Colombo to Kandy train

The Colombo to Kandy train journey and Kandy to Badulla rail journey is so enchantingly lovely that it’s turned into the list of must-do experiences for tourists in Sri Lanka.

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Sri Lanka hill country train

You will be awakened by the forlong, sound of the train’s horn at each station. The brakes murmured and shrieked as the train chugged up the slope and manoeuvred into Radella, a scenic railway station with beautiful surrounding along the Sri Lanka hill country railway line. The Sri Lanka hill country train journey is considered one of the most lovely train journeys on the planet: the first part of this adventure is the Colombo to Kandy train ride and subsequently the journey from Kandy to Badulla.

Why is Colombo to Kandy train journey so special?

The train journey is captivating to the point that most travellers are glued to the doors and windows and do not remove their heads from the window so as not to miss the scenic beauty in the surrounding area. The hill country train journey is very popular among local and foreign travellers as it allows them to enjoy the natural beauty in Sri Lanka’s hill country.

The travellers are taken by awe at every minute of this fascinating train trip, they are constantly wondering about what comes next – is it a waterfall? A stupa or temple-like tea garden? Or then again is it a misty mountain? No one can say for sure. You simply need to continue to look.”

Distance and nature of the hill country train track

The 291km track takes in a blend of deep gorges, rocky cliffs, waterfalls, lakes and streams from Sri Lanka’s west coast into its hill country. It twists and bends through 46 tunnels, winding past a high montane overhang with stunning red rhododendrons and wild plants, a section of the hill country forest cover left immaculately by English colonizers. On a bright day, sun-drenched mountains stretch down to the sparkling southern shore from the train window as may be obvious.

This sluggish, 10-hour-long adventure may be badly designed for travellers with short stays in Sri Lanka, yet it’s so enchantingly picturesque that it’s turned into a list of must-do experiences for most guests. In addition to the breathtaking scenery. The train venture itself has turned into an Instagram sensation lately, with travel bloggers putting their lives in extreme danger to take photographs of themselves balancing off the doors as the train thunders past rickety bridges (some of them have been censured for their emotional postures). However, the excursion is likewise attached to Sri Lanka’s colonial history and provides travellers with a more profound outlook on Sri Lankan life.

Origin of Colombo to Kandy train track

During English colonization in the nineteenth century, Sri Lanka was the third-biggest Coffee exporter on the planet. As demand increased, it became costly to transport coffee on bullock carts from the hill country to Colombo for shipment, particularly with street conditions weakening during the rainy months. The planters had to store their product for a long period of time due to this reason, making the quality and value deteriorate. So English plantation proprietors pushed the government to build a railway track to transport coffee. In 1867, the English finished a rail route from the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka’s hill country to the low-country city of Colombo. According to historical notes, trains were used to transport goods in the early days, and the English didn’t build railway lines to assist local people to travel.

Where can I get the Colombo, Kandy train?

Colombo to Kandy train also known as hill country blue train ply many times a day. The train starts its journey from the Colombo railway station, which is the central railway station on the island and serves more than 200000 commuters every day. Taking the Kandy bound train is highly recommended as it allows you to get a seat without any major obstacles.

Distance of Colombo to Kandy train track

At the start, the train moves a bit quicker passing the muggy heat and low country farmlands. After about an hour the train starts a gradual climb towards the rough mountains in the region of Kandy. Slicing through the tough landscape, the train climbs over 426m over a 118km stretch, going through 12 man-made tunnels, embracing slippery bends along the mountains and taking off above thick tropical wilderness.

Duration of Colombo to Kandy train

Colombo to Kandy train journey last between 3-4 hours depending on the train you choose. The express trains reach Kandy in about a 3-hour journey from Colombo while slow trains may even take up to 5 hours to reach Kandy from Colombo. The slow train makes frequent stops and they are stopping virtually at every railway station between Colombo and Kandy. The express trains stop only at a few selected railway stations.

The hill country train ride beyond Kandy

After departing Kandy, the passengers pass fertile riverine valleys and enter Sri Lanka’s hill country. Tea grows at its best in these high elevated, damp, wet areas in the countries, thus, “when tea became prominent after the coffee rust plague – a fungus disease that destroyed the coffee industry [in 1869] – the English needed to stretch out the railroads to move tea from the mountains to Colombo.

During the 1870s, the English started to extend the rail route from Peradeniya, a railway track intersection close to Kandy, stretching out the track to the hill country station Badulla in 1924. This 178km- rail track includes tea plantations, forested mountains, steep ridges and a series of sharp bends and has sharp bends, bridges, tunnels, viaducts and embankments. It took 52 years to finish the railway line.

The train pushed out of the mountains, and over the course of the following three hours, the train pass little and well-kept British-period railway stations like Galboda and Watawala, which were fabricated exclusively to move tea from the plantations. The train sluggishly ascends and passes Hindu temples wrapped up in tea gardens, small settlements where the workers of the tea plantation reside, and turpentine forests covered in fog. after leaving Hatton – the entryway town to Adam’s Peak, a sacred mountain for all devotees of all four major religions of Sri Lanka – the train enters Poolbank Tunnel, the longest of the 46 tunnels found on this track, which is more than half a kilometres long.

From here, young travellers enthusiastically hung from the door to see the cascading waterfall, St Clair’s Falls through tea bushes. Cold air drifted in from the open windows and rising fog shrouded the transcending Great Western mountain range. a Large number of travellers usually get off the train at Nanu Oya railway station, a hill-country town near Nuwara Eliya, where travellers can visit the tea plantations and find out about the historical past of tea on the island; For here the train moves further up to Pattipola, the highest elevated railway station on a broad gauge railway line on the planet. From here, the travellers leave the cold central hills, going past dairy farms towards the sun-soaked south-eastern mountains.

Pattipola- the highest elevated railway station in Sri Lanka

After a few hours of driving from Pattipoal, the train pulls in at Ella. Over the last few decades, this sleepy town has turned into a popular hill country holiday destination with cafes and bars, hotels, guest houses and, restaurants. This lovely sleepy town is the home to the popular nine-arch bridge where people pose for photographs, a viaduct with nine curves that rises above tropical wildernesses of plantain trees and areca nut palms and has become perhaps of the most captured spot on the island.

Flanked by thick wilderness and tea gardens, the bridge was planned and built by local engineers, as the British government failed in its effort to procure the iron required to build the bridge. The bridge has been constructed using cement and stones.

The Nine arch bridge

Just after the second world War, there was a scarcity of iron in the world, and it was difficult to get iron from Europe, English architects needed to reexamine the plan of the bridge. Since British rulers had zero understanding of local building materials, a Sri Lankan manufacturer contributed to help. Local people finished the engineering marvel utilizing just blocks, stone and concrete.

The train finishes its journey at Badulla railway station, which is about a few minute’s drive from Ella railway station,
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