Are you a tea lover? If you are, Ella will certainly enchant you. As its name, Ella is just like a virgin maiden. Lying in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka, Ella offers serene countryside, misty hills and tea plantations in abundance. Falling in the hill country, the journey to Ella, irrespective of your mode of transport, is stupendous.
Unlike Colombo, Ella is less crowded, a lot cooler and more Sinahli. There may be not too much to do in Ella but it will still entrap you in its natural serenity that will make you extend your stay.
Here’s my list of few to-do things while in Ella.
There couldn’t be any other place in Sri Lanka to experience the best homestay with a Sri Lankan family. Ella has less hotels and more options for homestays. The locals of this town have opened their homes for tourists. One such place where I chose to stay is Waterfall Views. As the name suggests, you stay with a splendid view of the waterfalls amidst those dense green forests. I believe a good stay is complemented by good food. And Waterfall View has plenty of it. Do you long for solitude in your travels, when you can talk to yourself and get into deep thinking, then this is the place for you. Don’t regret not doing this.
For my tripadvisor review on Waterfall Views visit here.
For booking your stay with Waterfall Views visit here.
Visiting a Tea Estate
Sri Lanka is the world’s largest producer of tea in the world. With tea growing everywhere around you, you ought to visit on of those estates that produces the finest tea. There are many reputed tea companies in and around Ella. I chose to visit the Halpewatte Tea Factory, which is one of the largest factories in this region. You’ll enter with the view of arrayed tea plantations while Sri Lankan females picking tea leaves. You can also take a tour of the tea factory and get to see the processes that involves in the making of the final product of tea.
The cost of the tour is about 200 SLR. If you don’t want to take the tour you can just do a tea tasting for free and can also buy some.
Not just a tea town, Ella in fact deeply connects with the Indian mythology. If you have read a Hindu epic – Ramayana, according to which a fierce demon Ravana abducts Sita from India, wife of Lord Rama and takes her to his kingdom in Lanka. It is believed that he hid her in the caves of Ella, as the jungles were there so dense, that it was rather impossible to locate Sita.
As a Hindu, one of my inquisitive reasons to visit Ella was to convince the mythological side of mine. And I must say this place didn’t disappoint me a bit, it is still very dense and even today it would be impossible to scout through these forests. The most famous cave as they say where Ravana actually hid Sita is called Ravana Cave. It is on a height and you need to climb steps to reach to see the cave. From the top, the views of Ella are pretty awesome.
An interesting thing that happened to me at this place was when I started the climb there was neither any ticket counter nearby, nor any information about the tickets for Ravana Cave. When I climbed down suddenly an old man appeared with a ticket book in his hand asking me 150 SLR for taking the climb. There is no doubt that it was fake because I, nowhere read about its entry costs. However, after so much of altercation we gave money for only one person rather than two. It left me with slight bitter experience.
There are Ravana Waterfalls a short distance away from this cave. You can enjoy bathing in it too.
Ella offers several paths along natural trails. The famous ones are Adam’s Peak and Ella’s Stone. The difficulty level is from medium to tough. I was told that the walk to both the places is strenuous, I decided not to go since I wanted to relax and have a lazy time in my home stay. I also have heard that the sunrise and sunset views from these points are breathtaking.
Even just walking around the town area of Ella is quite an experience. You can try one of those places offering Sri Lankan delicacies or more continental cafes. You can also take an ayurvedic massage or have coconut water for 50 SLR.
Don’t forget to carry your umbrella; it rains quite often here.
Things to take care in Ella
- Sri Lanka follows a tipping culture. Don’t forget to tip at your home stays for their good service.
- Carry an umbrella since it can rain anytime.
- Since Ella is predominantly a plantation area, wear long pants or boots to avoid the leeches in rains.