One of the main tourist attractions in Ella, Sri Lanka, the Nine Arches Bridge combines amazing natural scenery with one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in the country.
The Nine Arches Bridge is located on the Demodara loop, between Ella station and Demodara station, and spans 91 meters in length, at a height of 24m. The bridge was originally supposed to be constructed using steel, but the steel was reallocated to Britain's War related projects at the battlefront, and the bridge as a result was constructed using stone bricks and cement alone. Work on the bridge was finished in 1921.
How to get to the Nine Arches Bridge
There are a few ways to get to Nine Arch Bridge from Ella, each depending on your budget and time.
TheOn foot: We walked from Ella train station along the train tracks. This walk is moderately flat, and is by far the quickest and most direct route, taking around 25 minutes - affording you amazing views of forest and tree plantations along the whole route. When you pass a tunnel you will immediately reach the Nine Arch Bridge.
We returned to Ella by another route through the jungle, which can be accessed from Ella town by turning left at the parking spots after Art Cafe Umbrella, and following the path for about 10 minutes over undulating ground.
By tuk tuk: The easiest way to get to the Nine Arch Bridge is by tuk tuk from Ella town. You can get a tuk tuk most of the way to the bridge, then hike the remaining 5 minutes on foot.
The best viewpoints of Nine Arch Bridge
Surrounded by hills on both sides you can capture the scenic beauty from all angles, and trains arrive almost every hour to make for a great picture.
On the northern side of the bridge, looking towards the tunnel, there are multiple view points offering a full view of the full curve of the track and the train as it emerges from the tunnel.
Heading in the direction of the tunnel, you will find a path to the left that winds up through the jungle. This eventually leads to a clearing offering perfect views of the bridge, and a different perspective of the bridge.
Alistair is an avid traveller having been to over 40+ countries, covering four continents. He grew up on the Isle of Man but now calls London his home, having previously studied and worked in Manchester.
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