A visitor to Sri Lanka never misses a trip to the up-country full of luxurious tea plantations and waterfalls. One can tour the hills through automobile or train. For a relaxed and convenient journey, the latter is preferred. The railways in Sri Lanka were built by the British during the colonial times. These sometimes bypass the hills, go round the hills, pass along bridges between hills and most importantly they go through tunnels in hills.
The train journey to the hill country is an experience even for a Sri Lankan, so much so that one has to book seats much ahead of travel dates. There are train journeys to Kandy, Matale, Nanu Oya, and to Badulla passing through breath-taking views of the hill country, its valleys, mountains, greenery, streams, and more. The morning train to Badulla from Colombo has an Observation Salon with a limited number of seats. Yet if one wishes to travel with the local community, the second class would be comfortable. As the train winds its way towards the hills, at various stops one finds vendors passing through compartments with tender coconuts complete with straw for quenching one’s thirst and succulent fresh fruits and fried cadju nuts and peanuts. Later on come hot vadai made of Mysore dhal and prawns. One is never in want of food on this train journey. To the sight seers, the train journey is quite an experience. One can deviate to Kandy or Matale along the route or leave at Nanu Oya for proceeding to Nuwara Eliya just 10km away or go right down to Badulla. As the train moves up the hills it gets colder and mistier and some of the railway stations are fully covered with mist. One passes through quite a number of tunnels and the scenery becomes more and more breath-taking as one views the green topped terrains with tea plantations as far as the eye can see, interspersed with milky white water falls and enjoy the picturesque scenery of the hill country. The train journey to the up-country is simply an unforgettable experience