Sri Lanka’s world-famous nine-arch bridge was built in the Ella area and this bridge is a special place on the hill country Railway. Today, it has become a place that has won the attraction of local and foreign tourists.
So, if you are visiting Sri Lanka, don’t forget to come to Ella on the Hill Country Railway. And no matter how you come to the Ella don’t forget to see the Nine Arch and follow the things to do in Ella
Who built the Nine Arch Bridge in Sri Lanka and When?
During the British rule in Sri Lanka, the British started the construction of railways and in the year 1864, they started the construction of the Upland Railway from Colombo. Both local and foreign engineers have contributed to this and during the construction of this bridge, the basic structure was drawn By a British engineer named H. R. Marwoody. According to reports, the work on this bridge was started in 1913-1917 and finished in 1923.
Why is 9 Arch Bridge famous??
The Nine Arch Bridge in Sri Lanka is popular all over the world due to the way it was built, the materials used, and the area where it was built. also, another reason is its shape is been very similar to the Glenfinnan Viaduct bridge in Scotland which is famous after the Harry Potter movie.
The reason for constructing the bridge in this way is that the construction of the bridge was originally planned to be made in iron, but the British Empire needed iron for the First World War at that time, due to the shortage of iron in Britain and the difficulty of bringing the raw materials to Sri Lanka due to the British transport ships being attacked during the war, local raw materials had to be used.
Then It was proposed to build the bridge as a viaduct bridge and for this obtained knowledge and advice from British engineer Harrold Cuthbert Marwoody who has special knowledge and experience in the design and construction of viaduct bridges.
At that time, the area where the bridge was built was a swamp and during the construction, the foundations of the piers of the bridge were dug a few feet below the surface of the ground and a mixture of concrete with black stone. A certain amount of iron wire has also been used for its construction and the arch parts needed to build the towers and the teak wood needed to support the scaffolding have been imported from Burma.
For the rest of the work on the bridge, concrete blocks that mixture of cement, sand, and stone mixed in a ratio of 3:2:1 were prepared by putting in molds.
Considering the details of the bridge, it is 80 feet high, 25 feet wide, and 300 feet long, and it is built in the shape of a bend with an inclination of 1:44.
Also, the railway track has a curvature of 9 degrees, and the span between the two arches of the bridge is 30 feet. Considering the area where the bridge was built, it has been built in the famous Ella area of the very beautiful landscapes and natural beauty of Sri Lanka, which has become a reason for its popularity. Even though it was in a very difficult area at the time of its construction today Ella has become a world-famous destination. Therefore, most of the tourists who come to the Ella come to see this Bridge.
Why is The Bridge called the Nine Arch?
It was named the Stone Bridge, Demodara Bridge, and Sky Bridge when the bridge was first built. But because of the nine arch shapes here, the name nine arch bridge is used nowadays. Paherps, the tourists who came to the Ella area may have applied an English name to it for the ease of pronouncing them.
How old is the Bridge?
The construction of the bridge was completed in 1923 and today it is more than 100 years old but still, the bridge is strong enough to run all trains from coal trains to diesel trains on the bridge without any repairs. This is also one of the testaments’ to the awesomeness of British civil engineering technology at the time.
How do you walk to the 9 Arch Bridge?
The best and shortest way to reach it is the footpath through the pine forest on the left after about 1 km of the Ella Passara Road.
Best time to Visit Nine Arch?
To reach the bridge, it is best to go here in the morning or evening when the trains arrive. Because then you can take a photo or a beautiful video. Trains are scheduled to cross the bridge at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. However, the planned hours for the famed Sri Lankan rail voyage are quite erratic, and it is frequently late.
There are no entrance fees to visit the Nine Arch Bridge. It’s open to the public and is a popular tourist attraction in Ella.
Bridge Photography Tips
Capturing the beauty of the Nine Arch Bridge is a must for any visitor. Here are some photography tips to help you get that perfect shot:
- Use wide-angle lenses to capture the entire bridge and its surroundings.
- Experiment with different angles to highlight the unique arches.
- Visit during the golden hour for soft, warm lighting.
- Include passing trains in your shots to add a sense of scale and motion.
The Ella region has more to offer than just the Nine Arch Bridge. Don’t miss these nearby attractions:
Hiking enthusiasts will love the trek to Ella Rock, which rewards you with breathtaking views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
Little Adam’s Peak
A relatively easy hike leads to Little Adam’s Peak, where you can enjoy panoramic views and a peaceful atmosphere.
Visit the cascading Ravana Falls, a perfect spot for a refreshing swim after your adventures
The Nine Arch Bridge in Sri Lanka is not just a structure; it’s a piece of history and a gateway to the natural beauty of Ella. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or an adventure seeker, this iconic bridge has something for everyone. So, plan your visit, explore the surrounding wonders, and make unforgettable memories in the heart of Sri Lanka.
- Is there an entrance fee to visit the 9 Arch Bridge?
No, there is no entrance fee to visit the bridge. It’s open to the public.
- Can you walk on the bridge?
Yes, you can walk on the bridge and enjoy the stunning views it offers. Just exercise caution and be mindful of oncoming trains.
- How long does the train journey to the bridge take from Ella Railway Station?
The train journey from Ella Railway Station to the bridge takes approximately 10-20 minutes.
- Is there a specific time when the train crosses the bridge?
Trains cross the bridge multiple times a day. Usually, It is scheduled to travel over the bridge at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
- Are there any accommodations near the Nine Arch Bridge?
Yes, there are guesthouses and hotels in the Ella area where you can stay while visiting the bridge.