Top Picks for Sri Lanka


literally means waterfall in Sinhala and the name is right. It is a scenic tourist village up on the hills of Badulla, 200 kilometres (120 mi) east of Colombo and is situated at an elevation of 1,041 metres (3,415 ft) above sea level. Ella is surrounded by hills covered with cloud forests and tea plantations and has a much cooler temperature (average of 21.2 °C | 70.2 °F) than its surrounding lowlands due to its elevation. The Ella gap allows this climate to be maintained while providing a scenic vantage point to the Southern plains.
Ella can be reached via the Colombo-Badulla Highway or the Mainway Rail line from Colombo. The train station was opened in 1918 and it adds to the unique architecture of this picturesque village, total population of which is just over 44,000. The village is a perfect example for harmonious co-existence of the colonial history of the island and the rich Sinhala and Tamil culture existing in the area and binds them together to give you a unique experience which can only be had at Ella.
Ella provides an all-in-one package to any visitor who is willing to stop by and stay for a couple of days. There are walks along the tea plantations, visits to nearby temples, and welcoming cafes to enjoy a nice warm cup of tea while reading a book. The Ella gap which in a clear day shows the light houses situated on the Southern shoreline makes Ella a great spot for winding down.
When talking about Ella we cannot forget the Nine-Arch Bridge. Also called the Bridge in the sky is a 300ft, stone monolith built in 1921 by a local Ceylonese builder, P. K. Appuhami, in consultation with British engineers. It is situated between the Demodara and Ella Railway Stations. What makes this bridge unique is that it is built entirely of stone and cement without any steel as there was a steel shortage when the bridge was being built during the Great War.
The Ella Rock, Little Adam’s Peak and Bambaragala Rock are all easy climbs for those looking for a more scenic vantage point and provide a good hiking experience. Walking along the edges of Ravana Ella and Diyaluma Ella (second highest falls in the country) and soaking your feet in their cool water is definitely a to-do in your visit to this beautiful mountain village in this pearl island.