Nine Arches Bridge

Nine Arches Bridge, Ella Overview

Nine Arches Bridge, also known as Ahas Namaye Palama or The Bridge in the Sky, is an iconic architectural structure in Ella's mountainous region in Sri Lanka. It is a magnificent stone bridge built amidst lush green tea plantations, with stunning mountains in the backdrop. It can be accessed from the Ella station and is a short trek along the railway tracks to the bridge.

This ancient construction is 91 meters long and 24 meters high and never fails to leave tourists spellbound by its beauty. An interesting story revolves around the construction of this bridge. Soon after the British constructed this bridge, the first world war broke out. Thus, the steel used in the development of the bridge was used in the weapons for the war. But, a Sri Lankan named Appuhami took it upon himself to complete the construction. This builder meticulously worked on the development, with the available material and finances, and before the deadline. The bridge was built of stone and cement and has stood tall to date, which is an architectural wonder. Photographers from all over the world consider the Nine Arches Bridge the perfect spot for photography.

Make sure to take note the train timings to experience the bridge during that time.

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Entry Fee for Nine Arches Bridge

The bridge has no entry fees. Tourists can visit the bridge whenever they want, and walk around in the vicinity at no cost. The cafe near the deck also has a very reasonable menu.

History of Nine Arches Bridge

After the commencement of the bridge in Ella by the British, the WW1 broke out. Thus, the steel from the bridge was used for weapons in the war. However, a Sri Lankan, named Appuphani, built the bridge of stone and cement and completed it within the stipulated time and budget.

Tips for Visiting Nine Arches Bridge

Some of the tips to be considered before visiting the Nine Arches Bridge are:
  • Beware of wild animals and leeches - keep away from threatening areas
  • Keep away from the passing train
  • Do not litter the surroundings
  • Visit the bridge during sunrise or sunset for the best view
  • Keep away from edges and cliffs

Train Timings for Nine Arches Bridge

Although the train timings are uncertain, and the trains are usually delayed, the tentative schedules are: 6:15 AM, 6:30 AM, 9:15 AM, 10:45 AM, 12:00 PM, 1:30 PM, 3:25 PM, 5:40 PM, 6:30 PM, and 6:45 PM.

Best Time to Visit Nine Arches Bridge

The northern end of the bridge is perfect for sunrise, while the southern end is for sunset. Both these times are equally gorgeous and make for ideal photographic moments. Another opportunistic time to visit the bridge is when the train is passing by. Tourists often check the train timings and visit the bridge accordingly.

Sightseeing Spots at Nine Arches Bridge

The iconic bridge amidst the lush green backdrop makes, and the rocky path includes a hiking trail and sightseeing for waterfalls, ancient caves and tea plantations. Some of the sightseeing spots in and around the area are:

1. The Main Bridge
Undoubtedly, the crux of this tour, the Nine Arches Bridge is the prime attraction. The nine elegant arches of the stone construction make it stand tall and unique. Visitors enjoy walking on the bridge and seeing the train pass by swiftly and gracefully.

2. The Tea Fields Towards Demodara
The lush green tea plantation around the bridge is beyond marvellous. The bright green colour of the estates and the mellow aroma of tea creates an atmosphere of freshness and calms the mind.

3. The Hills Towards Ella Station
Vast, magnificent and elegant hills make the perfect backdrop. The scene is complete because of the mountains. Photographers consider these hills as an ideal spot for showcasing their photography skills.

4. The Asanka Cafe Viewpoint
The only cafe in the vicinity provides just what one needs to complete the tour - coffee. The owners of this cafe are amiable and generous with the tourists, and of course, serve delicious appetizers and beverages. The cafe has a minimalistic menu, at very reasonable rates. What’s better than grabbing a bite of sandwiches with traditional tea and coffee amidst the hills?

How To Reach Nine Arches Bridge

The bridge is at a distance of 2.8 kms from Ella station. Visitors can hire a tuk-tuk from the station, at fare ranging between 200 to 300 LKR. Another option is to walk from the station to the bridge, which is a 20-30 minute walk and offers pleasant views.

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