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Sri Lanka, the Land of Delights 

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Must Visit Locations

Ella, the paradise village in central highlands of Sri Lanka

Paragliding, Canoeing, Trekking, Camping & Rock Climbing

Must Visit

The little tropical island is blessed with a great variety of beautiful landscapes. Ella, (meaning water fall in Sinhalese) aptly named in the backdrop of numerous waterfalls, small & large, which crash, gush or trickle down the mountainous terrain, is a beguiling village sitting tight & pretty at the southern ridge of the Central highlands of salubrious climate. Such is the natural beauty of the village, Ambiente Guest House therein carries a piece of graffiti saying that the village is a possible experiment by the God prior to his creation. Shot! The sole tourist attraction of the village is its natural beauty. The small, sedate & pretty cool (with apologies to my nieces, I try to pick up their vocabulary) village is nestled in a magnificent valley peering straight through the opening amongst an idyllic green mountain ranges, right down to the coastal plain nearly 1000m below, & over to the coast. On a clear night, you can view the Kirinda lighthouse. That is, as the crow flies (the direct distance) that is 77 km far. The Ella Gap. An attractive scatter of pretty little cottages & bungalows with their flower filled gardens in this vantage point of Ella with perfect climate soothes your mind & rest your day to day anxieties.

The Ella Gap

We take the one & only street of the village and stroll meanderingly along the gentle downhill, while passing hotels, guest houses, cafes, and restaurants. We finally reach the escarpment. The Ella Gap Right down is treacherous sheer sided downhill highway of Wallawaya, all the way down to Hambantota (274 km) of the southern coast.

British Colonial Secretary of Ceylon (1845-1850), Sir James Emerson Tennent narrates of Elle:

Perhaps there is not a scene in the world which combines sublimity and beauty in a more extraordinary degree than that which is presented at the Pass of Ella, where, through an opening in the chain of mountains, the road from Badulla descends rapidly to the lowlands, over which it is carried for upwards of seventy miles, to Hambantota, on the south coast of the island. The ride to Ella passes for ten or twelve miles along the base of the hills thickly wooded, except in those where the forest has been cleared for planting coffee. The view therefore obstructed, and at one point appears to terminate in an impassable glen; but on reaching this the traveler is startled on discovering a ravine through which a torrent has forced its way, disclosing a passage to the plains below, over which, for than sixty miles, the prospect extends, unbroken by a single eminence, till, far in the distance, the eye discerns a line of light, which marks where the sunbeams are flashing on the waters of the Indian Ocean

Trekking at Ella

As if the magnificent view through Ella Gap wouldn't do, Ella provides enchanting trekking opportunities with spectacular sceneries among the tea plantations, temples, pine forests and waterfalls. Ella is an excellent base for keen trekkers to explore & discover the surrounding countryside. The largest mountain of the mountain range, Little Adam's Peak can be reached through a tea estate. We can also visit Uva Halpewaththa Tea Factory. We will stroll down the Ella Gap along the railway track & close to an iron bridge is Rawana Ella Falls (90m) which plunge magnificently down a series of rock faces. We can even climb over the rocks up the falls escorted by monkeys scampering up & down the rocks. A path close to the safe bathing area tempts you to trekking in that direction too. Still more, we will organize paragliding, canoeing, camping & rock climbing.

The legendary trailblazing rocker: Lord Hanuman with his tail on fire

The most famous Cliff hanger ever in Ella was Lord Hanuman. In search of Sita, consort of Lord Rama, the general of the non-human Vanara tribe combed the Central highlands of Lanka, dodging the showers of fire arrows by courtesy of King Rawana's sentry posts. His tail was set on fire. But no fire would set him back: he found Sita, carried the message to Lord Rama; built a floating bridge over the seas from Rameswaram to Dhanushkody; brought a whole mountainside from Himalayas to Lanka in his search for a herb that would heal Lord Laksmana mortally wounded in the battle; bore the brunt of the enemy attack; spearheaded the front lines by the side of Lord Rama & Lakshman & won. That's what you call a friend. And, by god, he was a lord too to the boot. But then Rama was an incarnation of God Vishnu; an epitome of virtue. Superior characters will have superior friends.

For your eyes only, darling!

Off the road & on a steep & slippery track is a small temple & at the end in a cleft in the mountain that rises to Ella Rock is the cave where King Rawana held Lord Rama's consort, Sita, hidden from all prying eyes & only for the eyes of King Rawana. The Indian epic Ramayana is now memorialized in the names of various guest houses as well as in the Rawana Ella Falls. The guest houses Rawana Holiday Resort & Rawana Heights are perched on hill above the village.

Homo sapiens Balangodensis

For your long trekking, at the top of the rock, you'll be rewarded with a stunning view. Excavations at caves unearthed prehistoric remains of human skeletons & tools dating from 8000 to 2500 BC. The skeletons belong to Homo sapiens Balangodensis.

Kissing in the dark

We can get onto a train at Ella railway station & enjoy the ride to Demodara where the railway track performs a complete loop right around hillside & tunnels under itself at a level 30m lower. Our numerous (you lose count) tunnels are not lit & you will be in dark for half a minute. This is part of the 200km Colombo (sea level) - Badulla (680m - in Central highlands) winding twisting, & ever ascending railway track that runs along spectacular sceneries. Diesel trains, not electric trains, ours is a poor country, remember...?

The finest dessert of the world

Most of the hotels & guesthouses in Ella provide excellent views & some are located where we could enjoy the magnificent view of "The Ella Gap". Ambiente, Hill top Guest House, Grand Ella Motel, Rock view Guest House, Tea garden Hotel Inn are among those. Not the least of Ella's attractions are guest houses & hotels. Front lawns, grass mattings, leafy gardens, leafy verandas & leafy balconies with superb views. All the guest houses serve authentic Sri Lankan home cooking. Traditional Rice & curry as well as Malay-Dutch Lampreis, rice & curry wrapped & cooked in a banana leaf. The finest home cooked Sri Lanka dishes in the island is served in these small guesthouses. Home grown coffee is served in all guesthouses some of which has its own spice gardens & vegetable patches. Once again the finest dessert of the world: Curd, a kind of yogurt made of coagulated Buffalo milk served with generous lashings of Kitul Palm honey. Aha! Can I have some more please?

Belihul Oya River

River nearby too offers camping sites run by tour operators. Right by the river the camping site is tastefully set among the trees with the gushing rock strewn river running below.

A walk through paddy fields along a small path leads us to a man-made rainwater reservoir called Samanalaweva (meaning Butterflies tank) rainwater reservoir. Still further is the famous Bambarakanda water falls (263 m), the island's tallest waterfall.

Sri Lanka Hotel Guide - Hotel Information, Special Offers, News and Trends and much more

Sri Lanka Travel Guide - Travel Information, Special Offers, News and Trends and much more

Photo Gallery

click on photo to enlarge

The Ella Gap

Ella Railway Tracks

Little Adam's Peak

View from Little Adam's Peak

Ella Adventure Park

Wooden Bridge at Ella

Rawanna Ella Falls

Canoeing in Samanalaweva

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