The train journey to Ella has been a ‘must-do’ for visitors to Sri Lanka. The phrase ‘it’s about the journey, not the destination’ could have been written for this very scenic Kandy to Ella train journey. Of course, Ella is a wonderful destination but it is not often that a mode of transportation is an attraction in itself, but the Ella Odyssey is one for sure.
Sri Lanka has an incredible array of landscapes and one of the most stunning ways to experience this is to sit on the Kandy to Ella train, within touching distance of tea bushes and soak up mind-blowing views.
The new Ella Odyssey will make this already mind-blowing journey even easier in several ways. Firstly, the train will operate daily – leaving Kandy at 7 am and reaching Demodara (the Ella station) at 2:20 pm. The train will then depart again at 3:40 pm and arrive in Kandy at 9:45 pm. Furthermore, the Ella Odyssey will operate 365 days a year!
Whilst this might seem relatively normal to those living in the West, it was often a mystery at what time the trains for Ella would depart before, and this clear schedule is a breath of fresh air, literally! There has always been a high demand for the Kandy Ella train from both local and international travellers but there were only a few daily trains operated and the Ella Odyssey train will be a great addition to the Sri Lankan tourism infrastructure.
The Ella Odyssey consists of a first-class compartment, with 176 seats with air conditioning, and a second-class compartment with 144 seats. In addition to this, there is also a restaurant carriage, and the whole service is operated by the Sri Lanka Railway Department.
Now, so far we have learnt that the train has a clear daily schedule, ample seating – which is guaranteed of course when you book, and a restaurant carriage. If this is all sounding too good to be true, and remember the highlight is the incredible scenery – what follows next is the icing on the cake for the Ella Odyssey.
This luxury service will not only transport you from Kandy to Ella, but it will also make brief stops at 12 train stations, including 9 tourist attractions. This will make sure that you don’t miss some of the most scenic moments, but also that you can safely and peacefully take photos and videos so you never forget this once-in-a-lifetime journey!
This tourist-oriented luxury Ella Odyssey train will stop at 12 stations including nine tourist attractions such as St. Clair Falls, Great Western, Railway Station, Algin Waterfall, Pattipola, Idalgashinna, Demodara Nine Arch Bridge. which are the most scenic places between Kandy & Ella Railway stations. The train will stop at these locations for between 2-10 minutes for you to enjoy the scenery and capture photos and videos. Below are some of the highlights:
The Horsetail Waterfall is one of the hidden waterfalls in the hill country and is located between Inguru Oya and Galaboda stations. As you can see the beauty of this waterfall from the railway line, the train will only stop for 2 minutes, which will be enough time to click a few amazing photos of the Horsetail Waterfall.
Another stunning waterfall where the Ella Odyssey will stop to allow you a great view is the St. Clairs waterfall often called the ‘Little Niagara of Sri Lanka’. This waterfall contains two falls, the larger one is 80m high and the smaller one is 50m. Watch as they cascade over rocky outcrops and race through the tea estates.
The last waterfall we want to mention is the Elgin Falls, which the Ella Odyssey will stop at for a few minutes, just after Nanu Oya station. This waterfall is located at 1,500 m above sea level and is named after Elgin, a significant town of Moray in Scotland.
Now, it’s not only waterfalls you will see! The Ella Odyssey will also stop at what is known as the ‘Summit Level’ which is the highest point on all of Sri Lanka’s railway tracks. You will notice the train begins its descending journey towards the lowlands of the country after this point.
Another extraordinary sight is the Tunnel 18 which you will also pass through on the Ella Odyssey. This tunnel straddles the boundary between the wet and dry zones of the country – and you can see this noticeable difference when you emerge on the other side! Make sure you take a photograph (safely of course) both before entering the tunnel and when you emerge too.
The Ella Odyssey will also take you through one of the most picturesque stations in Sri Lanka, the Idalgashinna Station. This tiny station dates back to the colonial era and was built in 1893 and has only one platform. The view of this beautifully petite station is made even more stunning by the towering hill and trees shrouded in best behind it.
We won’t reveal all the stops to you, but one that you are sure to want to see as a visitor to Sri Lanka is the Nine Arch Bridge, and it is one of the most photographed locations in all of Sri Lanka. This incredible bridge was built by the British in the colonial era, and is made of stone bricks and cement – with no steel reinforcement! This is such a highlight on the trip that the Ella Odyssey will stop for 10 minutes to allow you to soak up the magic of this world-renowned bridge, and capture it to show all your loved ones the beauty of Sri Lanka.
Now you have read of the convenience, comfort, reliability and photo opportunities, we hope you are excited to include the Ella Odyssey when you plan your trip to the paradise isle of Sri Lanka.