Ella Sri Lanka: Places of Interest
Ella Gap: 3-5
minutes drive from Sunnyside. Overlooks a spectacular gap in the
southern mountain wall where the land falls away in a scenic drop of
3,000 feet to the southern plains and the sea. On a clear night,
you can see the Great Basses lighthouse. You can drive over to the
Grand Ella Motel (formerly, the Ella Rest House) or Ambiente which is
situated in a commanding location in Ella, Sri Lanka. For a well
written essay on the Ella Gap, visit 'Elle Gap', a place to reconnect with
nature by Daniel R. Rauchman.
Rawana Ella: 10
minutes drive from Sunnyside. A beautiful natural wonder
associated with legend is the Rawana Ella (Ravana Falls) located near
the village of Udunuwara on the Ella-Wellawaya Road. A cave ("cave of
gold") hidden behind the falls is believed to be one of several places
where Rawana hid his lovely Indian Princess Sita after abducting
Little Adam's Peak: A nice short hike and breathtaking views from the top. Read this great review and photos by Aisha of Yamu on Little Adam's Peak.
Ella is surrounded with beautiful rocks and mountains, including the
towering Ella Rock (2-3 hours trek each way). So if you are into
hiking and mountaineering, you can enjoy some of the most spectacular
views of Sri Lanka.
Ella Rock: The Ella Rock is a harder climb than Little Adam's Peak but the trek and the views from above is really fantastic. It takes around 4 hours up and down. For step by step instructions on how to reach the top, read this blog by Gap Year Escape.
Bandarawela Town: 15 minutes
drive from Sunnyside. Like the town of Ella, Bandarawela is also
reputed as a health resort in Sri Lanka due to its mild, dry and cool
Diyaluma Falls: Sri
Lanka's second highest perennial waterfall at 560 ft. Situated
near Koslanda, beside the main highway to Wellawaya.
Bogoda Bridge: 40
minutes drive from Sunnyside. The only roofed 16th century Kandyan
bridge left in Sri Lanka. Constructed entirely of wood with
massive tree trunks for buttresses. No nails have been used in the
Namunukula Peak: 6,617
feet in height. This is Sri Lanka's 6th highest peak. Its
distinctive nine peaked silhouette dominates Badulla and is visible
from many parts of the district.
Demodara Nine Arch Bridge:
20 minutes drive from Sunnyside. This beautiful and amazing bridge was
built between the two railway stations - Ella and Demodara during the
British Colonial period. The 99.6ft high bridge is known in Sinhala as
"Ahas namaye palama" (Nine skies bridge).
Demodara Railway Loop: 15
minutes drive from Sunnyside. The railway loop was designed and built
during the British Colonial period in the shape of a turban, this
railroad loop is a unique feature in the hill country. The rail track
goes around the mountain in a loop and through a tunnel beneath the
Demodara Railway Station.
Dunhinda Falls: 60
minutes drive from Sunnyside. One of the country’s most renowned
waterfalls is Dunhinda, on the Mahiyanganaya Road, about 5 km from
Badulla. Flowing from Badulu Oya, the 210 feet high Dunhinda, is
surrounded by mountains and jungle. It is truly an enchanting
sight from a distance. Note: the walk to the site may be
unpleasant on certain days of the year!
Horton Plains National Park:
2 hours drive from Sunnyside. Alternatively, you could travel by train
to the Ohiya railway station and trek from there. The Horton Plains
National Park is the only National Park situated in the Hill Country.
Nature lovers would love this wide, Patna-grass covered plain. The
grassy plains, which are interspersed with small patches of forest, are
home to many wild animals including, leopards, sambur and monkeys. This
is also one of the top destinations for birders who can observe an
impressive bird life, including some endemic species. The most dramatic
feature of the National Park is 'World’s End' where the plateau comes
to an abrupt end and drops nearly 1000m vertically. The view is
magnificent on a clear day. Get some superb information and photos of
the Horton Plains from the Lakdasun website.
Udawalawe National Park: 3
hours drive from Sunnyside. Udawalawe is a great place to watch
elephants. It is estimated that around 400 elephants in herds to up to
100 live here. The park is 30,821 hectares of protected area and was
established in 1972. Crocodiles, water buffalo, spotted and barking
deer, leopard (sightings are rare), wild boar, sambur, jackal and
ruddy, grey and striped necked mongoose are also found in this park. View
photos taken at Udawalawe National Park.
Tea gardens: Sunnyside
is surrounded by a tea estate in Ella named Kinellan. You can visit the Kinellan Tea Factory or the Halpewatte
Tea Factory and see for yourself the manufacturing process of
tea. Here’s a chance to see and buy fresh “Ceylon Tea”.
Lipton's Seat, St.
Catherine's Seat and Pilkinton Point: Situated in the
Poonagala hills with breathtaking and panoramic views.
National Park: 3 hours drive from Sunnyside. Yala is
a vast protected area on the south-east coast of Sri Lanka. The park is
classical safari terrain, with open areas of dry scrub,
interspersed with wooded lagoons. The park has a large elephant
population. One may also see Leopard, Bear, Spotted Deer, Sambhur,
Wild Boar, Water Buffaloes, Crocodiles, Soft Terrapins and Land
Monitors. Among the birds: Painted Stork, Sri Lanka Junglefowl,
Indian Peafowl, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Pintail Snipe, Pied Cuckoo,
Common Hoopoe, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker,
White-browed Fantail, Crested Treeswift, Baya Weaver etc.
Arugam Bay: 3
1/2 hours drive from Sunnyside. Arugambay is renowned as the world's top ten surf
locations, situated on the east coast of Sri Lanka. If you are into
wind-surfing, rafting, fishing and swimming, Arugambay is the place for
The closest town is Pottuvil,
and it is within easy reach to the Yala and Lahugala National Parks.