Ella rock climb is known as one of the best hiking trails in Sri Lanka.
With a short notice, few of my friends decided to visit Ella on Friday this year 2016. But since it was not confirmed by Thursday, we couldn’t book train tickets.
Three of us had to take train from Fort and the other friend had to join the trip from Polgahawela.
I came to the Fort Station straight away from the office(I am a Banker -:) ) and bought tickets for others.
We had get down from Kithal Ella station, but I bought second class tickets to Ella station, which was priced 350 rupees(2 USD . So Cheap).
We couldn’t get seats to sit, so we decided to sit on the floor after passing Veyangoda Railway Station walk across the train. Only after reaching Nanu Oya Station two of us got seats.
So ladies first!! Girls sat on the seats and two boys had to stand next to them.
It was bone freezing cold when we arrive Bandarawela Railway Station where we all got seats next to each other. It was great 🙂
We had to dig out the sweater to get rid of cold. so make sure, you carry a sweater if you travel up countries in Sri Lanka 🙂 .This is my first advice
We were planned to get down from “Kithal Ella” Railway station. But had to go to Ella Railway Station to have breakfast. We arrived Ella around 6.30 AM after a long train journey.
Boys decided to go and bring breakfast while two of us girls having a rest at the Ella station.
There was a train to Colombo from Ella around 7 AM in the morning. So we had to come to Kithal Ella by that train.
After buying some rotty and milk packets, we got in to the train to come to Kithal Ella Railway station.
You can buy freshly made roti from the street down the station for a reasonable price.
After getting down the station, we stepped in to little shop in front of the station. We bought some snacks from there and tea after having rotty. Owner of the shop was a friendly lady, he asked her little son to show us the path to Ella rock.
You have to come down to Ella side on railway tracks until you meet a Bo tree. From there you have to climb up to the hill through a tea plantation.
We met a small shop half a way and had some snacks from there. After that you enter the area of Mana bushes, which is not a hard area to climb.
You can see the surrounded area with misty mountains. After climbing few more minutes, you can reach the summit of the Ella rock.
The view from the summit was really amazing. You can see the whole area of Knuckles and few other misty mountains from the top.
After enjoy the breathtaking view of the summit we walked to the second summit point of the Ella rock. It was nearly one kilometer away from the main view point.
You can reach there after walking through a turpentine forest beginning from the first view point.
Small Buddhist shrine is located on the second view point. You can clearly see the Wellawaya road and Rawana Ella falls from there. And also Namunukula, Narangala and Piduruthalagala also can be seen there if you visit in clear sky day.
Since it was around 11 am, it was hard to stay there for a long with the sun coming up.
So we decided to leave the Ella rock with the memories and visit our next destination, Demodara Railway Bridge.
Coming down to the station was not hard as climbing. Less than one hour we got down to the starting point.
We had to walk 6km to the Demodara Bridge. On our way we met a big black steal railway bridge which is located 20 meters away from Ella Station after the 166 and 3/4km sign.
It is also a masterpiece of engineering of Sri Lankan railway during the British colonial Era. You can reach there within a short walk along the railway tracks and you can have an amazing view of green tea plantations below the railway tracks from there.
We walked all the way to the Ella station to fill our water bottles and from the station we got to know about the train schedule. They informed us that there is a train reaching the bridge around 1.30pm.
We were excited to see the view of the train passing the bridge. No sooner we started the walk along the railway lines. You have to check the train schedule before start the journey.
Railway lines are narrow at some points and just before the bridge there is a short tunnel.
After walking all the way to the bridge, we reached the Majestic, prodigy of human engineering in the middle of solid jungle.
During the British colonial era this bridge was built between Demodara and Ella railway stations at Gotuwala.
Located virtually 3100 feet above the sea-level. This enormous bridge is constructed totally of solid rocks, bricks and cement deprived of using a sole part of steel.
It’s known as “9 Skies Bridge” as if you go to the bottom of the bridge, you will see sky through these nine arches.
We sat on the track and got cameras ready. Everyone was really excited to hear the clackety-clack of the train. There is a view point café in one side of the track.
The view of the train come across the bridge was really amazing. After train passed the bridge we stayed there to have lunch from a café near the bridge.
Lunch was really okay with the price. We had chicken fried rice and curd as dessert just for 300 rupees(2 USD Lunch). Policeman at the police post of the bridge, showed us the way go back to the town.
After passing vegetable gardens and a turpentine forest we reached to the road. But we hadn’t clear idea of the route, so we asked a tuk driver to drop us at the Rawana Falls.
He was very kind and informed us he will have to charge 1000 rupees for that which is not ideal for us.
Instead of that he suggested us to get a bus from the Ella town and dropped us there near a bus halt and not even charged us.
After staying nearly 15 minutes, finally a bus arrived to Wellawaya. So we had to abort the plan to go to Little Adams Peak and got in to the bus reach Rawana Ella. Ticket price was 20 rupees per head to the fall.
Rawana falls is approximately 25 m in height formed by Kirindi Oya. Even it was kind of dry season to Badulla, water flow was fair enough to form a beautiful view for the view point.
It breaks into two levels and creates an amazing view for visitors. Bottom part of the waterfall is made in to a shallow pool.
We were so tired after walking down railway tracks, so without thinking twice we got changed and dipped to the cold water. Water was clear and cold, it’s advised to not climb us the waterfall at any cost.
More than 34 people have seen lost the lives from drowning and slipped out of the rocks.
After the perfect relaxation for the day, we got out of the water while I started to shiver. There was a nice restaurant of the other side, we had hot tea with some short eats there.
From next bus we came to Ella and walked to station to catch the night mail train at 7 pm.
Since we had enough time, we had a nap at the rest room of the station. One of the guys took a bus to Colombo due to an emergency.
Three of us got second class tickets and reached the Fort Station on Sunday around 6.30am.
During the train ride we had seen a man robbed a gold chain of a lady sitting next to us at Polgahawela.
Its advised to keep your valuable things in the bags and not to wear jewelries while traveling in a night mail train.