Kandy To Ella Train Ride (Complete Guide) – A Mesmerizing Experience
In my recent visit to Sri Lanka, I was spoilt with choices of places to visit. My first memory of Ella is a painting-like view that welcomes you as soon as you step into the city. From the beautiful Ravana falls to the different tea factories, what came next was nothing short of mesmerizing. However, I want to share something far more beautiful for my next blog – my experience in the Kandy to Ella train.
What I experienced in the Kandy to Ella train ride is something I will never forget. It’s filled with comfort, beauty, and delight and is something you can never experience anywhere else on this planet!
Let’s talk about the beautiful journey between these two destinations that everybody is so obsessed with, Kandy to Ella!
Kandy To Ella Train Ride
The Kandy to Ella train ride is for about 9-10 hours. The views on the way are worth staying wide awake, eagle-eyed, glaring outside the window. Cotton candy clouds, waterfalls cascading from mighty mountains, and tea plantations that you’ll remember every time you drink tea – you’ll be welcomed with all of this. And much more of this!
As the train journey started, a vast, green land appeared in front of me that quickly shifted to an enormous woodland forest before I could take my camera out (Pro tip: always keep your camera ready). Now and then, the train shot through tunnels that took me back to my childhood days filled with joy and surprise.
During my journey, I spent some time talking to the locals and understanding them better. Hearing stories of people belonging to different walks of life is my favorite thing to do. Naturally, these 9-10 hours went by beautifully.
Stepping out on the stations the train stopped was another promising memory. Looking at the hustle and bustle – vendors selling the local delicacies, people meeting their friends and family, some bidding their goodbyes, and some waiting; I learned so much about the local culture of Sri Lanka!
How To Get To The Kandy To Ella Train Ride:
There are three ways to experience the famous Kandy to Ella train ride. First, by train. You can hop on to the Kandy to Ella line from Columbo, which lies before Kandy and eventually leads towards Ella.
The second option is to take a bus. A famous curd shop from Ella is the leaving point for buses. Generally, buses leave at 9 AM every morning, but you can cross-check with the locals in case of any changes.
Third, you can take a taxi. A taxi is undoubtedly more convenient for the Kandy to Ella train ride as you can start from where you are and stop where you want to.
Before you book your tickets for the Kandy to Ella train ride, you should know the different categories and carriages you can choose from.
1. First Class
Like in every other train, the first class in the Kandy to Ella train ride is all about privacy, comfort, and allotted seats. You are surrounded by sophistication and luxury. However, you cannot open the doors and windows in these carriages, and the prices for these are much higher.
- Observation Carriage
Wide windows for the views, comfortable seats for luxury, and complete seclusion: the observation carriage provides a first-class experience. If you want to witness this, you’ll have to make your bookings months in advance.
However, this carriage is attached backward-facing towards the end of the train. So, I wouldn’t suggest this carriage to those who suffer from travel sickness.
Cost: The cost for a first-class ticket is around INR 1,200 – 1,300/-
2. Second Class
The seating for the second class in the Kandy to Ella train ride is also comfortable and fairly luxurious. There are two types of seats in the second class – reserved and unreserved.
- Reserved: The tickets for the reserved seats are higher than the unreserved seats. However, this will give you a guaranteed seat and save you from any quarrels.
- Unreserved: The unreserved seats offer the same comfort as second class, without guaranteed seats and more chaos. I’d suggest you opt for reserved seats during peak times.
Cost: The cost for a second-class ticket is around INR 600-700/-
3. Third Class
The third class in the Kandy to Ella train ride is the best for those traveling on a budget and who wish to interact with the locals. You can get the complete feel of the Kandy to Ella train ride in the truest form. You get the option of reserved and unreserved for third-class seats as well.
- Reserved: You get everything popular about the Kandy to Ella train ride – the views, the interaction, the mesmerizing experience! The best part is – you get all of this plus a reserved seat for yourself.
- Unreserved: Regular commuters and localities generally travel in unreserved classes. If you want to be local and stay among local, this is your best chance! The ticket prices for this carriage are the cheapest of all.
Cost: The cost for a first-class ticket is around INR 400-500/-
Booking The Kandy to Ella Train Ride Ticket:
- You’ll be stuck in a crowd if you don’t book your tickets well in advance. Remember to get a window ticket for this (right side, preferably)
- You can book the tickets only in person. You can check with your accommodation if they can help you book tickets at an extra charge.
- Only a handful of trains take you through this beautiful journey. I would advise you to begin your journey from Colombo.
Tips To Remember For The Kandy to Ella Train Ride
– First things first – get travel insurance for your entire trip. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
– Don’t let hunger get in the way of you and the beautiful views. Carry enough food with you before you start your journey. In a world that’s still recovering from COVID, I would suggest you bring your own food.
– The second-class seats give the perfect blend of comfort and views. As a luxury traveler, I prefer comfort and luxury. However, opting for the second-class tickets was my best decision!
– Take good care of all your belongings during the Kandy to Ella train ride.
– You’ll find tourists and locals alike on the train. So, be on your best behavior!
– There are two types of trains in Sri Lanka – the slow ones and the faster, “blue” ones. So pick carefully.
– Carry reusable water bottles and biodegradable wipes. Throw your trash in the bins, or keep them with you till you find one.
– Don’t forget to carry a power bank during your Kandy to Ella train ride.
Places To Visit During Your Kandy to Ella Train Ride:
Here are some of the pitstops you can make during the Kandy to Ella train ride:
Kandy, the second-largest city in Sri Lanka, is known for its pilgrimage destination possessing the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha. Kandy has enough and more tourist attractions, from temples to museums and waterfalls – there’s something for everyone!
About 140 kilometers away from Kandy lies a tear-shaped island surrounded by hills and waterfalls. Ella is the abode for those looking for a relaxed weekend or who love a good hike amidst nature.
3. Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya, or the “Little England,” is a must-visit place during your journey in the Kandy to Ella train ride. Filled with tea plantations and lots of greenery, Nuwara Eliya gave me views for days!
Who doesn’t like a good mix of old-school and rust. I certainty do! This small, underrated town is free of visitors and full of views – no matter when you go.
The entire Kandy to Ella train ride left me feeling fruitful and fresh. From the beautiful views to the friendly locals and tonnes of “instagrammable” pictures – the entire experience is something I’ll always remember. Experiencing something so unforgettable doesn’t happen every day, now, does it?
I hope you enjoyed reading this at least half as much as I enjoyed the experience! Let me know about your experience in the Kandy to Ella train ride in the comments section below.
For more such blogs, you can check out www.gulshanbafna.com or be a part of my Instagram community: @gulshanbafna. Eager to see you there!
FAQs – Kandy to Ella Train Ride
How much does train ride Ella to Kandy cost?
The cost of a train ride from Kandy to Ella depends on the train category you choose to travel to. The ticket in the first-class carriage costs INR 1,200 – 1,300/- which provides you with a comfortable experience. The second class ticket costs INR 600-700/- and the third class ticket will cost you INR 400-500/-
How long is the train journey from Kandy to Ella?
The longer the ride, the more you can enjoy the views that you see on the way! The Kandy to Ella train ride is generally for 6 hours. However, including the stops in between may even take over 10 hours.
How many stops are there between Kandy to Ella train ride?
There are three steps between the train ride from Kandy to Ella! After Kandy, the first stop is the Hatton Railway Station, with Sri Lanka’s most sacred peak, Adam’s Peak. The second step is to Nanu Oya Railway Station, the mountain town of Sri Lanka and the third stop is the Haputale Railway Station.
What is the Kandy to Ella train schedule?
The Kandy to Ella train ride starts from Colombo Fort Railway Station and then goes to Peradeniya Railway Station before reaching Peradeniya Railway Station. The next station is the Kandy Railway Station, after which you will get the Hatton Railway Station, with Sri Lanka’s most sacred peak, Adam’s Peak. Before reaching Ella, the Nanu Oya Railway Station and the Haputale Railway Station are next stops. After Ella, there is one more stop, the Badulla Railway Station.
What is the most scenic train ride in Sri Lanka?
The most scenic ride in Sri Lanka is the train ride from Kandy to Ella. The ride takes approximately 6 to 10 hours, and costs start from Rs. 300/- in the third class and goes upto 1,300/- for a ticket in the first class.