Ella, Sri Lanka, is a little hamlet in the hills, home to various attractions, including hills, cascades, tea estates, and good fresh air. Travellers frequently cite Ella as one of their favourite accommodations and attest to the breathtaking scenery it offers. This is the perfect location for various walks, including some of the most amazing ones the nation provides, including the Mini Adams peaks. In essence, this hidden village has become very well-known among travellers. We have listed the most popular places to visit in Ella and surrounding areas for your dream bucket list to explore during the Sri Lanka holiday.
1. Nine Arch Bridge – Ella
The Nine Arch Bridge is a testament to the design and engineering genius of the 20th century. People who want to walk along the Bridge will be provided with rolling hills and dense rainforest views to appreciate its prime location between the Ella and Demodara railway stations.
When the Badulla-Colombo railway was being built, two significant hills were combined by the Nine Arch Bridge, also referred to as the “Bridge in the Sky.” The Bridge above is 300 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 80 to 100 feet tall. It is one of the nation’s outstanding representations of railway construction from the colonial era. To get to the Bridge, take Gotuwala road for 2 kilometres starting at the Halpe Textile Center on Badulla Bandarawela road. Due to the Bridge’s innovative architecture and the abundance of flora in the adjoining hills, the neighbourhood has experienced a steady increase in tourists.
Examining the train schedule in advance is reasonable because it is best to get outside when the trains are moving quickly. Also, bring your reliable camera to capture every scene that unfolds in front of you.
2. Mini Adams peak – Ella
The most private and unspoilt climb in Ella is to Mini Adams Peak. Unless you can take the bus to Passara or a tuk-tuk, you can hike from Ella town to the entry in about 15 minutes.
The entry is located at the third milepost, immediately to your right after the Flower Garden Resort, on Passara Road, if you are starting from Ella town.
Little Adams Peak, Punchi Siri Pada, and Small Adams Peak also know it. It is 1141 metres high, and the climb there can take between 30 and 45 minutes from the trail. However, the vistas are magnificent from the summit. For any traveller, the beautiful 360-degree views and the encroaching mists are a pleasure.
3. Ella Rock
Ella Rock is a challenging trek that is best left to slightly more experienced hikers or, at the very least, the more daring. The entire hike lasts roughly four hours. From Ella’s main settlement, one can travel to Ella Rock. You will pass tea plantations, railway tracks, and a tiny eucalyptus forest on your journey before arriving at the summit, which has been cleared so you may take in the breathtaking views. You can see Ella Gap, Little Adam’s Peak, Ella town, and more from the summit. It would help if you observed the dawn from a mountaintop while in Sri Lanka at least once, and Ella Rock is the ideal location for this. So, early in the morning, hike to the summit to catch the sunrise.
It is an unforgettable experience to witness the sky transform from a deep purple to a pinkish-orange colour, especially for early risers who catch the sunrise from the peaks. This is a must-do while visiting Ella.
4. Nil Diya Pokuna and cave – Ella
An underground cave acquisition known as Nil Diya Pokuna and caves is thought to be related to the King Ravana tale. 100 metres underground.
The site’s main attraction is the underground pond with bright blue water extending far into the rock. Get a knowledgeable guide to accompany you on the rugged descent, which winds through confined spaces and over damp cliff edges.
5. Kurullangala Prehistoric Cave Arts – Ella
Karandagolla Prehistoric Cave Arts in the Badulla District, close to Ella. Approaching the summit is not apparent, but once there, stunning buildings made of cave art are arranged in such a breathtaking panorama that you question if you are indeed there. The exquisite rock art, which is thought to be older than 5000 years, is done with accuracy and features kind birds, peacocks, human forms, and unidentifiable rock art.
The route to the summit begins in the bushes accessible from the main Ella Wellawaya road. That entails climbing rocks. Therefore, a knowledgeable guide and any required climbing gear, such as ropes and harnesses, are needed.
6. Dova Temple – Ella
The Dova Temple is one of the must-see attractions in Ella, Sri Lanka, since it provides visitors with a glimpse into the area’s rich heritage. This revered Buddhist monument, also known as the Dova Raja Maha Viharaya, is a 15 to 20-minute drive from Ella and offers a fascinating trip through history.
The Dova Temple, built during King Walagamba’s reign in the first century B.C., is surrounded by the lush green scenery of Ella. The towering 38-foot-tall Buddha statue is the most stunning feature of this place. Though it is incomplete, this magnificent monument carved into the rock has withstood the test of time and has silently guarded the location throughout the years.
7. Ravana Cave – Ella
About 2 kilometres from the city of Ella, the Ravana Cave was discovered. It is a relatively small cave, about 50 feet wide, 150 feet long, and 60 feet high. According to Chronicle, King Rawana uses the cave to shield Princess Sita.
One of Sri Lanka’s most popular tourist destinations with historical value, the cave is located 1,370 metres above sea level at the foot of a hill.
According to the legend, King Rawana allegedly used it to shield Princess Sita. The Dowa rock temple in Bandarawela is also connected to the cave. A 20,000 BC human skull was discovered in archaeological remains.
8. Rawana waterfalls – Ella
One of the stunning waterfalls in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country is the Rawana waterfall. It is a part of the Ella region. You can see that Rawana Falls has a top-rated tourist destination.
Rawana Falls originates at Kirindi Oya. The elevation of Rawana Falls is 3445 feet above sea level. The waterfall is 25 metres (82 ft) tall. This spectacular waterfall is part of the Rawana Falls Wildlife Reserve and is surrounded by oval and concave rocks. Books with out-of-date material may contain some legends about Ella. The original Rama Ravana mythology states that King Ravana kidnapped Princess Sita and took refuge in a cave close to this waterfall.
9. Flying Ravana Zipline
A well-liked tourist destination in Ella, Sri Lanka, the Flying Ravana zipline offers an exhilarating zipline experience that crosses over a lovely valley. It is named for the Hindu mythological figure Ravana, who is claimed to have flown with his enchanted chariot. The zipline is around 500 metres long and has an 80 km/h top speed.
10. Peessa Ella Waterfalls
One of several beautiful waterfalls in the Badulla, Uva area is Peessa Ella. Unknown to most people, the Peessa Ella waterfall rises 45 metres and is fed by an aquifer at the summit of Lunugala Mountain. Additionally, the water enters the Kurakkan Oya, which crosses Madolsima. Peessa Falls cascade splits into two streams when it rains due to the increased water volume.
The term “peessa” in old Sinhala, which describes a gathering of people, is used to describe Peessa Ella Fall. It is said that this is where King Dutugamunu organized labourers to erect holy structures. The 5-kilometre Peessa Canal permanently irrigates the farming community with about 20 hectares of land. There is a slight fall before the canal’s beginning.
11. Badulla Dutch Fort (Old Welekade Market)
The Old Welekade Market, once known as the Badulla Dutch fort, is located in the Badulla neighbourhood. Badulla-Bandarwela Road is close by. Ella and Old Welekade Market are only 21.6 kilometres apart, or a quick 40-minute drive.
Since June 6th, 2008, it has been a protected structure. The building is currently under the supervision of Sri Lanka’s Archeological Department. Some claim that the British built this structure in 1889, but others claim that the Dutch used it as a castle or stronghold.
It is acknowledged as one of the deeds carried out in the Badulla district after the British and Sri Lankan leaders signed the Kandyan Convention in 1818. It has wooden arches in the British style that are still visible today, a high central roof, and a lower roof with four openings. In addition, an octagonal primary compound and four cross-shaped yards may be found in the interior.
12. Bogoda wooden bridge and Temple – Badulla
The historic Bogoda wooden bridge is located in the Badulla neighbourhood, not far from Hali Ella town. It dates back to the Dambadeniya kingdom era and is known as the nation’s oldest wooden Bridge (1220–1345 AD).
Without using any iron nails, the Bridge was initially constructed from wood.
Near the Bogoda Temple, the Bridge is constructed over the Loggal Oya. According to legends, the early Sinhalese kingdom used the old Badulla-Kandy road.
13. Dunhinda WaterFalls – Badulla
The 63m-tall Dunhinda Falls is, without a doubt, one of Sri Lanka’s most magnificent waterfalls. It is one of the top tourist destinations in the nation due to the natural beauty of the fall and the surroundings. About 5 kilometres north of Badulla City, a waterfall called Dunhinda Falls was created by an adult Oya. When the water cascades into a sizable pool on the ground, it creates a cloud of smoke, hence the name “Dunhinda” in Sinhala, which means smoke.
You must walk around 1.5 kilometres from the entrance gate to the waterfall. It’s a fascinating experience to see wild birds, butterflies, monkeys, and deer in their native habitats while walking to Dunhinda.
14. Narangala Mountain Range
Due to the cultural and environmental effects of the Narangala Mountain Range, the Badulla district is home to one of the top tourist destinations. Narangala is well-known among residents and visitors for hiking and camping because of the breathtaking 360-degree view from the mountain’s summit. It’s the perfect place for night campers because of the chilly breeze and misty weather. The Namunukula Mountain range is higher than it by about 150 metres, making it the second-highest mountain in the Uva Province. Narangala stands out among the nearby mountains due to its distinctive rectangular plateau and triangle peak. A gap that has arisen between the valleys of Uma Oya and Bandulu Oya is pointed out by its placement at the edge of Uva.
15. Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya – Badulla
In the middle of the city of Badulla is the Muthiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya. The seventh of Sri Lanka’s sixteen sacred sites is Muthiyangayana Chethiya.
Lord Buddha and 500 other Thero to Kelaniya visited the island for the third time at the request of Naga King Maniakkika. King Indika, the monarch of the Namunukula mountain range at the time, invited Buddha to Badulla on the same trip, and Buddha accepted. On the spot where Buddha delivered his discourses in the Badulla area, the king constructed a stupa to house some of the Buddha’s hair and mukthaka Dathu (sweat droplets transformed into pearls).
16. Lipton’s Seat
The most well-known attraction in Haputale is Lipton’s Seat. It is located one hour from the town of Haputale. If you want to take some similar pictures, try to get ready to go early to this location. Unless the hills of Lipton’s Seat are entirely obscured by fog, from early to afternoon, fog can roll at any time.
17. Adisham Bungalow – Haputale
Formerly Sir Thomas Lester Villiers’ country estate, the Adisham Bungalow is now home to the Adisham Monastery of St. Benedict. The Adisham Bungalow is one of the most scenic spots in the area and is only 3 miles from Haputale town.
Built in 1931, the Tudor-style home was modelled after Leeds Castle in Kent. Sir Thomas Villiers even gave it his birthplace name, and it has all the trappings you’d expect to find in an English castle. For example, the Bungalow had an excellent library filled with ancient, dusty books that the planter treasured. There is a guest house next door where people are more than welcome to stay, but access to the entire house is restricted, and visitors are only allowed to see the living room and library.
Only available to tourists during weekends, holidays, and school breaks.
18. Bambarakanda waterfall – Haputale
The Bambarakanda waterfall, with a 263-meter steep drop, is the tallest cascade in Sri Lanka. The tallest cascade in the world is ranked 299th on the global list. The Kalupahana Haputale’s Badulla District is sandwiched between an evergreen forest.
This waterfall plummets like a thin cable from a rocky crag but is not comprehensive. Instead, the Kuda Oya branch of the Walawe River and the Uduweriya Haputale mountain combine to form the fall.
19. Andrew’s Church – Haputale
In 1869, St. Andrew’s Church in Haputale was destroyed during service; it is now used as the sister church of the Ascension in Bandarawela.
The church’s founding priest was the late Rev. W.J.P. Waltham, the vicar of the Church of the Ascension from 1909 to 1932. A sizable English population attended this church when Sri Lanka was still under British administration. In addition, numerous European planters from the area regularly attended Church services, and the European garrison frequented St. James’ Church in Diyatalawa. When Tamil priests were subsequently appointed, services were held in both English and Tamil. Regular attendees at these churches included the late Archbishop, Rt. Rev. Rollo-Graham Campbell.
20. Diyaluma WaterFall – Haputale
One may witness the magnificent Diyaluma waterfalls tumbling like sheets of paper along the mountain adjacent to Koslanda, Haputale. However, most people miss this second-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka, which may reach a height of 220 metres. This waterfall, in contrast to the others you will pass as you travel through Sri Lanka’s hill area, is still a hidden jewel that few visitors visit. But if you’re daring, you might try climbing the mountain from the bottom up, which would involve some exertion and risks.
21. World’s End – Horton Plains
According to World’s End, this location in Sri Lanka has the most significant gap. The vast Horton Plains bioregion of Sri Lanka, which borders the districts of Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, and Ratnapura, was where it was located. This area showcases Sri Lanka’s diverse biodiversity. This trail ascends through pine stands, grasslands, Montana brush patches, tea farms, and finally into a cloud brush to reach Worlds End, with a great variety of terrain, weather, vegetation, etc. In addition, one can see Balangoda, which is located somewhat beneath your vantage point.
22. Horton Plains National Park
The most significant catchment area for nearly all of Sri Lanka’s major rivers is connected by Horton Plain, surrounding woods, and Peak Wilderness. The ecosystems, indigenous flora, and animals that symbolize the montane and moist zones of the country are also well represented in the tables.
The Horton Plains are a gently sloping highland slope near the southern tip of Sri Lanka’s central mountain range. It is governed by Mount Totupola Kanda (2,357m), which is to the north, and Mount Kirigalpotta, which is to the west (2,389m). Two mountains that have risen from the Horton Plain have greatly improved the awe-inspiring countenance of this 884m “world’s end.”
23. Babaragala Pathana
Bambaragala Pathana is situated in the Badulla District of Sri Lanka’s Uva Province. It is roughly 967 metres tall. About 19 miles from Ella town is where you’ll find the Bambaragala Pathana. For campers and mountaineers, Bambaragala Pathana is a fantastic location.
If you’re coming from Badulla, take the buses for Passara, Moneragala, Ampara, and Pitamaruwa to the 10th post. Take the buses to Namunukula or Bandarawela from the post-ten. Arrive at the club junction and exit.
If you’re coming from Bandarawela, take a Passara bus and get out at the Club Junction.
24. The Pekoe Trail
The Pekoe Trail, a more than 300-kilometre walking path that winds through Sri Lanka’s hills, is the first of a group of destination-based walking trails that Serendipity Trails identifies throughout the island. The interconnected trail network is the first of a series of walking routes that will let tourists explore the diverse geography, history, culture, cuisine, and local community on foot, either in small doses or over several days.
25. Namunukula Mountain Hike
The mountain known as Namunukula is located in Badulla, the capital of Sri Lanka’s Uva Province. It is the tallest peak in the province and ranks as the 12th highest mountain in the nation, with a height of 2,035 metres above sea level. Namunukula, which means “nine peaks,” represents this mountain range’s points by its name.
A 40 km west-east Uva tea plantation stretches from Horton Plains to Passara around the mountain. Take the Ella-Passara Road from Ella and proceed past the towns of Balleketuwa and Passara until you reach Namunukula.
In Sri Lanka’s Uva province, there is a historic Buddhist temple called Buduruwagala. The complex of seven statues represents the Mahayana school of philosophy. The statues were created during the tenth century. There are still remnants of the enormous Buddha statue’s original stuccoed garment, and a long streak of orange paint reveals that it was previously vibrantly decorated. The Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, a representative of Buddhism, is regarded as the trio’s primary figure to, the Buddha’s right. A female figure in the thrice-bent position is to the left of this white-painted figure; it is believed to represent Tara, his consort.
Due to its picturesque attractiveness, the area near the upcountry line’s Idalgashinna train station is quickly growing in popularity with both domestic and foreign tourists. Despite the windy weather and other climatic factors, it is becoming a well-liked camping area. The Hambantota sea, Kataragama, Tissamaharama, the Dondra lighthouse, Samanalawewa in the Ratnapura district, Udawalawe tank, and Haggala gardens can all be seen in their entirety on a clear day.
Approximately 45 minutes can be spent walking from the Idalgashinna railway station to the campground. Winding trails through tea plantations and pinus trees make up the picturesque trek to the location.
One can reach the spot through the Thangamale tea estate, located off the Haputale-Welimada route via the Bowawatta-Idalgashinna road. It can also be reached from the Kirinda junction off the Welimada-Haputale highway across Maligatenna.
The Poonagala Hills are a collection of low-lying hills in Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands. Even though the rolling green tea fields, attractive flowers, and vibrant tea pluckers are fairly lovely in and of themselves, the region is famous for four exceptionally particular locations that offer breathtaking views of the island. While these viewpoints—Pilkington Point, Millennium Point, Lipton’s Seat, and St. Catherine’s Seat—were already well-known to the people from many years ago, they rose to prominence as well-liked tourist destinations during the British tea growers’ heydey more than 150 years ago. The highlands also contain other fascinating attractions like the Dambatenna Tea Estate and Diyaluma Falls, fed by Poonagala Oya.
In the Badulla district’s Passara, there is a colony called Madulsima. Madulsima is most well-known among explorers for trekking and camping because of the stunning mountains and the lovely natural surroundings. Located between 700 and 1000 metres above sea level, Madulsima Mountain is 380 metres high. The Roseberry Estate has the mountain’s highest point. At the end of this estate is Mini World’s End, a well-known tourist destination in Madulsima known as Pitamaruwa Mini World’s End. In the Uva province, there is a heavenly place that is elevated and primarily obscured by mist, giving the impression that you are travelling amid clouds.
30. Thangamale Bird Sanctuary
The Thangamale bird sanctuary lies in the Uva province’s Beragala district, adjacent to the city of Haputale. The Glennanore Tea Estate’s Thangamale, popularly known as the “Golden Mountain,” and the location of the bird sanctuary are both off the usual road. It was established as a protected area in 1938 and covered 131 hectares. However, it is more like a highland woodland with walking trails. The Adisham Hall to Idalgashinna Railway Station walking path, which is 4.3 km long and runs along the edge, allows visitors to travel through the rainforest.
Numerous birds, butterflies, and other wildlife creatures call the sanctuary home. Aside from the fauna, Thangamale also offers breathtaking views of the rolling hills and tea estates. The refuge is home to both widespread and rare kinds of birds. In Sri Lanka, you must visit this stunning location with breathtaking views from the top hill and the pathway.
The Ways to reach Thangamale Sanctuary travel north to Haputale along the Beragala-Hali Ela Highway from Ella, passing through Kumbalwela and Bandarawela. Then, to get to the Thangamale Sanctuary, take the Keppetipola, Boralanda, and Haputale Road up to Beragala.
Ohiya is a lovely tiny town in the Sri Lankan countryside in the Badulla District. This rural community, located at around 1774 metres above sea level, is surrounded by beautiful scenery and spectacular vistas wherever your gaze wanders. On a clear day, Sri Lanka’s southern coast can be seen from the Ohiya Gap/Dondra Watch. The 67th station on the Mainline between Colombo and Badulla is Ohiya Railway Station. It was established in 1893 and is currently Sri Lanka’s third-highest railway station.
Ohiya is primarily known as a trekking and natural hotspot and is the best place for individuals with a fetish for trekking, climbing, and mountaineering, mainly through lush, thick green forests surrounded by heavy fog that sends chills down your spine. The village is one of the most well-known off-the-beaten-path locations for tours popular with backpackers, lone travellers, and people looking to lose themselves in nature. In addition, it is a pleasant retreat for individuals frantically looking for ways to unwind their souls. These people are typically bored of the chaotic city life and wish to escape it.
Along the Colombo-Badulla major road, 183 kilometres from Colombo, is the lovely tiny town of Beragala. From Beragala, you can see sights like Hambantota, Embilipitiya, Kataragama, and Yala from the stunning southeast perspective. Local and international visitors are drawn to this location to take in the breathtaking sunrise view. From here, you can quickly travel the Koslanda Road to Haputale and Wellawaya through Diyaluma Falls. Additionally, you can travel along Boralanda from Haputale to Lokanthaya and Ambewela Nuwara Eliya. One of the crucial crossroads in Sri Lanka is the Beragala Junction, from which it is simple to get to Bandarawela through Haputale & Diyatalawa. This well-known Beragala crossroads, which connects the A4 and A16 highways, is divided.
33. The Devil’s Staircase
The name “the Devil’s Staircase” has been given to numerous artificial and natural formations worldwide. Sri Lanka features one of the most hazardous tracks, with sharp zig-zag curves that are steep and difficult to travel yet very exciting. One of Sri Lanka’s most well-liked hiking and jeep trails, the Devil’s Staircase track is adorned with the tranquilly of the hill region. This stairway is a hiker’s paradise because of the degree of difficulty and the breathtaking view of the green mountains.
The typical starting point for hikers’ journeys is Bambarakanda Rest. The hike is best started early in the morning to catch a stunning sunrise reflected off the waters of Bambarakanda Falls and reenergize yourself for the day’s hike. The walk will pass past exquisite green tea estates as you near the Devil’s Staircase’s conclusion. A highlight of the Devil’s Staircase climb is passing through the “V Cut,” a channel carved out of the slope to allow the road to pass through. You will encounter a challenging portion that signals the end of your journey just before leaving the Ohiya road.
34. Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory Tour-Ella
The factory, constructed in 1940 while Britain was still in power, is placed 1,230 metres above sea level in the chilly Uva region, 200 kilometres from Colombo, and six kilometres from Ella, a charming small town in the Uva province. The tea factory, which at the time produced just 20,000 kg per month, was purchased by Mr A.P.D. Abeyrathne, Chairman of U.H.E Group, in 1970. The factory was recognized as the biggest tea producer in the Uva region of Sri Lanka in 2008. It has expanded significantly in just three and a half decades, from its modest beginnings with a production capacity of 20,000 kg per month, powered by 15 workers and two lorries, to its current impressive turnout of 150,000 kilograms per month, with over 40 lorries collecting tea per day and a workforce of over 300 workers. The factory, surrounded by verdant tea fields, provides a variety of activities, including tea picking, hiking through lush tea gardens, learning about the tea-making process, and, to cap out the tea adventure, savouring your cup of tea.
35. Kandy to Ella Train Experience ( Ella Odyssey )
A beautiful 7-hour train ride through tea plantations, jungle, and mountains connects Kandy and Ella. As you travel farther, you ascend higher and higher into the lush, undulating highlands, with large tea plantations and numerous picturesque hilltop villages and waterfalls. The train stops at several tourist attractions for the first time in Sri Lanka, allowing guests to disembark and explore the sites.
More Details: Ella Odyssey Train