty of Ella Gap. Additionally, we’ve shared some top tips for a comfortable and enjoyable journey, as well as information about popular stops and attractions that you can explore along the way.
While embarking on this incredible train journey, it’s important to prioritize safety by following the provided safety precautions and guidelines. By doing so, you can ensure a smooth and worry-free travel experience.
Whether you choose to relax in the comfort of your seat, engage with fellow travelers, or immerse yourself in the natural beauty, the Kandy to Ella train journey promises to leave you with unforgettable memories.
So, pack your bags, book your tickets, and get ready to embark on an enchanting train adventure as you traverse the Kandy to Ella route. Allow yourself to be captivated by the pristine landscapes, immerse yourself in the rich history and culture, and embrace the serenity of this picturesque journey through the heart of Sri Lanka.