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Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed!


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Duration: 2 Days
Expenditure 10000
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 1/20 by Bee The Musafir
That's the Ella Rock!

Ella is cute, peaceful and completely mesmerizing. Spend a day in Ella and it will register as an unforgettable chapter of your life.

Ella (pronounced “Elle”) is a small idyllic village in the central highlands of Sri Lanka some 200 km east of Colombo. Perennially visited by tourists from across the world, Ella offers exciting treks with breath-taking views, peaceful stays and a quality nightlife which makes it a must-visit place in a lifetime.

You can spend as many days here, but those who are short of time may complete Ella trek in one single day, i.e. in two nights’ stay and bring loads of memories back home.

Ella was my final destination in Sri Lanka after climbing Adam’s Peak and exploring the famous hill station “Nuwara Eliya” aptly called as “Scotland of Sri Lanka” owing to its weather, setting, tea gardens and Victorian architecture.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 2/20 by Bee The Musafir
These extraordinary views from the train makes it "one of the best train travels in the world".

I took a train from Nanu Oya to Ella. I bought the train tickets from railway station a day prior to my journey. I got the ticket of third-class reserved bogie, which turned out to be clean, spacious and comfortable. The small bogie was full of enthusiastic trekkers from different parts of the world. One can also take cab to Ella, which could be way expensive. Train travel cost me around INR 300.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 3/20 by Bee The Musafir
The Ella Railway Station is flocked by tourists from all over and it becomes a mini-world here!

The two-hour rail ride from Nanu Oya to Ella is famous for panoramic sights all along the journey. Travel writers have called it as “one of the most beautiful train rides in the world”. Dense forest with natural evergreen cover, majestic mountains, huge robust rocks covered with mosses and lichens, rapidly-moving clouds on the azure canvas of the sky as if playing “out-out” with each other, deep valleys with small scattered settlements dotting the lush green landscape, criss-crossing rivers, tea plantations resembling lawns, and a few dinky stations having tongue-twisting names makes the journey exciting.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 4/20 by Bee The Musafir
My accommodation Ella Inn, which was at 5-min walk from railway station. I reached here in the evening after a 3-hour train journey from Nuwara Eliya.
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 5/20 by Bee The Musafir
Built in English style, Ella Inn, as seen in the day time. It was posh, peaceful and owners were warm. The rates here are in budget category.
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 6/20 by Bee The Musafir
My room at Ella Inn. Ella gained currency as a tourist place recently, but a lot of guest houses and hotels have popped up. Homestays are also available at subsidized rates.

I reached Ella at dusk. My accommodation “Ella Guest Inn” was at walking distance from the railway station. I kept my luggage in my room, got fresh and sat in the kitchen for a cup of tea. My idea was to explore as much as I can before dinner. I went out to take a stroll at the main street and voila, the rustic Ella looked like London Street! Multi-cuisine restaurants, cafeterias, spas, ATMs, lounges, parlours – what not! This street provides respite to the urbane crowd. I had dinner at an ethnic Sri Lankan food stall and planned my next day trek with the help of the owner of my accommodation.

ELLA ROCK: At 8 am I started for Ella Rock. It is a vantage point at a remarkable height some 5 km (one way) from Ella railway station. Easiest route is walking along the rail tracks and then taking the nature trail. Fog limits the views in the morning, but that’s a part of beauty! With clearer visibility, you will find yourself walking through banana plantations, carrot and chili farms and jack-fruit trees.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 7/20 by Bee The Musafir
Sri Lanka's geography is very interesting. An island country that lies close to equator, Sri Lanka' has a rich flora and fauna. Notice the greenery and wildflowers along the rail tracks.
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 8/20 by Bee The Musafir
जंगली जड़ी-बूटी सी हूँ मैं दोस्तों, किसीको जहर, तो किसीको दवा सी लगती हूँ :)

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 9/20 by Bee The Musafir
You have to keep walking along the rail tracks in the lush green environment. A sharp turn after some distance will lead you to Ella Rock. It is from this turn the ascent begins.

The trek is immensely refreshing. I walked leisurely. Natural oxygen will make you breath deeper. You are not alone. There are trekkers - solo and in groups - heading to the common destination at varying speeds. Apart from young trekkers, I was happy to notice seniors and kids with their parents enjoying the hike.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 10/20 by Bee The Musafir
On top of Ella Rock. Youth from world over were seen taking pictures. Strong winds were blowing at the top.
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 11/20 by Bee The Musafir
On my left down is the Ella town. Central Sri Lanka's mountain ranges in the background.

After a 3 hour trek, you reach at the top – the Ella Rock! Strong dry winds were blowing. You are at the highest point in Ella. The view from Ella Rock is magnificent. You get the feel of Mother Nature’s beauty.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 12/20 by Bee The Musafir
Taking the same trail from where I climbed. This trail will take me to the rail track, which will lead me to Ella Railway Station. Observe the forest area.
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 13/20 by Bee The Musafir
Back to rail track and a train passed by. Trains aren't "superfast", so it is like a "joyride"

After four-and-a-half hour I was again back to the rail track leading to Ella Station. A small roadside residence-cum-food-kiosk caught my attention. Women in typical Sri Lankan outfits welcomed me. It was their kitchen; open for trekkers. They cooked delicious home food, which made my day even more fulfilling.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 14/20 by Bee The Musafir
"Good Place" - a residence-cum-restaurant is along the rail tracks. They grow vegetables and fruit at home. The juice of freshly-plucked mangoes, oranges, papaya rejuvenates one instantly.
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 15/20 by Bee The Musafir
Fresh homemade food for lunch with these loving friends from Sri Lanka. The girl Madhubhashini was soft-spoken and caring. Local food should always be on the wishlist of a serious traveler.

RAVANA FALLS: Since I was back to Ella station and my hotel was close by, I decided to take a nap and recharge my cellphone and camera. By 1 pm, I set out to see the wondrous Ravana Falls. I climbed a local bus and in 20 mins I was at Ravana Falls.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 16/20 by Bee The Musafir
Some tourists have uploaded drone-shot videos of Ravana Falls on youtube.

Gallons of milky water was gushing down incessantly through the gaps and cracks of huge rocks embedded in a zillion year-old escarpment. It was a view to behold! Tourists were seen taking pictures. Some of them were bathing in the natural well formed at the plunge-pool (One should not take such risks though).

Indian tourists often try to relate places in Sri Lanka to the events of Ramayan and are curious to find such places.

People of Sri Lanka: A country is known by its people. Sri Lankans are hospitable, amiable, welcoming and co-operative. I have written about them in article - In praise of people of Sri Lanka.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 17/20 by Bee The Musafir
These guys, Pubudu Prasad and team, were promoting their radio channel in villages. They gave me lift to the nine-arch bridge in their van. Such encounters not only make great friends, but also become special moments of travel. Enjoyed company of these gentlemen!

NINE-ARCH BRIDGE: After spending an hour or so at the Ravana Falls, I boarded a bus that took me to Demodara, a locality near colonial-era rail bridge – the Nine-Arch Bridge.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 18/20 by Bee The Musafir
The iconic Nine-Arch Bridge. Tourists are seen in colorful dots at the other end. They are waiting to see a train pass over the bridge.

Walking up through lonely roads surrounded by tea estates, I reached the Nine-Arch Bridge at 5:15 pm. Tourists were here to see the 5:30 train pass over the iconic bridge. The bridge isn’t a “masterpiece of architecture” (*in my opinion*), yet, it should be in your list of must--see places of Ella.

Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 19/20 by Bee The Musafir
Can you find me? Well, from here again I took the rail tracks towards Ella Railway Station and then to Ella Guest Inn.
Photos of Ella, Sri Lanka - adventure and peace guaranteed! 20/20 by Bee The Musafir
मंजिल मिलेगी भटक कर ही सही, गुमराह तो वो है जो घर से निकले ही नहीं...

The walk through the tea gardens, the grandeur and charm of bridge and the excitement of tourists will keep your tempo high. As the show ended, everybody walked back towards their respective accommodations.

Another attraction at Ella is the Mini Adam’s Peak (a smaller version of Adam’s Peak aka Sri Pada, Sri Lanka). I skipped this one due to paucity of time. I had an Ayurvedic massage planned at 7:30 pm. The 75-min massage rejuvenated me. Then I went to the main street for a continental dinner.

Ella is cute, beautiful, peaceful and completely mesmerizing. Spend a day in Ella and it will be register as an unforgettable chapter of your life. Next day after breakfast, I had a pre-booked Expo Rail which took me to Colombo in 10 hours. Expo rail travel is very comfortable.

How to reach –From Colombo to Ella – by train. Pre-booking is advisable.

Where to stay -Ample of hotel, homestays available as per budget. Rates can be as low as INR 500 per night. Pre-booking is advisable.

Where to eat - A lot of eateries in Ella town. A walk down the central street will get you restaurants and cafeterias.

Do’s and Don’ts– Carry sufficient cash. Sri Lanka has high food inflation. There is no need of map or guides as such. You may read a few blogs before embarking on journey. Keep Ella map with you.

Trek – Moderate ascent. Approx. 9 km uphill trek. Wear shoes with good grip.

Follow me: www.facebook.com/bharatinadkarnilive

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