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How To Reach Ella
A small town in Uva Province’s Badulla District, Ella which means ‘waterfall’ in Sinhala is located approx. 120 miles east of Colombo, nearly 3,415 feet above the sea level. Ella is heavily encompassed with different varieties of flora and fauna, with neighboring hills, tea plantations and misty forests. The town is popular amongst travelers for its scenic beauty and laid-back vibes. With a cool climate, thanks to its elevated location, the Ella Gap offers a gorgeous view of most of Sri Lanka’s southern plains. So it should definitely be on your radar when you visit Sri Lanka.
Here are some ways to reach Ella.
There are plenty of flights for Colombo from different parts of India with both non-stop/ multiple stop options and varying rates for each category. With 7 non-stop flights from Chennai, 3 from New Delhi, 2 from Mumbai, 3 from Bengaluru and 1 from Hyderabad, you have several flight options to choose from in the price range of INR 10,000-17,500. The flight duration varies between an hour and 25 minutes to 3 hours and 35 minutes for the non-stop flights.
Ella is about 132 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport. And the nearest airport to Ella is the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport in Hambantota, 87 km from the town’s center. The quickest way recommended to reach Ella is by taxi, train or bus.
One of the best ways to reach Ella is by train and the ride from Kandy to Ella is known to be one of the most beautiful in the world! While you can travel from Colombo to Ella by train, most train services don’t follow the Kandy-Ella route, hence the best route would be Colombo-Badulla. The train ride from Colombo to Ella takes about 11 hours roughly. Approx. 1.4 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport, there’s the Katunayake Airport Bus Station where a bus leaves for the Colombo Bastian Mawatha Terminal every half hour and takes about 45 minutes to reach there.
The Colombo Fort Train Station is 11 m walking distance from the Colombo Bastian Mawatha Terminal and there’s a train every 4 hours to Ella, costing INR 100-350. The Colombo-Badulla train, operated by Sri Lanka Railways takes approx. 8-10 hours and few minutes, depending on what time of the day you leave from Colombo.
The distance between the Bandaranaike International Airport and Ella is 236 km by road and the fastest way to reach there is to hail a taxi which costs INR 5,500-7,000 roughly and takes about 3.4 hours to reach Ella. Another alternative is to take a bus. From the International Airport to the Domestic Airport Bus station, the ride is 45 minutes long and 31 km away.
From the CBM (Colombo Bastian Mawatha) Terminal, there’s a bus to Kandy Good Shed Bus Station every 20 minutes, which takes approx. 3 hours or so to reach and costs INR 60-80. From Kandy, you can hire a cab for Ella which is about 138 km and 2 hours 21 minutes. The cab ride can cost you anything between INR 4,200-5,000.
Tuk-Tuks are the best mode to move around in Ella with ample luggage space and the capacity to have a reasonable number of people riding on it! Despite how small the town is, you will find the three-wheelers in plenty. Being a small town, it is easier to get around Ella on foot and enjoy the tourist attractions by walking around. You can also hire motorbikes for your sightseeing travels.