Beautiful Places to Visit in Ella

2022 Febraury updated


Ella is a small town in the Badulla District of Uva Province, Sri Lanka governed by an Urban Council. It is approximately 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) above sea level. The area has a rich bio-diversity, dense with numerous varieties of flora and fauna. Ella is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations. The town has a cooler climate than surrounding lowlands, due to its elevation. The Ella Gap allows views across the southern plains of Sri Lanka.



How to travel

Distance from Colombo – 210 km

By Road

Colombo – Ratnapura - Badulla Highway – with traffic – 5 hours 45 mins

By Train

Colombo – Badulla Express train – 9 hours

Walk in to Colombo fort railway station and you can get tickets for 3rd class and 2nd class. (3rd class railway tickets price is very cheap)

3rd class is very crowded sometimes not recommended for tourists.

To pre-book a rail journey contact a travel agency

For more information, log in to – http://www.railway.gov.lk/web

By Air

Colombo – Ella – 30 mins
The following travel companies offer internal chatter flights and Helicopter tours

https://www.cinnamonair.com/

https://www.senoksl.com/travel-and-leisure/airport-and-aviation-services-sri-lanka.html

01 Nine arches bridge


Location

The Nine Arch Bridge also called the Bridge in the Sky, is a viaduct bridge in Sri Lanka. It is one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country and is one of the compulsory places to visit in Ella. The construction of the bridge is generally attributed to a local Ceylonese builder, P. K. Appuhami, in consultation with British engineers. The chief designer and project manager of the 'upcountry railway line of Ceylon' project was D. J. Wimalasurendra, a distinguished Ceylonese engineer and inventor. The designer of the viaduct was Harold Cuthbert Marwood of Railway Construction Department of Ceylon Government Railway. The 1923 report titled "Construction of a Concrete Railway Viaduct in Ceylon" published by the Engineering Association of Ceylon has details of all the records including the plans and drawings.

02 Little Adam’s Peak


Scenic peak reachable by steps & a moderate hiking trail, offering picturesque sunrise views. Hiking here is one of the best things to do in Ella.

03 Ella Rock


Location

Ella is a beautiful small town in the south of Sri Lanka in the Hill country located at an altitude of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft). It's the ideal base to explore the surrounding hills and take in pretty breathtaking views of the Badulla green valleys which is why it is regarded as one of the most picturesque places to visit in Ella. The weather is usually quite humid, with moderate air temperature, sunny mornings, and often rain showers in the afternoon. Ella Rock is a famous cliff, located high above Ella's village, around 8km (5 miles) from the centre of town – around 4 hours total trekking there and back.

04 Ravana Ella Falls


Location

This waterfall measures approximately 25 m (82 ft) in height and cascades from an oval-shaped concave rock outcrop. During the local wet season, the waterfall turns into what is said to resemble an areca flower with withering petals. But this is not the case in the dry season, where the flow of water reduces dramatically. The falls form part of the Ravana Ella Wildlife Sanctuary, and is located 6 km (3.7 mi) away from the local railway station at Ella.

05 Dhoowa Temple


Location

lies few kilometers away from the Bandarawela town on the Bandarawela – Badulla Road. This temple is thought to be built by King Walagamba in the in first century BC. This is one of the many temples built by the king while taking refuge in the Uva province after an Indian invasion. The temple has gain popularity mainly due to its massive 38 feet Buddha Statue carved in the granite rock. But this temple also hides some secrets that time has forgotten.

06 Ravana Cave


Location

The Ravana Cave is located about 2 km from the Ella town and 11 km (7 mi) away from Bandarawela. It is quite a small cave, measuring about 50ft wide, 150ft long and 60ft high. History says that the cave is used by King Rawana to hide the Princess Sita.

The cave lies 1,370 m (4,490 ft) above sea level on the foundation of a cliff, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka with a historical value.

07 Demodara Loop


Location

Demodara loop, the spiral railway is recognized as one of the most fascinating civil engineering marvels in Sri Lanka. Just 10-15 min drive from Ella or you can go on a rail walk to Demodara, and on your way you will pass the famous Nine Arch Bridge too.

The Demodara Loop is where the track passes under itself, going around the loop and emerges from the no 42 tunnel. The Loop is 441 feet long. The station is situated exactly over the tunnel. Also that’s the centre of the crossing point of the loop. This type of loop is known as the ’spiral loop’ or ’circular loop’. It is also known as ‘Demodara looping the loop’. It is considered the only loop in the world with a railway station situated exactly over a tunnel at spiral loop.

08 Flying Ravana Zip line


Location

One of the newest attractions in Ella is the Flying Ravana Zipline. It’s over 500m long and travels at over 80km per hour. It’s one activity that’s sure to get your heart racing!

09 Catch a Train from Ella


Location : Ella train station (which is walking distance from town.)

The train ride from Ella to Kandy is one of the most beautiful in the world. This famous route travels through the vast, and somewhat never-ending, tea plantations in Sri Lanka.

10 Visit Lipton’s Seat


Location

Liptons Seat is located around an hour’s drive from Ella and is most commonly visited for sunrise. Once at Lipton Seat you can explore the many tea plantations or just enjoy a tea break at the Lipton Seat restaurant.

Once you’re done taking in the views you can visit the Dambatenne Tea Factory. The factory is located 7 km from Lipton Seat on your way back to Ella. You can either walk the 7 km through the tea fields or take a tuk-tuk.

11 Visit a Tea Factory


Location : Just outside Ella or at Lipton Seat

Lipton’s Seat in Haputale is a great morning or afternoon trip from Ella. In the morning, take a short train ride to Haputale. Once you reach the station, get a tuk-tuk which takes you up to the top where, back in 1890, mister Lipton, planted the first seeds of what now is Sri Lanka’s biggest export product, Lipton Tea.

There are a few tea factories in Ella but the most popular one to visit is the Halpewatte Tea Factory. This tea factory is actually the largest tea factory in Sri Lanka.

12 Diyaluma Falls


Location

If you’re going to visit one waterfall in Sri Lanka then Diyaluma Falls is a great choice. It’s Sri Lanka’s second-largest waterfall and an epic place to explore.

The falls are 220m tall and you can both swim at the bottom of the falls or the top – with the top being the better option.

The top part of the waterfall is made up of small pools you can swim in. Here you can enjoy the breathtaking views. During the wet season, it becomes far too dangerous to swim in the pools closest to the edge due to the amount of water rushing down the falls.

13 Hangout in Ella Town


Location : Ella Town

Nestled in between the misty mountain ranges of the Central Highlands, Ella is a small village in the heartland of Sri Lanka. Here, nature awaits not only with slightly cooler (read: pleasant) temperatures but with lush scenery that will have you fall for Ella in an instant. Endless tea plantations, mountain panoramas, and scenic hikes are just some of the things that will keep you busy here.

14 Cooking class at Ella Spice Garden


Location

Learn about the ingredients and create some delicious Sri Lankan food with super tasty flavors. Make sure to book in advance because the Ella Spice Garden class tends to be full every day.

15 Arugam Bay


Location

Arugam Bay, known locally as "Arugam Kudah", is situated on the Indian Ocean in the dry zone of Sri Lanka's southeast coast, and a historic settlement of the ancient Batticaloa Territory (Mattakallappu Desam). The bay is located 117 kilometres (73 mi) south of Batticaloa, 320 kilometres (200 mi) due east of Colombo, and approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) south of the market town of Pottuvil. The main settlement in the area, known locally as Ullae, is predominantly Muslim,[1] however there is a significant Sri Lankan Tamil and Sinhala population to the south of the village, as well as a number of international expatriates, largely from Europe and Australia. While traditionally fishing has dominated the local economy, tourism has grown rapidly in the area in recent years. Arugam Kudah's literal Tamil translation is "Bay of Cynodon dactylon". Tourism in Arugam Bay is dominated by surf tourism, thanks to several quality breaks in the area, however tourists are also attracted by the local beaches, lagoons, historic temples and the nearby Kumana National Park.

16 Kiri Vehera Buddhist Temple


Location

Kiri Vehera is an ancient stupa situated in Kataragama, Sri Lanka. This stupa probably dates back to the 3rd century BC and is believed to have been built by King Mahasena, a regional ruler of Kataragama area. One of the most popular Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the country, Kiri Vehera is among the Solosmasthana, the 16 most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites of ancient Sri Lanka. This stupa which is 95 ft. in height with a circumference of 280 ft. is located 800 m North to the famous Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya. Venerable Kobawaka Dhamminda Thera is the present Chief Prelate of Kirivehera Rajamaha Viharaya

17 Sri Skandakumar Hindu Temple (Ruhunu Katharagama Maha Devalaya)


Location

Kataragama temple in Kataragama, Sri Lanka, is a temple complex dedicated to Buddhist guardian deity Kataragama deviyo and Hindu War God Murugan. It is one of the few religious sites in Sri Lanka that is venerated by the Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and the Vedda people. For most of the past millennia, it was a jungle shrine very difficult to access; today it is accessible by an all-weather road. The shrines and the nearby Kiri Vehera are managed by Buddhists, the shrines dedicated to Teyvāṉai and Shiva are managed by Hindus and the mosque by Muslims.

The shrine has for centuries attracted Tamil Hindus from Sri Lanka and South India who undertook an arduous pilgrimage on foot. Since the latter half of the 20th century, the site has risen dramatically among Sinhalese Buddhists who today constitute majority of the visitors.

18 Yala National Park


Location

Yala National Park is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka, bordering the Indian Ocean. The park consists of five blocks, two of which are now open to the public, and also adjoining parks. The blocks have individual names such as, Ruhuna National Park (Block 1), and Kumana National Park or 'Yala East' for the adjoining area. It is situated in the southeast region of the country, and lies in Southern Province and Uva Province. The park covers 979 square kilometres (378 sq mi) and is located about 300 kilometres (190 mi) from Colombo. Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds.

19 Situlpawwa Raja Maha Viharaya


Location

Sithulpawwa was built by King Kawanthissa in 2nd century BC and later aided by Kick Wasaba and few other regional Kings. There are lot of caves and ancient arts you can see if you hike towards the ‘Kuda Sithulpawwa. A large amount of valuable items has been found from the excavations on this site including an exclusively made image of goddess Thara in a seating position and many Buddha statues. Two Statues of the Awalokeswara Bodisattva can be seen on the main cave temple. One of these is dressed as a royal and the other is plainly dressed as a sage.

20 Udawalave National Park


Location

Udawalawe National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s smaller national parks at only 308.2 km². It is estimated that within this space over 500 elephants live. It’s simple really, a smaller space with a higher density of elephants increases your chances of seeing them!