Ella is a small mountain town in Sri Lanka’s Uva Province, in the south-central region. Although Ella is only around 200km east of Colombo, the journey into the town is hilly and winding, making the comparatively short drive take nearly 6 hours by vehicle or 10 hours by rail. Ella is bordered by lush jungle, tea plantations, several waterfalls, and endless green hills. With a height of around 1000m above sea level, the city is suitable for growing tea and strawberries. In comparison to the rest of Sri Lanka, the temperature is pleasant and refreshing. Many people consider Ella to be one of their must-see places simply because of the stunning views it provides. It is a dream destination for many hikers, having some of the best hikes on the island. This secluded community has recently gained a lot of attention from travellers. Ella’s historical significance was enhanced by the connection to the Legendary Ravana tales. While you’re here, you may check out all of them. Ella is also great for food variety, as it has many restaurants serving cuisines from all over the world. Ella is best visited between January and April, with the rainiest months being between October and mid-December.
Nine Arches Bridge
The 30-meter high Demodara Nine Arch Bridge is one of the attractions in the mountain village Ella. During the British colonial period, the bridge was built at Gotuwala between the Ella and Demodara stations. It is known locally as ‘Ahas Namaye Palama,’ which translates to “nine skies bridge” in Sinhala. The visual experience inspired the name. The sky may be seen through the nine arches if you stand below the bridge and lookup. Ella’s Nine Arch Bridge, on the Demodara loop, spans 91 meters and stands at a height of 24 meters. It is a particularly gorgeous place because of the beautiful nine arches, especially because it is nestled in a dense jungle and agricultural landscape. Without employing a single piece of steel, this gigantic bridge is constructed completely of solid rocks, bricks, and cement. In 1921, the bridge was finally opened to the public. According to legend, World War I broke out just as construction on the bridge began, and the steel consignment assigned to this site was seized and used for war-related projects. When the work came to a halt, P. K. Appuhami, a resident of Melimada’s Kappatipola region, stepped forward and built the bridge out of solid stone bricks and cement, without the use of steel. The greatest time to view the Bridge is at sunrise. The bridge is crossed by trains six times a day. In Sri Lanka, the exact hours fluctuate all the time, but there should be one every hour.
Ella Rock is one of Sri Lanka’s most picturesque viewpoints. The location would be ideal for hikers. Hiking is a little exhausting. However, it is well worth the effort. The view from the top rewards you with a beautiful panorama of the country’s hills. Many people start the Ella Rock hike early in the morning, which we highly recommend. Mostly because, while Ella is much cooler than the rest of Sri Lanka, the journey up can still be quite hot. Furthermore, if you leave too late in the day, the clouds will build rather high throughout the morning, obscuring the breathtaking view from the top. Ella Rock is a 10kmround-trip hike that takes about 3-5 hours to complete. If you begin at Ella train station, you will enjoy the rail walk, which will take you through a waterfall, a rubber tree forest, and tea plantations as soon as you begin climbing. The trek to Ella Rock’s summit is moderately challenging. Due to the difficult terrain on the way to the peak, hikers are urged to wear adequate footwear. Bring food and water with you on the hike to keep you energized and refreshed.
Little Adam’s Peak
One of the most amazing things to do in Ella is hike Little Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka. Little Adams Peak, despite the word ‘Little,’ is named after the sacred Adams Peak (Sri Pada – where Lord Buddha’s footprint is kept) due to the likeness between the two summits. As a result, the mountain was given the name Little Adams Peak. Other names were given to the location as well. As a result, don’t be misled. Punchi Siri Pada, Small Adams Peak, and Little Adams Peak are some of the names given to it. Little Adam’s Peak, at 1141 meters, is a relatively easy climb with an excellent trail. Little Adams Peak is Ella’s nearest and most accessible hike. If you’re coming from Ella town, take the Passara Road to the third milepost, where you’ll find the entry soon after the Flower Garden Resort on your right with a steep turn. On a zig-zag path, it will take 35-45 minutes to reach the summit of the peak. For the finest views and minimal exhaustion, we recommend going early in the morning or late in the evening. Remember to be cautious when shooting shots along the edge as you approach the summit, as it can be rather dangerous. The hike is also suitable for children.
Kandy to Ella Train Ride
The Kandy to Ella railway journey is regarded as one of the most scenic and epic is not only in Sri Lanka but the entire world. This 7-hour train journey takes you through beautiful green tea estates, mountains, viaducts, valleys, and dense jungle, with stunning views. The colonial British developed the railway track in 1864 to transport tea from the hills to the capital city of Colombo. These days, it’s mostly used by residents who use it to get from house to work. If you want to travel between Kandy and Ella by rail, you should get your tickets as soon as possible. Even in the off-season, this route is quite popular and frequently sells out a month in advance. On any railway, first-class tickets are usually the best option. The Kandy to Ella train, on the other hand, is the total opposite. Because the first-class cabin is air-conditioned, you won’t be able to take photographs by opening the windows or doors. It also means that you won’t be able to enjoy the cool wind from the tea plants as you speed through the valley. Because this is such an important part of the experience, we suggest taking a second or third class instead. On both sides of the railway, the scenery is stunning. Throughout the journey, the scenery changes frequently. You may be looking out at a large green landscape one minute and then find yourself in the center of a woody forest the next.
Lower Ravana Ella, a series of scenic cascades located in the Ella Gap, is one of Sri Lanka’s most photographed waterfalls due to its proximity to the main road connecting the central highlands and the southern lowlands. Within the Ella Gap, there are two waterfalls known as Ravana Falls . The larger one is located at a higher elevation, hidden from view from the main A23 road between Ella and Wellawaya. Only that hidden waterfall is known as Ravana Falls, whereas the cascades near the road bridge are known as “Lesser Ravana Falls” or “Bambaragama Falls.” The falls are located 6km from Ella Railway Station and are part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary. You can also get to Wallawaya by taking any bus. Any bus travelling up the hill will stop at Ella on the way back. This waterfall, which cascades from an oval-shaped concave granite outcrop, is about 25m (82 feet) high. The waterfall is believed to resemble an areca flower with withering petals during the local wet season. This is not the case during the dry season when the water flow is drastically reduced. Ravana Falls is named after Lord Rama’s consort, Sita, who was kidnapped by the legendary monarch Ravana of Lanka. The hunt and struggle for Sita on the island of Lanka are major events in one of Hinduism’s Holy Scriptures, the Indian Ramayana epic, and are well-known to all Hindus.
The Ella Flying Ravana Zipline Experience you a fantastic opportunity to take in the magnificent and lovely views of Ella. It is Sri Lanka’s first two-lane zipline, and the experience it provides is unquestionably thrilling. You will fly at a speed of 80kmph and receive a birds-eye perspective of the breathtaking surroundings during the trip, which spans more than half a kilometre and is 82 m high. It’s a joint venture between the 98 Acres Resort in Ella and its holding company. Take off on the “Flying Ravana Zipline Ella” zip-line, which is about 4 km away from Ella’s main strip, on the way to the Ella – Passara road. Next to the Ella Flower Garden Resort, there’s a short dirt road that branches off. A potential zipper must follow a set of tight conditions at the lovely eco cottage before the departure deck. The minimum weight is 30 kg, maximum weight is 110 kg, minimum height is 90 cm, maximum height is 210 cm. They provide you with a private locker in which you may store all of your personal items. The identifying bracelet and the locker key are both fastened to the owner’s wrist.
Ellewala Falls, located in the Monaragala District, is a little yet magnificent waterfall. It’s 20km from Ella on the Ella-Wellawaya Road, or 3km from Wellawaya if you’re travelling from Wellawaya to Ella. Ella Wala Falls is reached via a picturesque road that passes through Ella Rock, Little Adams Peak, and the Ali Kote Ara Reservoir. The last few kilometres are said to be rocky and unsuitable for low-ground-clearance vehicles. You could need a 4×4 or a three-wheeler to get around. You’ll have to go a few hundred meters into the forest to get to the waterfall. Ellewala Ella is safe to swim in the natural pool, but on wet days, be very cautious about the water levels. Constant rain can cause the water level to rise dramatically, with no warning indications.
One of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular perspectives is the Lipton’s Seat overlook. It is situated at a height of 1970 meters above sea level in Badulla’s Haputale mountain range in the province of Uva. Lipton’s Seat is reached after a 7km trek through tranquil green tea plantations and the occasional colourful tea plucker. There are two paths available: one from Haputale’s Dambatenna estate and the other from Bandarawela’s Nayabedda estate. The perspective Lipton’s Seat is named after the famous Thomas Lipton. He was a Scottish trader who came to Sri Lanka in 1890 and met James Taylor, with whom he collaborated to introduce tea estates to the island. Taylor had attempted to cultivate coffee on the island before Lipton’s arrival, but the plantations were destroyed by a leaf-blight. The two men began on a commercial enterprise that would outlast their lives with Lipton’s assistance. Thomas Lipton would sit with a cup of tea in hand and proudly look over his land from Lipton’s Seat, a popular vantage point. The overlook still offers one of the greatest views, and there’s even a life-sized statue of Lipton on a seat where you can take photos. The best time to visit Lipton’s Seat is at sunrise when you can see four provinces (Uva, Sabargamuwa, Eastern, and Central), Handapanagala Lake, Chandrika Lake, Udawalawe Lake, Wedihiti Kanda Mountain, and Hambantota Port on the southern shore.