Most of the time people used to travel by train to upcountry Sri Lanka because it is recognized as the best convenient way to travel in Sri Lanka.

The heavy traffic along the road and the crowded buses make a heavy burden to the travellers.

And most of the time people used to choose the train because the train journey is more comfortable than other transport systems.

Especially when travelling Kandy to Badulla, you can see the most scenic areas in Sri Lanka when travelling by train.

Here are some tips for travelling by train comfortably.

Places to visit on the way up

Most of the time, travellers choose upcountry train line for scenic alongside the railway line. The most breathtaking sceneries can be seen on Sri Lanka can be seen through this train ride.

The most iconic travel destinations are also situated with the Fort-Kandy-Badulla train line. Here are some;

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

  • Can be seen by drop-off from the train at Rambukkana railway station. And also there is a small zoo still on developing near the elephant orphanage.

Sri Dalada Maligawa – Kandy (Sacred tooth relic of Gautama Buddha) and Peradeniya Botanical Garden.

  • These are also best travelling hot-spots in Kandy and Peradeniya. And there are so much more places that anyone should visit.

Ambuluwawa Mountain – Gampola

  • A multi-religion centre situated in a mountain at Gampola that one should visit.

Ella rock and nine arch bridge – Ella

  • The popular travel destination of everyone that most of the travellers visit.


  • Many more places with the best climate in Sri Lanka
train in hill country travelling by train
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Besides these places, there are many more around the country and most of the places, you can visit travelling by train.

So here are the best times that fit for your time.

At upcountry/Badulla train line.

There are only 4 trains that scheduled to Colombo Fort to Badulla upcountry, and besides these 4 trains, there are 2 intercity express trains and 3 normal express trains to Kandy and another express train to Hatton.

The train schedule is as follows,

5.55 am – Colombo Fort to Badulla (Podi Manike)

7.00 am – Intercity express train to Kandy

8.30 am – Colombo Fort to Badulla (Udarata Manike)

9.40 am – Colombo Fort to Badulla

10.30 am – Colombo Fort to Kandy

12.40 pm – Colombo Fort to Hatton (Tikiri Manike)

3.30 pm – Intercity express train to Kandy

4.35 pm – Colombo Fort to Kandy (Senkadagala Manike)

5.45 pm – Express train to Kandy coming from Matara

8.00 pm – Night mail express train to Badulla

train schedule from colombo fort to badulla

In these train schedules, there are some trains that are heavily crowded. As well as it takes about 6 hours to travel to the destination. So the one should choose the train wisely and must check the arrival time to the desired destination for best travelling by train experience.

Let’s check about the Kandy trains first;

You can travel to the Kandy on all the trains above.

If you wish to spend all the day around the Kandy and expect to visit all the places to see around Kandy, the best trains you can catch from the Colombo Fort is 5.55 am Colombo-Badulla (Podi Manike) train and 7.00 am intercity express train. Podi Manike train will come to Kandy at 8.45 am and intercity express train will come to Kandy at around 9.30 am.

So there will be a lot of time to have a walk all over the town and visit many scenic places around the Kandy town.

And also the trains like Tikiri Manike (12.40 pm from Colombo Fort) and Senadagala Manike (4.35 pm from Colombo Fort) are too crowded. So travelling by train freely from those trains is impossible. So it is better to schedule your train times at different time.

upcountry train ride
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There are many reservation cabins

The Night mail express train is much comfortable because it has 1st class sleeping cabins. You can reserve tickets by booking office at any main railway station or by any service providing agent.

And also there are 1st class A/C cabins at Podi Manike, Udarata Manike trains and reserve tickets for 2nd class and 3rd class.

However, there is an Observation Saloon in the Badulla train departing at 9.45 am from Colombo Fort. You can reserve tickets for those cabins.

At my point of view, the best way to have joyful travel by train it is suitable to reserve a ticket for the train. So there will be no crowd as well as can have a pleasant journey for you till the end.

For more train schedules visit Official Sri Lanka railway website.


Hello, I'm Shamal and I am a freelance writer who is passionate about Sri Lanka's culture, food, history, and travel locations. Having grown up in Sri Lanka, I have a deep appreciation for its rich heritage, diverse cuisine, and stunning landscapes. As a writer, my goal is to share my love for Sri Lanka with others and inspire them to explore the country's many wonders. Whether it's ancient temples, vibrant markets, or breathtaking beaches, I believe there's something for everyone in Sri Lanka. Through my blog, I provide insights into Sri Lankan culture and history, sharing stories and traditions that have been passed down for generations. I also highlight the country's culinary delights, from spicy curries to sweet desserts, and provide recommendations for the best places to try them. Of course, travel is a big part of experiencing Sri Lanka's beauty and charm, and I love sharing my favorite travel locations and hidden gems with readers. From the hill country of Ella to the historic city of Galle, I aim to showcase the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer. Thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery, and I hope my writing inspires you to explore the wonders of Sri Lanka for yourself.