Rucksack Magazine - Adventure & Discovery


The Journal brings together a collection of adventure articles, photo essays, photographer interviews, films, brand stories, featured gear and music playlists.


Mountain Train | Kandy to Ella

Sri Lanka | Kandy to Ella Train


Taking the train from Kandy to Ella is one of the most beautiful, scenic journeys in the world. A spiralling, breath taking ascent into the mountains that spans just over 6 hours, on a train where both windows and doors remain open the entire time. Sitting on the floor by one of the rickety, wooden sliding doors gives you a perfect vantage point to recognise just how stunning the country of Sri Lanka really is. This is also the perfect spot to take a few shots of the local towns and mystifying mountains as they pass by. Rather than taking a direct route between stops, the mountainous terrain means the train has to wind around, taking a circular route to the top. With each loop completed, the view becomes ever more breath taking. About half way through the journey as you realise you have travelled through the low clouds, the heavy mist clears, and you look down to see rolling green hills, tea plantations and dense grey cloud covering the tops of the mountain peaks. This is when you come to realise that this truly is one of the greatest train journeys in the world. 



When you arrive in Ella you are rewarded with a friendly atmosphere and a fantastic selection of spa hotels and delicious restaurants lining the main street. It’s easy to see why Ella is such a popular destination in Sri Lanka. A small town in the south of the island which has lush greenery, misty towering mountains covered in bright green tea bushes, making it a great walking destination. The views are atmospheric, and are best enjoyed with a freshly grown cup of Sri Lankan Ceylon tea. It’s easy to feel very relaxed here, especially if your lucky enough to stay at one of the luxury spa villas but definitely make time for easygoing walks through tea plantations, temples, waterfalls and Little Adam’s Peak.


Further Reading

Sri Lanka Tourism |
Lonely Planet |
Trip Advisor |
Department of Railways |