Tea Plantation

9 Arch Bridge

Damodara Nine Arch Bridge

If you are visiting Ella then find some time to visit Damodara Nine Arch Bridge an old railway bridge which serves a link between Damodara and Ella train stations.  The bridge was made by colonial britishers in 1921.  Popular rumors suggests that the bridge is made entirely of stones and sand without using any steel.

Nine Arch Bridge

History of 9 Arch Bridge

The bridge was proposed between Damodara and Ella.  However, the work stopped because there was a large gap between two hills.  The valley in between had a quagmire.  It was difficult to build solid foundation in the unstable swamp between the hills.  To make the matter worse, all steel assigned for this project was shipped to Europe for World War One.

The bridge was proposed between Damodara and Ella.  However, the work stopped because there was a large gap between two hills.  The valley in between had a quagmire.  It was difficult to build solid foundation in the unstable swamp between the hills.  To make the matter worse, all steel assigned for this project was shipped to Europe for World War One.

According to folklore, a native named P. K. Appuhami was the one who helped britishers build this bridge.  He solved the problem foundation by toppling heavy stone boulders between the gap.  Once a solid bed of rock foundation was formed he started building brick columns.  Thus, a beautiful bridge was constructed at a fraction of estimated cost.

Characteristics of 9 Arch Bridge constructed in 1921

Material Stones, bricks and cement
Total length 300 ft (91.44m)[1]
Width 25 ft (7.62m)
Height 80 ft (24.38m)
No. of spans 9

How To Reach Nine Arch Bridge

There are two ways to reach this beautiful bridge.  The easy way is to walk from Ella railway station following the train track towards Damodara.  The walk is under 60 minutes and you may be thrilled to see some train pass by on tracks.  It is better to check train timing and keep a look out for trains while walking on tracks.  Also watch out for bats while passing through two tunnels.

Ella Train Station

Walk On Train Tracks

If you are hiking to Little Adam’s Peak it is also possible to hike to Damodara Nine Arch Bridge from there.  From Little Adam’s Peak hike towards 98 Acres Resort & Spa, have a coffee in their coffee shop to refuel before going towards tea factory.

Tea Plantation

You will pass tea plantation and watch locals pick tea leaves. The view is much better around this track. We put Damodara Nine Arch Bridge as destination in google map and followed the directions.  If you feel that you are lost, just ask some locals.  Those friendly guys will point you to the right path.

Best Time To Visit The Arched Bridge

Taking Selfie 9 Arch Bridge

The best time is when the train passes through the tunnel.  The train (which are seldom on time) passes at 9 am, 12 noon, 3 pm. and 6 pm. Give or take half an hour.  Here are the official train timings

Ella to Demodara

Train Details        From Ella Arrives Demodara Frequency

Night Mail

Train No: 1045

Night Mail Train

06:06 am
06:21 am
DAILY

LONG DISTANCE

Train No: 1126

13:26 pm
13:42 pm
DAILY

Podi Menike

Train No: 1005

EXPRESS TRAIN

15:15 pm
15:28 pm
DAILY

Udarata Menike

Train No: 1015

EXPRESS TRAIN

17:28 pm
17:41 pm
DAILY

1007

Train No: 1007

EXPRESS TRAIN

18:23 pm
18:36 pm
DAILY

Demodara to Ella

Train Details From Demodara Arrives Ella Frequency

Udarata Menike

Train No: 1016

EXPRESS TRAIN

06:24 am
06:39 am
DAILY

Podi Menike

Train No: 1006

EXPRESS TRAIN

09:09 am
09:23 am
DAILY

Train No: 1008

EXPRESS TRAIN

10:41 am
10:56 am
DAILY

1596

MIXED TRAINS

11:47 am
12:04 pm
DAILY

Night Mail

Train No: 1045

Night Mail Train

18:37 pm
18:53 pm
DAILY

Going Back To Hotel From Nine Arch Bridge

Tuk-Tuk Near 9 Arch Bridge

One can go back following train track or take a crazy tuk-tuk ride available just at the beginning of the tunnel.  They will charge between LKR 500 to 1500 ($3 to 8) depending on number of available tuk-tuk, your bargaining skills and driver’s mood.  The ride is a cross between rollercoaster and riding ATV with death wish.

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