Earlier this week, we boarded the blue train from Kandy towards Ella, hoping for some respite from the rain that had enveloped Kandy. Little did I know then that thanks to the rain, we were going to witness one of the most spectacular train journeys I’ve done in all of Asia. We chugged up the hill country of Sri Lanka, winding along tea plantations, forests, waterfalls, streams, rivers, sleepy villages, and mountain tunnels.
Here’s a glimpse of this journey through my lens, taken with the Canon IXUS point and shoot:
1. RIDING THE BLUE TRAIN IN SRI LANKA
through its postcard countryside, a little like the toy train in the Indian Himalayas and Western Ghaats.
2. WATCHING THE RAIN
paint the hill country a lush green through the train window. It rains all year round in this part of Sri Lanka, and the light rain makes the journey even more spectacular.
3. WINDING ALONG THE TEA PLANTATIONS
of Sri Lanka to realize that with a terrain so pristine, it’s no wonder that the country produces some of the world’s finest tea!
4. STOPPING AT QUAINT LITTLE RAILWAY STATIONS
to catch a glimpse of life, as it unfolds on the Sri Lankan countryside.
5. CROSSING SLEEPY SRI LANKAN VILLAGES
where life could pass by just watching the clouds flirt with the tea-covered hills.
6. MUNCHING ON “SHORT EATS”
(fresh breads stuffed with veggies), peanuts, and KIK Cola (Sri Lanka’s version of Coke), and chatting with fellow passengers about romancing the rains in Sri Lanka’s hill country.
7. GAZING AT THE MIST
and realizing that your thoughts are as foggy as the scenery outside.
8. SPOTTING STUNNING WATERFALLS
among the tea plantations of Sri Lanka, and longing to cool under the gushing waters.
9. GAPING WHEN THE MIST RISES
because it hid beneath such stunning landscapes as no one warned you Sri Lanka would have!
10. FEELING THE WIND IN MY HAIR
as the landscapes transform, and never cease to take my breath away.
Have you taken the train to Ella? What’s the most spectacular train ride you’ve ever done?
Note: All pictures in this photo essay were taken by the Canon IXUS, given to me for a product review by Canon India.
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Welcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, “sustainability influencer,” social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism consultant and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who believes that travel – if done right – has the power to change us and the world we live in.
Hey! They are awesome pictures! (Thanks to Canon and you!)
When you are back and are missing this ride- try taking the Konkan railways- very similar picturesque scenes. Goa-Karnataka-Kerala almost parallel to the coastline…. The hills-clouds-tunnels-unexpected waterfalls-and the streams merging into the ocean… The scenes were awesome… accompanied with Vada-pavs and weird combinations like ripe Banana pakodas 😉
You describe it beautifully, Ramya! I’ve done a little stretch on this train, via Coorg, and remember it being absolutely stunning. Got to give the whole thing a try after hearing you describe it 🙂
Greenery all around.really refreshing …
Glad you felt refreshed, Chitra. I felt exactly the same on the train!
Looks heavenly awesome.
It sure was!
WOW!! Must do this the next time I am on the island. Love the photos, great work.
Thank you! I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did 🙂 Let me know how it goes.
Sure will do that.
Great pictures Buddy!!! And yeah, you made the things easier with written activities too…
Thanks Corbett 🙂
This is exactly what i loved about Sri Lanka too. It’s all green 🙂
The pictures are lovely and the place looks full of natural beauty and serene. I need a vacation and I am gonna ask you for help.
Btw aint the picture edited or something? The color quality looks very good.
Happy to help! Where are you planning to go?
The pictures aren’t edited but the Cannon Ixus has a “Super vivid” mode which makes the colors look much more vivid. I loved clicking in that mode 🙂
The best is when the ‘cloud’ comes in from one side creeping in through the windows and door and your fellow passengers disappear like ghosts…then it swirls slowly out of the windows and door on the other side…!!!! creepy and surreal!
All Sri Lankans love the ‘up country’ train ride on Udarata Manike
Agreed, and on my train, a bird entered with the clouds and created quite some entertainment!
Aha, I did go to Badulla but took a bus from Ella instead of the train. Damn!
You have missed the icing on the cake 🙂
Wonderful pictures. The countrysides are very inviting. I have some posts on Sigiriya, Kandy etc.
Thanks! Would love to read them 🙂
Blissfully spectacular! 🙂
It was, Gayatri!
Beautiful pics specially that waterfall with mist and tea plantation. Are all the trains are painted in deep blue color from outside?
Thanks Manish, the terrain was just that beautiful. Not really, only a few trains are this color (usually the slower ones, toy train like). The rest are a deep red.
Beautiful. My favourite train journey is definitely in Norway, from Bergen to the village of Flam, gateway to one of the country’s many fjords. Recent favourite is the Heart of Wales line in the UK. Would love to visit India to hop on one of its train; and it looks now I will have to include Sri Lanka!
You absolutely have to include Sri Lanka; I’m sure you’ll love it.
Both those train journeys (and places in general) are on my list, and you just made them move higher up on my wish list 🙂
Lovely pictures. Have heard so much about Sri Lanka and its beauty and heres the proof. Thanks so much for sharing the pictures. Looks inviting.
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the tea plantations remind me of my drive through munnar. (from munnar town to pulimootil tea estate) just gorgeous ! i haven’t been on an interesting train ride though…..
Your post makes my resolve to visit Sri Lanka even stronger. And I was just wondering if monsoon travel here would be worth it. Fantastic photos.
I’ve gone through all of your posts on Sri Lanka, Shivya and I can assure they have the power to convert even a Sri Lanka phobic person to get glued to that place. Period.
What I would love to read is the details of your trip, those trivial and mundane things that if left unplanned could create a nuisance. I reckon it’s not your style to delve into the intricate details, but it would be great if you could indulge in such stuff every now and then to help the rest of us make the trip go as smoothly as possible with the least hiccups.
Here are just a few things you can guide us about:
1. What were the different cities, towns and villages that you visited during your two-week stay and where did you stay at each place?
2. What are the memorable places to check out in each city/town?
3. Which city/town you found to be the most bland and can be overlooked.
4. How did you arrange transportation to reach the train station for the 6am train from Kandy to Ella? Is there public transportation available at 5am in the morning?
5. What were the obstacles you faced along the way and what are the pitfalls to avoid for anyone aspiring to travel to Sri Lanka?
And a ton of other things only you would know could be beneficial for first-timers to Sri Lanka.
You would be doing a great service to all your readers by divulging these details as well in addition to the awe-inspiring posts you’ve already shared.
i cant believe,
This is my country
This train journey was the highlight of our trip. Such an amazing ride.. and another good thing about the train ride is the people and the locals you get to interact with inside the compartment.