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Ella

Ella

Ella is a scenic mountain retreat visited predominantly by younger travelers who are keen to explore the outdoors. Ella town has a number of attractive guest houses and a number of restaurants and cafes. There are some interesting hiking trails, waterfalls and scenic viewpoints around the Ella area including the Ravana Ella Falls and the iconic Nine Arches bridge.

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One of the most stunning views found on the island is in the Ella Gap which is a hill country village. During clear nights, one might be able to see the illumination projecting from Great Basses lighthouse in the South Coast of the island. An ideal place for leisurely walks among tea estates one will come across quaint temples, stunning waterfalls and breathtaking viewpoints.

Close to Ella is the famous Nine Arch Bridge, which is a beautiful example of English engineering and design and built entirely out of solid rocks, bricks and cement without the use of steel. The bridge was commissioned in 1921 and is still used to date by trains which travel from Kandy through to Ella.

Close to Ella is a mountain peak which is named Little Adams Peak, which is 1141 meters above sea level. A hike up to the peak of the mountain entails an interesting trek through paddy fields, tea plantations, waterfalls and amazing views.

There are two waterfalls in the Ella area. The most popular being the waterfall at the Bandarawela – Wellawaya main road. There is another waterfall above this falls which is not clearly visible to the main road and is also named Ravana Falls. This is generally considered the real Ravana Falls due the close proximity of the legendary cave which is considered a place there Sita (from the Indian saga the Ramayana) was hidden by the Lankan Demon King Ravana. This waterfall is visible from the Ella Railway station.

Between Bandarawela and Ella lies a cave believed to be that used by the legendary King Ravana, who was said to be one of the mightiest monarchs of Lanka before the arrival of the first Sinhalese King Vijaya. The ancient Saga Ramayana states how the king of Lanka kidnapped Sita, the wife of Rama in India. The legends state that he hid her in this cave. The tunnel network shows man-made foundations which are believed to be evidence of this legend.

One of the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the central highlands is to travel by train from Kandy through to Ella. The train stations in Peradeniya and most of the towns in the highlands were built during the time of the British, where minimal changes have been made to the buildings giving it a distinct old world charm. The train journey takes you through the back of small towns where you can see the local people go about their day to day work and through the mountain ranges providing beautiful views of the tea fields, patches of cloud forests, numerous streams and waterfalls.

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