Sri Lanka’s Natural Wonder: Bambarakanda Falls in Ohiya

Sri Lanka’s Natural Wonder: Bambarakanda Falls in Ohiya

Nestled amidst the emerald hills of Ohiya in Sri Lanka, Bambarakanda Falls stands as a testament to the island’s unparalleled natural beauty. As the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka and one of the most captivating in all of Asia, Bambarakanda Falls is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a glimpse of nature’s grandeur.

The Magnificence of Bambarakanda Falls

Rising to a staggering height of 263 meters (863 feet), Bambarakanda Falls is a sight to behold. The name “Bambarakanda” translates to “Bamboo stream” in Sinhala, a fitting moniker considering the lush bamboo groves that envelop the waterfall. As you approach the falls, the distant roar of cascading water begins to reverberate through the dense vegetation, building anticipation for the awe-inspiring spectacle that awaits.

The waterfall forms from the waters of the Kuda Oya River, which originates from the Horton Plains National Park. As the river tumbles down the precipitous rocky cliffs, it creates a series of mesmerizing cascades. The final drop, which constitutes the main Bambarakanda Falls, is a breathtaking free-fall that sends a fine mist into the air, creating a magical atmosphere around the base of the falls.

The Journey to Bambarakanda

Reaching Bambarakanda Falls is an adventure in itself. The journey often starts in the town of Haputale or Bandarawela, both of which are accessible by train from Colombo. From there, you can hire a vehicle or take a bus to Ohiya, the nearest town to the waterfall. The winding roads and picturesque landscapes make the drive an experience to remember, with lush tea plantations, charming villages, and panoramic views of the Sri Lankan countryside.

Once you arrive in Ohiya, you’ll find the trailhead leading to Bambarakanda Falls. The trek to the falls is relatively short, taking approximately 30 minutes to an hour, depending on your pace. The trail is surrounded by dense forest, and as you progress, the distant sound of rushing water grows louder, building anticipation for the grand reveal.

A Natural Oasis in Ohiya

Upon reaching Bambarakanda Falls, you’ll be greeted by a natural oasis of pristine beauty. The lush greenery, the cool mist, and the sheer power of the waterfall create a sense of tranquility and wonder. The pool at the base of the falls is an inviting spot to take a refreshing dip on a warm day, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.

The surrounding area also offers numerous vantage points for capturing the perfect photograph or simply basking in the breathtaking scenery. Whether you choose to admire the falls from a distance or get up close and personal, the sheer scale of Bambarakanda Falls is sure to leave an indelible mark on your memory.

Flora and Fauna of Ohiya

Ohiya and its vicinity are renowned for their rich biodiversity. As you make your way to Bambarakanda Falls, keep an eye out for the diverse flora and fauna that call this region home. The lush forests are home to a variety of bird species, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. You may spot colorful birds like the Sri Lankan hanging parrot and the yellow-eared bulbul, among others.

Additionally, the surrounding forests are inhabited by various mammals, including sambar deer, wild boar, and even the elusive Sri Lankan leopard. While it’s rare to encounter these animals during a short visit, the knowledge that such wildlife roams these hills adds an element of intrigue to your journey.

Preserving the Beauty

Sri Lanka is known for its commitment to preserving its natural beauty, and Bambarakanda Falls is no exception. The area surrounding the waterfall is protected, and steps have been taken to ensure its conservation. It’s important for visitors to respect the environment by adhering to responsible tourism practices, such as not littering and refraining from damaging the fragile ecosystem.

In conclusion, a visit to Bambarakanda Falls in Ohiya, Sri Lanka, is an experience that immerses you in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. From the thundering waters of the falls to the serene surroundings teeming with wildlife, this natural wonder is a testament to Sri Lanka’s unparalleled biodiversity. As you stand in the misty embrace of Bambarakanda Falls, you’ll come to appreciate the importance of preserving such pristine environments for future generations to enjoy. So, make sure to include this breathtaking destination in your Sri Lankan travel itinerary and embark on a journey to witness the magnificence of Bambarakanda Falls in Ohiya.

Why Sorabora Lake Should Be on Your Sri Lanka Travel Itinerary

Why Sorabora Lake Should Be on Your Sri Lanka Travel Itinerary

When you think of Sri Lanka, images of pristine beaches, lush tea plantations, and ancient temples might come to mind. While these iconic attractions are undoubtedly worth a visit, Sri Lanka is also home to a myriad of hidden gems that often go unnoticed by tourists. One such hidden treasure is Sorabora Lake, nestled in the heart of the Uva Province. If you’re planning a trip to this beautiful island nation, here are compelling reasons why Sorabora Lake should be a top priority on your travel itinerary.

1. Serene Natural Beauty

Sorabora Lake, also known as the Sorabora Wewa, is a man-made reservoir that exudes natural beauty and tranquility. Surrounded by lush greenery and picturesque landscapes, this lake offers a serene escape from the bustling city life. The calm waters mirror the surrounding trees and hills, creating a breathtaking and peaceful ambiance that is perfect for relaxation and meditation.

2. Off the Beaten Path

One of the most appealing aspects of Sorabora Lake is its relatively undiscovered status among tourists. Unlike some of the more popular tourist destinations in Sri Lanka, Sorabora Lake remains a hidden gem. This means you can enjoy the beauty of this pristine location without the crowds, allowing for a more intimate and authentic experience.

3. Birdwatcher’s Paradise

For bird enthusiasts, Sorabora Lake is a haven of avian diversity. The area around the lake is home to numerous species of birds, both migratory and resident. Grab your binoculars and camera because you might spot some colorful kingfishers, graceful herons, and even the elusive and endangered black-necked stork. Birdwatching at Sorabora Lake is a captivating experience that will surely delight nature lovers.

4. Water Sports and Recreation

Sorabora Lake isn’t just for leisurely strolls and birdwatching; it’s also a fantastic spot for water sports and outdoor activities. Whether you’re interested in kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boating, the calm waters of the lake provide an ideal setting for such pursuits. The surrounding forests are also perfect for hiking and trekking, allowing you to explore the natural wonders of Uva Province.

5. Historical Significance

Beyond its natural allure, Sorabora Lake has a rich historical background. It is believed to have been built over 2,000 years ago during the reign of King Dutugemunu, one of Sri Lanka’s ancient monarchs. The lake was constructed to support agriculture in the region, and remnants of ancient sluice gates and irrigation systems can still be seen around the lake. History enthusiasts will find Sorabora Lake a fascinating destination for exploring the island’s rich past.

6. Local Culture and Cuisine

Visiting Sorabora Lake also provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and cuisine of the Uva Province. You can interact with the friendly villagers, learn about their traditional lifestyles, and even try some authentic Sri Lankan dishes. The food here is often prepared with locally sourced ingredients, making it a delicious and unforgettable experience for foodies.

7. Perfect Stopover En Route to Other Attractions

While Sorabora Lake is a destination in itself, it also serves as an excellent stopover point if you’re planning to explore other attractions in the Uva Province. It’s conveniently located near Mahiyanganaya, which is a gateway to other remarkable destinations such as the Dambana Indigenous Village, where you can learn about the indigenous Vedda people, and the Soragune Lagoon, known for its pristine beauty and boat rides.

8. A Photographic Paradise

Photographers will find Sorabora Lake a dream come true. The changing play of light and shadow on the lake’s surface, the reflections of the surrounding foliage, and the diverse wildlife offer endless opportunities for capturing stunning shots. Whether you’re a professional photographer or just love snapping pictures with your smartphone, Sorabora Lake will provide you with countless memorable moments.

In conclusion, Sorabora Lake in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka is a hidden gem that deserves a spot on your travel itinerary. Its serene natural beauty, rich history, diverse wildlife, and opportunities for outdoor activities make it a destination that appeals to a wide range of interests. So, when planning your next adventure in Sri Lanka, make sure to include Sorabora Lake for an authentic and unforgettable experience away from the tourist crowds.

Here are some of the things you can do at Sorabora Lake:

  • Take a boat ride: One of the best ways to enjoy the beauty of Sorabora Lake is to take a boat ride. You can hire a boat from the local fishermen or from one of the resorts on the lake. A boat ride will take you to the different parts of the lake, where you can see the diverse wildlife and enjoy the stunning scenery.
  • Go fishing: Sorabora Lake is a great place to go fishing. You can fish from the shore or from a boat. There are a variety of fish in the lake, including carp, catfish, and tilapia.
  • Go hiking: There are a number of hiking trails in the mountains and forests around Sorabora Lake. The trails offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding countryside.
  • Visit a village: There are a number of villages located near Sorabora Lake. You can visit these villages to learn about the traditional way of life in Sri Lanka. You can also buy souvenirs and local handicrafts from the villagers.
  • Visit a temple: There are a number of temples located near Sorabora Lake. The temples are a great way to learn about the Buddhist religion and culture. You can also see some beautiful architecture and artwork at the temples.
Ruwanwelisaya: An Iconic Landmark of Anuradhapura

Ruwanwelisaya: An Iconic Landmark of Anuradhapura

Sri Lanka, with its rich tapestry of history and culture, is home to some of the most awe-inspiring and spiritually significant landmarks in the world. Among these, the Ruwanwelisaya in Anuradhapura stands tall, both literally and figuratively. This ancient stupa, a monumental dome-like structure, holds a special place in the hearts of Buddhists and draws visitors from around the globe. In this blog, we embark on a journey to explore the Ruwanwelisaya, an iconic landmark of Anuradhapura.

A Stupa of Magnificent Proportions

The Ruwanwelisaya, also known as the Ruwanweliseya, is a towering testament to the architectural and engineering prowess of ancient Sri Lanka. This massive stupa, or dagoba, stands at an astonishing height of 103 meters (338 feet), making it one of the tallest stupas in the country. Its sheer size and commanding presence make it a sight to behold from afar, and as you draw nearer, its intricate details and profound symbolism become more apparent.

A History Steeped in Faith

The history of the Ruwanwelisaya is intertwined with the island’s deep-rooted Buddhist heritage. This stupa was constructed during the reign of King Dutugemunu, one of Sri Lanka’s legendary monarchs. It is said that the king, upon uniting the country after a period of conflict, embarked on this colossal project as an offering to Buddhism and a symbol of reconciliation.

Construction of the Ruwanwelisaya began in 140 BCE and continued for many years. It was a labor of love, supported by thousands of devoted workers, artisans, and craftsmen. The stupa’s name, “Ruwanwelisaya,” translates to “The Stupa of Jewels,” which is a fitting name for this precious gem of Sri Lankan history.

Architectural Marvels and Sacred Relics

The Ruwanwelisaya’s architectural beauty is truly captivating. As you approach the stupa, you’ll notice the magnificent white dome, adorned with a conical spire that tapers gracefully towards the sky. The intricate carvings and decorative elements on the stupa’s exterior showcase the remarkable skill of the craftsmen of yesteryears.

The stupa also houses sacred relics believed to be associated with Lord Buddha himself. In a chamber within the stupa, visitors can see a golden casket containing these sacred relics, which have been preserved and venerated for centuries. This adds to the spiritual significance of the Ruwanwelisaya and draws pilgrims and devotees from far and wide.

A Place of Pilgrimage and Devotion

The Ruwanwelisaya is not merely a historical relic; it is a living testament to the enduring faith and devotion of the Sri Lankan people. Pilgrims and visitors flock to this sacred site to offer flowers, light oil lamps, and pray for blessings. The atmosphere is permeated with a sense of serenity and reverence, making it an ideal place for introspection and spiritual contemplation.

Visiting the Ruwanwelisaya during religious festivals or poya days (full moon days) is a particularly moving experience. The stupa and its surroundings come alive with the sounds of chanting, drumming, and religious rituals. The sense of unity among the devotees, regardless of their backgrounds, is a powerful reminder of the unifying force of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

Preserving the Legacy

The Ruwanwelisaya, like many ancient structures, has weathered the ravages of time, including earthquakes and invasions. Yet, it has been painstakingly restored and maintained over the centuries by successive generations of Sri Lankans. Today, the stupa stands proudly, a symbol of resilience and devotion.

In recent times, efforts have been made to ensure the preservation of this cultural and spiritual treasure. Conservation projects and research have shed light on the stupa’s history and significance, ensuring that it continues to inspire awe and reverence for generations to come.

Tourism at the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa

The Ruwanwelisaya Stupa is a popular tourist destination in Sri Lanka. Visitors can climb to the top of the stupa for stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can also learn about the history and religious significance of the stupa at the museum that is located on the temple grounds.

Tips for Visiting the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa

  • The Ruwanwelisaya Stupa is a sacred place of worship for Buddhists, so visitors should dress respectfully. Visitors should remove their shoes before entering the temple grounds.
  • Visitors can climb to the top of the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, but they should be aware that the steps are steep.
  • There is a museum located on the temple grounds that provides information about the history and religious significance of the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa.
  • Visitors should be aware that the Ruwanwelisaya Stupa is a popular tourist destination, so it can be crowded at times.

Practical Information for Visitors

If you plan to visit the Ruwanwelisaya, here are some practical tips to enhance your experience:

  1. Dress Modestly: As with many religious sites, it’s advisable to dress respectfully, covering your shoulders and knees.
  2. Visiting Hours: The stupa is typically open from morning until evening. It’s a good idea to check the specific opening hours before your visit.
  3. Quiet Contemplation: Take a moment to sit in the peaceful surroundings and soak in the spiritual ambiance of the place.
  4. Local Customs: Observe and respect local customs and practices, especially during religious ceremonies.
  5. Photography: While photography is usually allowed, be mindful of the sanctity of the place and ask for permission if you wish to photograph devotees or religious rituals.

In Conclusion

The Ruwanwelisaya in Anuradhapura is not just an iconic landmark; it is a living testament to the enduring faith and devotion of the Sri Lankan people. Its grandeur, history, and spiritual significance make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka and witness the profound beauty of Buddhist architecture and devotion. A visit to this ancient stupa is a journey back in time and a spiritual experience that will leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: Where History and Spirituality Converge

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara: Where History and Spirituality Converge

Nestled on the banks of the Kelani River in Colombo, Sri Lanka, the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is a place where history and spirituality intertwine seamlessly. This ancient Buddhist temple holds a special place not only in the hearts of devout Buddhists but also among travelers seeking a deeper understanding of Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage. Join me on a journey to explore the profound significance of Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, where history and spirituality converge in a mesmerizing way.

A Glimpse into the Past

The roots of Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara date back over 2,500 years, making it one of the oldest temples in Sri Lanka. Its history is deeply entwined with the island’s Buddhist heritage, making it a sacred site for Buddhists around the world.

Legend has it that the Buddha himself visited Kelaniya in his third year after attaining enlightenment. It was during this visit that he meditated under a sacred Bo tree near the temple’s present location. This event is commemorated by a beautiful stupa, known as the “Raja Maha Vihara Stupa,” which stands tall as a testament to the Buddha’s visit.

Architectural Marvel

One of the most striking features of Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is its impressive architecture. The temple boasts a magnificent image house that houses an awe-inspiring collection of intricately carved statues and wall murals. These artistic treasures vividly depict scenes from the life of the Buddha and other significant events in Buddhist history.

As you step inside the image house, you’ll be greeted by the serene presence of the reclining Buddha statue, a masterpiece that exudes tranquility and spirituality. The architecture itself is a testament to the skill and dedication of the artisans who crafted this sacred space.

Spiritual Oasis

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is not just a historical relic; it’s a vibrant center of Buddhist worship and spiritual practice. Pilgrims and devotees flock to this temple to seek blessings, engage in meditation, and participate in religious ceremonies. The atmosphere is permeated with a sense of serenity and devotion, making it an ideal place for introspection and reflection.

Visitors are encouraged to participate in the rituals and ceremonies, offering flowers and lighting oil lamps as acts of devotion. Whether you’re a Buddhist or simply someone seeking a moment of inner peace, the temple’s spiritual ambiance is sure to leave a profound impact on your soul.

The Annual Duruthu Perahera Festival

For those fortunate enough to visit Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara in January, the temple comes alive with the vibrant and colorful Duruthu Perahera Festival. This annual event celebrates the full moon of January and is a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.

The festival features a grand procession with traditional dancers, drummers, and elaborately decorated elephants parading through the temple grounds. It’s a sensory delight, with the rhythmic beats of drums, the graceful movements of dancers, and the majestic presence of elephants creating an unforgettable experience.

A Connection to Modern Sri Lanka

Beyond its spiritual significance, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara plays a pivotal role in the cultural and social fabric of Sri Lanka. It serves as a place of solace and a source of guidance for people from all walks of life. The temple also fosters a sense of unity and communal harmony, with people of different backgrounds coming together in reverence and peace.

The Significance of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. It is a place where history and spirituality converge. The temple is a witness to the rich history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and it continues to be a center of learning and pilgrimage for Buddhists from all over the world.

The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is also a symbol of religious tolerance and harmony. The temple has been a place of worship for Buddhists for over 2,500 years, and it has also been visited by Hindus and Christians over the centuries. The temple is a reminder that people of all faiths can come together in peace and harmony.

Tips for Visiting the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara

  • The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is open to visitors from all faiths. However, visitors are expected to dress respectfully and maintain silence within the temple grounds.
  • Visitors should remove their shoes before entering the temple.
  • It is customary to make a donation to the temple when visiting.
  • Visitors should avoid taking photos of the Buddha statues and other religious relics without permission.
  • The Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is a popular tourist destination, so it is best to visit early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the crowds.

Practical Information

If you’re planning to visit Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, here are some practical tips:

1. Dress Modestly: As a place of worship, it’s essential to dress respectfully. Avoid wearing revealing clothing when visiting the temple.

2. Opening Hours: The temple is typically open from early morning until late in the evening. Check the specific opening hours before your visit.

3. Photography: While photography is usually allowed, be respectful and ask for permission if you intend to photograph devotees or religious ceremonies.

4. Donations: Consider making a small donation to support the temple’s upkeep and ongoing spiritual activities.

In Conclusion

Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara is more than just a historical relic; it’s a living testament to the enduring spiritual and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. It’s a place where history and spirituality converge, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Buddhism and the profound sense of peace that it brings.

Whether you’re seeking a deeper connection to your spiritual self or simply looking to immerse yourself in the history and culture of Sri Lanka, a visit to Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara promises to be a transformative experience that will leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.

Ravana Waterfalls: A Place to Relax in Sri Lanka

Ravana Waterfalls: A Place to Relax in Sri Lanka

Among the many attractions in Ella, one of the most impressive ones is the Ravana Waterfalls, a spectacular cascade that flows from an oval-shaped rock outcrop. The Ravana Waterfalls is named after the legendary king Ravana, who is connected to the famous Indian epic, the Ramayana. According to legend, Ravana kidnapped Princess Sita and hid her in the caves behind the waterfall.

The waterfall is also said to be the place where Ravana played his musical instrument, the Ravanahatha. The waterfall is considered to be a sacred site by many Hindus and Buddhists who visit it to pay their respects and seek blessings.

The Ravana Waterfalls is about 25 meters high and consists of three tiers. The first tier is the most accessible and popular one, where you can see the water gushing down from a height of about 10 meters. The second and third tiers are higher up on the cliff face and require some climbing and hiking to reach. The second tier is about 15 meters high and offers a more secluded and serene spot to enjoy the waterfall. The third tier is the highest and most challenging one, where you can see the water falling from a height of about 30 meters.

The best time to visit the Ravana Waterfalls is during the rainy season, from October to January when the waterfall is at its fullest and most majestic. During this time, you can see the water forming a beautiful arc that resembles an areca flower with withering petals. However, you should also be ccareful, as the rocks can be slippery and the water can be strong. During the dry season, from February to September, the waterfall is less impressive but still worth a visit. During this time, you can enjoy a more peaceful and relaxing experience as there are fewer crowds and less noise.

The Ravana Waterfalls are not only a sight to behold but also a place to indulge in some fun activities. You can swim in the natural pools at the base of the waterfall, where the water is cool and refreshing. You can also explore the caves behind the waterfall, where you can see some ancient inscriptions and paintings. You can also hike up to the higher tiers of the waterfall, where you can enjoy some breathtaking views of the valley and the surrounding hills.

The Ravana Waterfalls is a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate in Sri Lanka. It is a place where you can admire the beauty of nature, learn about the history and culture of Sri Lanka, and have some fun and adventure. It is a place that will leave you with unforgettable memories and a desire to return again.

A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Located near the town of Ella, the Ravana Waterfalls hold a special place in the hearts of both locals and tourists alike. The falls derive their name from the ancient epic Ramayana, adding an aura of mystique to the already captivating scenery. As you approach the falls, the sound of rushing water becomes increasingly audible, preparing you for the breathtaking spectacle that lies ahead.

The Magnificent Sight

Upon arriving at the Ravana Waterfalls, the first thing that strikes you is the sheer magnificence of the natural wonder. With a height of approximately 82 feet (25 meters), the water descends in a series of cascades, creating a mesmerizing visual display. The spray of water catches the sunlight, forming iridescent rainbows that dance in the mist—a true feast for the eyes.

A Moment of Serenity

One of the most alluring aspects of the Ravana Waterfalls is the tranquility that envelops the area. The gentle roar of the water, the rustling leaves, and the distant songs of birds create an immersive soundscape that transports you away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Finding a spot to sit and absorb the natural symphony becomes an essential part of the experience.

Refreshing Mist and Natural Pools

The waterfall’s spray generates a refreshing mist that cools the air, offering respite from the tropical heat. Many visitors find delight in walking closer to the falls, allowing the mist to envelop them. Additionally, the base of the falls forms natural pools where visitors can take a rejuvenating dip. The crystal-clear water is invigorating and offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature in an intimate way.

Trekking to Ravana Falls

For those who relish adventure, the journey to Ravana Waterfalls can be as rewarding as the destination itself. The trek leading to the falls takes you through verdant landscapes, dense forests, and charming villages. The trails are well-marked, and the journey presents ample photo opportunities, allowing you to capture the essence of Sri Lanka’s raw beauty.

Cultural Significance

Beyond its natural allure, Ravana Waterfalls also hold cultural significance. According to local legends, the falls are linked to the Ramayana epic, where King Ravana is believed to have hidden Princess Sita. Nearby, you can explore the Ravana Ella Cave, which is said to be one of the places where Princess Sita was kept captive. The area’s folklore adds an intriguing layer to the overall experience.

Tips for a Memorable Visit
  1. Timing Matters: The best time to visit the Ravana Waterfalls is during the monsoon season (October to January) when the water flow is at its strongest. However, visiting during the dry season offers a different kind of charm, with the falls showcasing a more delicate cascade.
  2. Comfortable Attire: Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes if you plan to trek to the falls. Don’t forget to carry swimwear if you wish to enjoy the natural pools.
  3. Respect Nature: While exploring the area, be mindful of the environment. Pack out what you bring in and avoid littering to help preserve this natural gem for future generations.

In Conclusion

The Ravana Waterfalls in Sri Lanka offer more than just a visual spectacle; they provide a sanctuary of peace and serenity. Whether you’re seeking a moment of solitude, an escape from the routine, or an opportunity to connect with nature, the falls deliver a rejuvenating experience like no other. As you stand before the cascading waters, you can’t help but feel a profound sense of awe and gratitude for the wonders of the natural world. So, if you find yourself in Sri Lanka, make sure to include the Ravana Waterfalls in your itinerary—it’s a perfect place to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with the beauty of the Earth.

The History and Mystery of the Nine Arch Bridge

The History and Mystery of the Nine Arch Bridge

The Nine Arch Bridge, sometimes known as the “Bridge in the Sky”, is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic travel destinations. Commissioned by the British in 1921, this stone bridge is a true testament to the ingenuity of colonial-era railway construction in Sri Lanka. This guide will provide you with all the necessary information you need to plan your visit to this historic and scenic bridge.

History of the Bridge

The Nine Arch Bridge was built in the British colonial period in Sri Lanka, which spanned from 1815 to 1948. It was constructed during the height of the British Empire’s influence in the region, and its design reflects the innovative engineering and architectural techniques of the time. The bridge was designed by a local Sri Lankan builder, P.K. Appuhami, who completed the project without the use of any steel, relying solely on stone, bricks, and cement¹².

The construction of the bridge is generally attributed to Appuhami, in consultation with British engineers². 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 the Railway Construction Department of Ceylon Government Railway².

Popular rumors suggest that when construction work commenced on the bridge, the Great War began between the empires of Europe, and the steel assigned for this site was reallocated to Britain’s War-related projects at the battlefront. As a result, the work came to a standstill, leading the locals to build the bridge with stone bricks and cement, but without steel²³.

About the Bridge

Located between the Ella and Demodara railway stations, the Nine Arch Bridge spans an impressive 300 feet (91 meters) in length. It stands at a height of about 100 feet (30 meters). As its name suggests, the bridge features nine graceful arches skillfully designed to evenly distribute the weight of the trains and the structure itself. This unique design has allowed the bridge to remain functional and withstand the test of time, despite the absence of steel reinforcements.

The bridge is surrounded by beautiful rolling hills and dense jungles, making it a popular tourist destination. Its unique location provides visitors with stunning views of the nearby hillsides as they stroll along the bridge or take in the scenery from above.

Best Time to Visit

The optimal time to visit the Nine Arch Bridge is when a train crosses the bridge. This offers a unique opportunity to capture the moment in photos or video. To ensure you don’t miss this, be sure to check the train schedule ahead of time. It’s also a good idea to talk with a local guide or your hotel management, so you get the timing right and secure a good viewpoint.

The combination of the train’s rhythmic sound as it passes over the bridge and the breathtaking natural surroundings creates a truly memorable experience.

How to Get There

Tuk-Tuk: One of the most convenient ways to reach the Nine Arch Bridge is by taking a tuk-tuk from Ella town. The journey takes about 5-10 minutes on foot after the tuk-tuk drops you off and will cost you just a few hundred rupees. To avoid potential scams, consider speaking with your hotel to arrange a tuk-tuk ride for you.

Walking: If you prefer to explore on foot, you can walk to the bridge from Ella. This walk takes approximately 45 minutes, depending on your location in Ella. To get there, follow the Ella-Passara Road and turn left at the Nine Arch Bridge Jungle road. Locals are always happy to help if you need it.

Train: Another option is to take the train from Ella or Demodara station and get off at the Nine Arch Bridge station. This way, you can enjoy the scenic ride along the railway tracks and experience the thrill of crossing
the bridge yourself.

Conclusion

The Nine Arch Bridge is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Sri Lanka. It offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the island nation, as well as a chance to witness a remarkable feat of engineering and architecture. Whether you choose to admire it from afar or walk across it yourself, you will surely be amazed by the beauty and mystery of the Nine Arch Bridge.

Work Cited:
(1) Nine Arch Bridge | Wonders of Ceylon. https://www.wondersofceylon.com/nine-arch-bridge/
(2) Nine Arch Bridge – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Arch_Bridge
(3) Nine-arched Bridge – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine-arched_Bridge