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Train Journey from Colombo to Badulla


About journey .

In Sri Lanka, there are nine railway lines. The “main line” runs from Colombo Fort to Badulla. It passes through 105 railway stations along the way. It is Sri Lanka’s most beautiful railway journey. We pass through 43 tunnels on our way from Colombo Fort to Badulla, as well as many other interesting sights and incredible views. On this journey, we will visit the hill country of Sri Lanka.

If you want to travel comfortably, you can reserve a first-class apartment ahead of time. Second and third-class apartments are also available for those who prefer to travel in cool, fresh air. You can reserve the observation deck for the best view.

Let us get started.

It is favorable to begin your journey early in the morning. The Podi Manike train departs from Colombo Fort at 5.55 a.m. and reaches in Badulla at 4 p.m. If you catch this train, you will be able to see the entire scenery on the way. We can begin our journey at the Colombo Fort railway station. At the beginning of our journey, we have to cross the Kalani River.

Then we can pass through sections of the Central Expressway to reach our first tunnel. The next significant point on the route is the Polgahawela junction. It is a main railway junction that connects the main railway line and the Northern line. We continue to travel through the law country, and you can see urban areas. We gradually make our way upcountry, and after Rambukkana station, we come across three more tunnels. Now you can see the mountain rangers.

Entrance to the hill side.

Another tunnel can be found before Ihala Kotte station, and if you look through the windows, you can see Bathalegala (also known as Bible rock), Dewanagala, and Ambuluwawa mountains.  You can see Bambaragala Waterfall from a distance. It’s a spectacular sight to see the water fall fall down like a silver blaze against a green background.

We come across four tunnels before and after Balana station. Now you can feel a difference in humidity, which makes you feel more wet inside the tunnels and also in the outside environment. You can notice small streams, medium-sized rocks, more fern cultivations, and other environmental changes while you passing this area.

Our first best scenery.

The train then begins to climb Kadugannawa, a steep, difficult-to-ascend slope. On the way, we come across our tenth tunnel, the Moragalla tunnel, which is the second longest railway tunnel in Sri Lanka. From there another power engine is attached to the back of the train to provide extra power as it climbs Kadugannawa.

We get the opportunity to see one of the most stunning scenes of our tour as we progressively rise. We may observe a lot of different viewpoints directly below. You can see the bellow valley, which is covered in vegetation , matchbox-sized buildings , traveling vehicles no bigger than ants, and roads that are like thin strips from above view points . The stupas, which seem as white pearls among the vegetation below, will create a fairy-tale-like splendor in your landscape.

We are ready to the adventure .

Then there’s the descent, which takes about half an hour to reach Peradeniya crossroads. Extra engine provides crucial pauses to the train on its steep hill route. Peradeniya station is located at an elevation of 476 meters. A huge number of foreign tourists join us on our journey from this station.

Then we begin to ascend through the hills once more. Though the train wants more power, as you can see, another power engine is attached to the front of the train. We have to pass through Gampola and Nawalapitiya stations, while filling our eyes and minds with clean, non-polluted, calm, and beautiful scenery.

We have to pass  through pine forests and our train must cross the Mahawali River. It is Sri Lanka’s longest river. Then we can proceed to the following two tunnels. The train is now passing through tea plantations. Almost all of them can be touched if the train slows down due to a signal failure. Then we travel to Hatton station, located 173 kilometers from Colombo and at an elevation of 1262.5 meters. After Hatton, we travel via Poolbank Tunnel, Sri Lanka’s longest tunnel.

Entrance to the paradise.

There we come across St. Clare waterfall one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful waterfalls. There are two more tunnels before and after Thalawakale station. Even though it is noon ,tunnels are wet , surrounding area is cold , cloudy , and a little dark. We can see tea plucking women wearing  red and green sarees and carrying large cane baskets on their backs. There are children waving to the train , expecting us to wave back .

Then we come to another tunnel, and our train passes through Upper Kothmale reservoir. We can  see the dam that feeds the country’s third largest hydroelectric power station. You can get a better look at it because we  travel around it.

We have one more tunnel to go through before arriving at Nanu Oya station. It is easier to get down the train from this station if you want to visit Nuwara Eliya. Nanu Oya station is a popular stop for foreign visitors on their way to Badulla.

Now, as we are still going up , you will be able to see the effects of climate change. We’re on our way through a subtropical montane evergreen forest. This area is close to Horton Plains National Park. You can see how beautiful it is as we ascend. The area is blanketed in mist, and the tea plantations below appear to be a large green carpet that covers the entire land. On this green carpet, one or two Pine tees stand. The small water creaks with diamond-like pure water that flow through the tea bushes can be seen. On the sides of the railway, there are a few Maha Rathmal trees as well. This area is a little dark due to the trees.

The highest point.

Then your gaze will undoubtedly be drawn to some windmills standing in the valley below. They are from the farm Ambewela New Zealand. So we’ve passed Ambewela Station and are still heading up to Pattipola Station. With an elevation of 1897.5 m, Pattipola is Sri Lanka’s highest railway station. This station is always misty, and in the evenings, the mist is so thick that you can’t see through it to find the person in front of you. On those occasions, it appears to be a white blanket. It’s also far too cold in there.

Then we come to Pattipola tunnel, and finally Ohiya station. Visitors who wish to visit the Hortan plains should depart at this station. Ohiya is only 6 kilometers away from Horton Plains. Ohiya is the best place to spend a peaceful and quiet vacation in the countryside. Ohiya also has a few pear gardens. If you want, you can walk to Horton Plains from there.

Let us go down again.

We must descend from Pattipola.  We can experience fourteen tunnels with short gaps between them after passing Ohiya station. Going inside and outside of tunnels so quickly is a thrilling adventure. We are now gradually descending.

Then we arrive at the Idalgashinna station. It is the country’s fifth highest railway station. Then we go by the stations of Haputale and Diyathalawa. We are now passing through our 37th and 38th tunnels on our way to Bandarawela.

Then we arrive at Ella station, a popular tourist destination. A number of waterfalls can be seen on both sides. On the way, you can see vegetable plantations on both sides of the railway with carrots, cabbage, leaks, and other vegetables.

Nine Arch Bridge.

After passing through another tunnel, between Ella and Demodara stations , our train arrives at the Nine Arch Bridge. It is also known as the “bridge in the sky.” It is one of the country’s best examples of coloanal era railway construction. P. K. Appuhami, a local Ceylonese builder, is  credited with the bridge’s construction. It is constructed entirely of stone, brick, and cement, with no use of steel. If you are in a front or far back apartment, you will have a good view of our train as it travels.

We’re getting close to our destination.

We arrive at Demodara station via the Nine Arch Bridge. We are now 277.71 kilometers away from Colombo Fort. This station is most well-known for its spiral railway line, known as the ‘Demodara Loop.’ The rail line runs beneath itself, around the loop, and emerges from a tunnel that runs directly beneath the Demodara railway station. The rail loop is about 900 meters long. It is the only loop in the world with a railway station located precisely over the loop’s tunnel.

We arrive at our final tunnel, the 43rd one on our journey between Hali Ella and Badulla. Finally, according to the railway timetables, we can  arrive in Badulla at 4 p.m.

How we feel at last ?

If there are no signal failures or other disruptions, this journey will take nearly ten hours. This is a most amazing adventure one can have in his or her entire life. It is an excellent opportunity for nature lovers to immerse themselves in nature. The scenery will undoubtedly inspire you and make you fall in love with Sri Lanka. Throughout the journey, you will encounter a variety of climates and weather conditions. This journey can be described as a non-boring journey filled with pleasure and joy.

When we feel a cool breeze, we feel refreshed. The clean, fresh air that is not polluted awakens us and makes us feel like we are the children of Mother Earth. Every time I took this journey, I felt as if I had visited a paradise, and I always wanted to return. This journey is very well worth it.

To read more articles of Gandhari Ayodhya, click here.
















Gandhari Ayodhya

Gandhari Ayodhya

Student of NENASALA . Student of university of Colombo. After A/L student of Yasodara Devi Balika Maha Vidyalaya . Interesting in English & Science.

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