Beautiful sunsets and serene sunrises, picturesque roads through the mountains and adventures trekking, comfortable cozy weather and breathtaking views.
If you want to experience all of the above in one go, your place is Ella in Sri Lanka.
Situated 1041 meters above sea level, This beautiful town belongs to the Badulla district of the Uva Province.
200 Km’s far from the busy city of Colombo, Ella is the perfect place if you’re looking to relax.
Ella has become one of the major attractions. As a result, of its calmness and the isolation from the busy cities in the island.
For its centralized location, many tourist who travel from south to up north, stay in Ella to take a breath of clean fresh air.
Apart from the surroundings, Ella has a prestigious historical value to it as well.
That’s a brief on this isolated town, Ella. Let us take you through all what you need to know.
Why you should definitely reserve few days for a stay here.
How to get here
Simple, are you an adventurer? Or you prefer comfort and leisure? If you’re adventurer, you should definitely take the train from Colombo Fort.
The night mail train leaves approximately at 8PM in the night and it will reach Ella by 6AM.
You could refresh yourself and start trekking straight away. Night mail is highly recommended.
You could also take the early morning train “Podi Manike”. Which will approx leave at 5.55 in the morning and it will reach Ella by 3.30 in the evening.
For your convenience click here for the train schedules.
If you’re not a train traveller you could use the bus.
You could even book an Uber straight from the airport. Travelling by bus could be quite a hassle since there are no direct buses from Colombo to Ella.
You have to take the Colombo-Badulla bus and get down in Kumbalwela. From there it’s about a 5km drive which you will either have to take another bus or a tuk-tuk.
Coming From Down South
By any chance if you’re coming from down south. Let’s say Galle, your only option is the bus.
First you will have to take the Colombo-Katharagama bus and get off at Hambanthota.
From there you can take the bus to Nuwara Eliya which goes via Ella. If you’re in Matara, you can straight away get the bus to Bandarawela which goes via Ella.
Coming From Arugam Bay in the south east
Then take the Batticaloa-Badulla bus, Get down from Badulla and take another bus to Ella.
I’ve selected the major tourists attractions and how you can connect to Ella.
If you need any help in connecting busses or trains, Feel free to comment on the article. We will get back to ASAP.
Things to do in Ella Sri Lanka
Mini Adams Peak
Mini Adams peak is easiest hike in Ella. You can reach the entrance in about a 15 min walk from Ella town.
You could also take the bus towards Passara or a tuk-tuk.
If you are starting from Ella town, go towards the Passara Road and you will reach the entrance at the 3rd mile post just after the Flower Garden Resort to your right with a sharp bend.
If you’re asking for direction from people, they would probably use names like Punchi Siri Pada, Small Adams Peak or little Adams Peak. Don’t worry it’s all the same.
Mini Adams Peak has a 360 degree undisturbed view just like how it is in Adams Peak. That’s why the locals call it the “Mini Adams Peak”. Mini Adams Peak is a straightforward hike with a clear and fairly easy walking path. It would roughly take 30-45 minutes to reach the peak.
- Adventures hike
- Diverse sceneries
- Breathtaking views
That’s what you get if you choose to do the Ella rock Hike. One of the toughest climbs but we assure you that it will be worth it.
The hike up an down will take 4 hours approximately.
But you wouldn’t feel the tiredness along the way mainly due to the greenery and the diversity around you.
The summit also offers the best view of the Ella gap.
If you are starting form the Ella train station, you would enjoy the rail walk, and as soon as you start the hike, you will be passing a waterfall, the rubber tree forest and tea plantations.
The authorities have prohibited Camping at the top of the summit due the disposal of garbage by the visiting people (mostly locals, unfortunately).
However, we highly recommend you do make it to the top before you end your stay in Ella.
Ravana Falls – Ella Sri Lanka
The waterfalls are one of the main attractions in the hill country of this beautiful island in the Indian Ocean.
Standing 25 meters (82ft) in height, Ravana Falls is one of the widest waterfalls in SriLanka.
If you want to enjoy a swim in the chilling waters, this is the place you should go in Ella. But, make sure you’re safe because the rocks are slippery and during the wet season the water could be rough as well.
The famous Indian story Ramayana where King Rawana kidnaps the beautiful Princess Sita and bring her to Sri Lanka.
The caves behind this waterfall was the place where King Ravana kept the Princess hidden.
These caves are now called Ravana Caves and it is also one of the main attractions here in Ella.
You can simply take the bus to Wallwaya to get to this beauty which is situated just 6kms away from Ella in Sri Lanka.
Nine Arch Bridge
Earlier we recommended that you should take the train ride if you’re heading towards Ella from Colombo.
This bridge is one of the major reasons why we emphasized on taking the train.
It is believed that train rides in the highlands of Sri Lanka is one of the best in the world and the Nine Arch bridge is one of the many reasons why it’s ranked one of the best.
The bridge which is situated between the Ella and Demodara stations is an engineering marvel in the 20th century.
It is believed that this bridge is built only using Stones and Cement without any steel reinforcements.
During the British government, due to the break out of World War One, the steel consignment which was allocated for this sight was canceled.
But, the truly talented ad smart Sri Lankans worked their magic to build this bridge.
It is a small walk from Ella town to the bridge and the best time to go there is when a train passes through.
You can simply get the times from the Ella train station and make sure you climb the hill adjacent to the bridge to capture the best scenery.
The Demodara Loop
The Demodara Loop is where the track passes under itself, going around the loop and emerges from the tunnel.
The Loop is 441 feet long. The Demodara station is situated exactly over the tunnel and it’s the centre of the crossing point of the loop.
This type of loop is known as the ’spiral loop’ and It is also called as ‘Demodara looping the loop’.
It is considered the only loop in the world with a railway station situated exactly over a tunnel at a spiral loop.
Many ignore this during they’re stay, but we recommend you pay a visit here. It will only take a ten minute drive from Ella town.
If you are heading back to Colombo from Ella, take the train from the Demodara station so that you can witness the loop and nine arch bridge on your train ride back to Colombo.
Apart from the above mentioned attractions, there is Ravana Caves which is situated 2kms away from Ella Town.
It is believed that King Ravana kept Princess Sita hidden in these caves.
You could also go see the Tea Fields and capture moments the greenery it offers.
Food, Lodging and Pubs
Ella town offers a variety of things.
From pubs to Sri Lankan food to international cuisines. Most pubs have live music playing during nights and you could find many places where you can enjoy the taste of real Sri Lankan food.
Lodging is also fairly easy to find. If you want luxury there are few boutique hotels near the town and also if you are a backpacker, you could find cheaper hostels and home-stays around the town.
Nature, Relaxation, beauty and scenery. Ella has it all. If you are traveling to Sri Lanka, Ella is a must. If not, You’re missing out.