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The Incredible Ella to Kandy Train



The ten-hour train journey from Ella to Colombo, via Kandy, is extraordinary. From our train window we enjoyed the incredible diversity of the Sri Lankan landscape and people. Having begun high up in the green tea plantations of the hill country, we passed rail-side cricket matches, busy Tuk Tuk traffic at level-crossings, elaborately decorated temples and shrines of various religions, and sprawling rice fields. We stopped everywhere from tiny hamlets of shack-dwelling tea pickers, to the busy, contrasting cities of Kandy and Colombo. Even the weather changed, from bright blue sky, to thick grey mizzle, to an impressive pink and purple sunset.


Passengers on the train next to us


Michael Portillo eat your heart out

The train winds past a Hindu temple

Railside cricket match

Tuk Tuk traffic at a level crossing

Two local children excitedly wave at the train passengers


A Tamil woman carries a slow cooker on her head...perhaps to avoid the rain

I loved this man sitting amongst his bananas...one of the sights from our window




We were joined on the journey by drum players, smartly dressed railway staff and vendors selling peanuts, popcorn, curries, lottery tickets, samosas, and most importantly mangoes!



A man peeling mangoes on the train platform

One of the many food vendors about to board our train


Having already discovered that Sri Lankan mangoes are the best fruits in the world, I couldn’t resist to buy one from the on-board mango vendor! Of course, it was as delicious as expected and I only wish that trains at home offered mangoes on the move.



I just wish you could eat the seed as well!

While winding through the Sri Lankan hillside we also discovered Sri Lankan samosas…

Anna particularly enjoyed them, claiming that they were her favourite thing she had eaten in Sri Lanka. When the samosa salesman came round for the third time, we couldn’t resist buying another bag, that’s when we discovered that six samosas were five too many…

To quote Anna: ‘Please never say the word samosa ever again!’


When Anna discovered that you can eat too many samosas!

The Ella to Kandy train certainly earns its place on the ‘things to do in Sri Lanka’ list. It was such a highlight that James and I are already planning our next trip.




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